by Jordache Wee
Original Mandarin Title: 金錢帝國
Release Date: April 30, 2009
Directed by: Wong Jing
Music by: Raymond Wong Ying-Wah
Starring: Anthony Wong, Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Eason Chan, Bowie Lam, Alex Fong Lik-san, Kate Tsui, Natalie Meng Yao, Wong Jing, Liu Yang, Paw Hee-Ching, Timmy Hung, Samuel Leung, Simon Waikiss, Mars Cheung Wing Fat
Chinese Chief Constable Lak Chui (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) with his corrupted officers Unicorn Tang (Anthony Wong Chau Sang), Gale (Eason Chan) and Gold (Wong Jing) has turned the law and order into an empire of corruption as they enjoy their time among the gorgeous women and money laundering. Crime rates may have decrease but this is not the appropriate method to rob money from the citizens.
Gale has 9 wives but only the fourth wife, May (Kate Tsui) remained loyal to him. It was not his intention to have 9 wives but because of his foolish honesty and greed to climb through the ranks that he has to be a bootlicker or running-dog for Lak Chui. The first and fourth wife was Lak Chui’s mistresses and has bored his son and daughter. When Lak Chui’s real wife found out, he pushes all problems to Gale and he ended up marrying them.
However, Gale treated “his” children as his and have an eye for the female druglord Rose (Liu Yang) but she do not love him for as she is merely using him as a protection.
Later, Unicorn defect to ICAC turning himself to the Head of ICAC department, Yim (Bowie Lam) – to regain his dignity and pride after Lak Chui demoted him to stand guard position. This happen because he hit Lak Chui on the head after finding his Shanxi mistress (Natalie Meng Yao) having an affair with him.
Every police officer involved with corruption were caught except for Kowloon’s Deputy District Commissioner of the Royal Hong Kong Force – Peter Godber and Lak Chui and some escaped leading to the worst Hong Kong riot led by a group of students from various universities.
During the 1950s and 1970s, Hong Kong was still under the British hands. Despite being under the Queen’s rule – the rampant growth and change for Chinese residents in Hong Kong have to adapt to their new lifestyle. Crime rates has been increasing ever since the 50s.
In order to control the situation – the law enforcement of the police department has decided to take action using ruthless and hegemonic method into forcing people on the streets and shops to accept and give money to the law enforcement as a form of protection fees. (Similar to triad’s methods).
This form of protection fees has different calling names such as: Tea Money, Black Money, Hell Money. This method became very popular among Hong Kong locals and residents. At that time, there is no choice because the person who is getting the most share in the syndicate is the chief inspector of Hong Kong.
When there is a problem, the first thing the society would ask for is bribery. And if there is something about releasing someone from prison/jail – it depends on how much can that person pay to the police officer.
During this era, is the beginning of where the community has fallen. Corruption became a real disease before turning into a plague when it involves a British male officer Peter Fitzroy Godber, who was Kowloon’s Deputy District Commissioner of the Royal Hong Kong Force has bribe money amounting to HKD$ 4.3 million before he was caught in 1974 and trialed in 1975 leading to the birth of ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption) in 1973.
Chan, T 1974, Corruption Prevention – The Hong Kong Experience, viewed on 20 April 2011, <http://www.unafei.or.jp/english/pdf/PDF_rms/no56/56-26.pdf>
icac.org.hk (n.d), History – Corruption On The Rampage, viewed on 20 April 2011, <http://www.icac.org.hk/new_icac/eng/abou/history/main_1.html>
icac.org.hk (n.d), History – The Victims, viewed on 20 April 2011, <http://www.icac.org.hk/new_icac/eng/abou/history/main_2.html>
icac.org.hk (n.d), History – Community Backlash, viewed on 20 April 2011,
icac.org.hk (n.d), History – Last Straw, viewed on 20 April 2011,