Hong Kong director unveils new martial arts comedy

Director Andrew Lau on the opening day of the 67th Venice Film Festival on September 1, 2010 at Venice Lido.

Hong Kong directors are known for their efficiency, and proficiency in a diverse range of films.

An exemplar of the craft, Andrew Lau premiered his latest flick, Kung Fu Monster, a martial arts fantasy comedy, in Beijing on Oct 25.

Lau's best-known films include the 2003 crime epic Infernal Affairs, which was adapted into Martin Scorsese's Oscar-winning The Departed, and Daisy, a 2006 South Korean gangster-themed romance blockbuster.

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The new film, which also marks Lau's first partnership with veteran filmmaker Derek Tung, will open across China on Dec 21.

Set in the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644), the tale follows a group of bandits scheming to rob a silver yuanbao (a type of ingot currency used in imperial China) transport escorted by government forces. But their criminal plan fails as they encounter a fleeing beast escaping the royal intelligence agency, Dong Chang. Things take a turn for the worse when the gang finds the beast is a monster.

Louis Koo, one of Hong Kong's highest-paid actors, leads the film, which also features Chen Xuedong, Bea Hayden, Zhou Dongyu, Wang Taili and Pan Binlong.