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Money No Enough 3

Opening Date
01 Feb 2024
PG13 Some Coarse Language
Mandarin with English & Chinese subtitles
Comedy, Drama
Jack Neo
Jack Neo, Mark Lee, Henry Thia, Xiang Yun, Patricia Mok, Regina Lim, Braven Yeo, Ivan Lo, Tiang Miaoling
The third movie in the popular MONEY NO ENOUGH series tells the story of Young Seniors Ah Hui, Ah Qiang and Ah Huang, who have been lifelong friends, and each face their own family and financial problems. In their attempt to join forces and support each another, their grand plan falls apart when the younger generation challenges the beliefs and value systems of the Young Seniors. Ah Huang's mounting debts drive him to desperate measures. He borrows money from Ah Qiang and Ah Hui, and builds illegal businesses that eventually prosper. However, his greed gets the better of him and he refuses to return any borrowed money from his trusting friends. Amidst his financial success, one of his businesses collapses, impacting not only his own family but also families of his two friends. Can the three friends and their families ever find a way to reconcile? Is money really the solution to everything?
By InCinemas  01 Feb 2024
The love of money truly is the root of all evil.
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15 years after the previous installment and 25 years since the inception of this money-making franchise, director and co-writer Jack Neo and team are back with Money No Enough 3.

This time, the film follows three long-time buddies Ah Hui, Ah Qiang and Ah Huang. Ah Hui (Henry Thia), a man without big ambitions and his dominating Hui-sao (Xiang Yun), hope that their son – Roy (Braven Yeo in his film debut), who has just completed his national service, will take over the family’s porridge shop. However, with Roy’s refusal, the couple is looking forward to sell their shop and retire. Ah Qiang (Neo) used to be a successful entrepreneur before the pandemic. Ever since his business failed, he earns a living as a Private-hire driver. He often laments to his wife, embodying the typical struggle of someone in mid-life crisis. Ah Qiang and Qiang-sao (Tiang Miaoling) also worries for their son – Ian (Ivan Lo), who seems to be lazing around and not actively seeking employment. A single parent, Ah Huang is compassionate and always ready to help any friends in need despite his modest income. Together with his daughter – Kim (a commanding Regina Lim), who just joined the workforce, the two find joy in each other’s company and weather through challenges they each face at work. In this rapidly evolving digital age, the three families soon find themselves in predicaments, will their changing values and attitudes towards money ruin their bond? Is money truly the devil?

The answer is yes. The popular quote “money is the root of all evil” seems to be the main inspiration here with the preachy dramedy putting audience through the ringer just to get this point across. Nothing fresh is contributed to the saying that viewers don’t already know–with the film itself even repeating plot points from past films in the franchise–which begs the question: was this film even necessary?

Neo knows his audience, as evident in his relatable content, but it doesn’t seem like he’s broadening his horizons to bring in a younger audience, even with the inclusion of current events. The filmmaker's awareness and precision in incorporating topical subjects is admirable but the insensitive execution neutralises its credibility. Did Neo not get the memo that using sexual harassment as a gag is not okay? 

The product placements here also tend to borderline ingenius and hard-sell. It’s commendable how clever they are incorporated within the film but once you start picking up what’s going on (there are multiple products and partners involved), it starts to feel self-righteous. It’s understandably didactic for the older audience, but these scenes tend to isolate viewers who are more in-touch with modern day news and technology.

The jarring contrast between the generations is not only apparent within the plot of the film but also in the cast performances. The chemistry of the veteran performers are undeniable, especially the main three – Lee, Neo and Thia – but it’s the grounded performances of Lim and newcomer Yeo that are the standouts here, holding their own against the more seasoned actors and even outperforming them at times.

Money No Enough 3 presents an issue without offering any substantial solution to the problem but it still holds some tears and laughter throughout its 138-minute runtime. Not for the woke but definitely still enjoyable for those looking for a relatable film to watch at the cinemas.
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