Check out the cover for this film. Looks like a comedy, doesn't it? Well, it isn't. It starts off with a light tone, but gradually the film turns more and more sad. The final act reminded me more of bitter revenge films like "A Better Tomorrow" or "Full Contact", than that all-time gambling favorite "God of Gamblers". But while "GoG" managed to balance comedy and drama, "My Name is Nobody" has severe problems. Mostly because all the light touches are confined exclusively to the opening half hour. From there on the film turns dead serious. As a consequence the film doesn't pack enough punch when everything turns sour, because it opened on such a light note.
The characters are underdeveloped, lacking in motivation and proper background story. To put it simply: We don't know them well enough to like them. And to make matters worse, these players aren't gifted! They're are not blessed with an almost divine talent, they just cheat. And cheaters aren't impressive, much less likeable, which is a big problem.
Visually the film is uninspired. The camerawork is boring, and the location work is terrible. Too much of the film feels like it's been shot in the same hotelroom, dressed to appear as different gambling venues. There are no establishing shots, and few transportation shots, we simply cut from one room to the next. This gives the film a static confined look, totally missing that Hong Kong touch.
Shu Qi enters the movie after about 17 minutes. Once again she arrives in a show stopping scene - A photoshoot on a sidewalk - and once again the lead guy has to pick his jaw up from the floor. Shu Qi plays Candy with a sweet innocence that - not surprisingly - is quite captivating. Nothing wrong with that. But here comes trouble... Shu Qi. Honey. You know I love you, so forgive me for saying this: You couldn't act blind to save your life!
I honestly haven't seen a less convincing blind act EVER. Shu Qi stumbles around, squinting her eyes like she just lost her sight, I mean like 2 minutes ago. Luckily when she returns from surgery and comes face to face with a bitter and resentful No-name, her performance reaches the levels we're used to.
In one particular nasty scene she's raped in front of No-Name, who can't see her and can't hear her because of the TV. The look in her eyes is just heartbreaking.
Nick Cheung plays No-Name. He struggles with a part that paints him as a bit of a hustler despite the fact that he's suppose to be the hero. His performance is uneven, but once he turns blind, he gets a chance to shine. He portrays the characters anger quite believable, and he acts blind very convincingly.
WRAP-UPExpect nothing and you may well end up being satisfied. "My Name is Nobody" has its flaws, but since the best scenes are located in the last half of the movie you're likely to leave the film with more respect for it than it really deserves.
One last thing: The ending seems rushed, and the film never gets a chance to give us that all-important payoff in the end.