MADE IN CHINATOWN Film Review — Mob Ties And Wise Guys

It happens so fast…

Tensions are rising between the mob in Little Italy and the mob in Chinatown. Al Capella and Amadore Condimento go head-to-head with Hung Phat, the top mob leaders, affronting each other in Brooklyn accents and Chinese insults. Sean O’Greedy comes in and shakes the room up even more. The Italians complain that the Chinese are taking over. The arguments get louder. A kung-fu fight ensues on the table. 

Meanwhile, Vinny Chow is running crazily around New York City. He elbows through the crowds, and the crowds look back bewildered at this crazy kid running around. He runs down an alley and screams out for Wisdom and Knowledge. He finally gets to a chain-link fence that clangs as he climbs it and shouts to two old, graying Asian men—one playing the flute, and the other arguing with him. They’re Wisdom and Knowledge. They look homeless. Yes, these are precisely the people for whom Vinny had been hunting all New York.

Vinny pours out his heart to the old men.

“I never took to the whole Asian thing. It was the Italian culture that grabbed me.”

Wisdom and Knowledge pause. They squint in confusion. Why wouldn’t an Asian kid want to be associated with his own culture?

MADE IN CHINATOWN Questions Asian Identity

We then get a flashback to when Vinny was young Vincent in Chinatown. Even though he was raised in Chinatown, he felt like a normal American kid in New York City. He wanted to be a wise guy in Little Italy. They got respect— and he wanted that. He would practice in the mirror, recanting to himself, “You’re a wise guy! You’re talking about me? Fuhgeddaboudit!” He flicks his chin and gels his hair, while his father grabs him by the ear and tells him to knock it off.

Fast forward to last month. Vinny tries everything in his power to be as Italian as possible to win Tina, an aspiring mob girl. How far will Vinny go to dismiss his culture in seeking acceptance from another?

With spontaneous fight scenes, exaggerated accents, and a twisted love triangle, Made In Chinatown is full of surprises and comedy. A lot goes down in this movie, which our attention to find out what happens next.

If you’re into hilariously complicated comedies, you’ll really like this one. If dramatic plot changes unsettle you, this may be too much for you to watch.

Made In Chinatown challenges the idea of forsaking your own culture using comedy and uncanny situations. Is it worth it?

“Eh. Fuhgeddaboudit!”



Tony Darrow as Al Capella
Raymond J. Barry as Sean O’Greedy
Jay Kwon as Vinny Chow
Lo Meng as Hung Phat
James lew as Kane
Shuya Chang as May
Vincent Pastore as Amadore Condimento
Fenton Li as Mr. Chow
Theresa Moriarty as Tina


Director: Robert J. Samuels, James Lew
Writer: Mark V. Wiley
Producers: Gine Lui, Shing Ka, Mark V. Wiley

Find out more about the film MADE IN CHINATOWN 

Photos courtesy of MADE IN CHINATOWN

Breanna Henry

About the Author: Breanna Henry

Almost 10 years ago Breanna sat in her tiny room she shared with her younger sister in Houston, Texas writing songs, stories, and poems on the rough carpet. She mimicked songs she heard on the radio and imitated books she's read from the Scholastic Book Fair. By fifth grade, she knew creative writing would soon be her passion. Now a sophomore at Loyola University New Orleans, she has published works on her university's newspaper, literary journal, and on her own blog. When she's not writing and working towards her Mass Communication and English Writing degree, she's watching Criminal Minds re-runs, doing photoshoots with friends, and dancing wildly in her dorm room while music blasts through her speakers.

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