Lucky Grandma ★★★½

A fun little caper film that stars a bitter old Chinese woman tangling with Chinese gangsters. With a premise like that, you have to be hooked immediately. Comedy, shootouts, and even some well-placed pathos combine into a plucky entertaining film. The directorial feature debut of Sasie Sealy, it's now on video on demand services and worth a watch.

The film is anchored by its lead, veteran actress Tsai Chin, who is both emotionally suited to the role and hilarious. She doesn't try to overact the kooky dialogue, she treats the material seriously. You're heartwarmed by her interactions with her younger family members, the doughy bodyguard she hires, but also you're sympathetic to her in the poverty she faces, and the poor cards life has dealt her.

It starts to run out of steam in its final act, and the wrap up of the plot feels a tad rushed. Director Sealy is a veteran of The Fifth Humour comedy troupe, and it is her first feature, so she's still getting the hang of handling a film. But it balances differing tones well, and is both hilarious and heartwarming. Three and a half stars.

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