The Chinese enclave of Macau has fast become the most attractive gambling destination in the world. However, it has also become appealing to movie studios that wish to film on location. Here is a list of five movies that have been set in Macau.
Now You See Me 2 (2016)
The most recently released movie to make this list is the sequel to the original Now You See Me that caused a storm across box offices worldwide. The first release grossed $351 million across the globe and won Favorite Thriller Movie at the 2014 People’s Choice Awards. The follow-up achieved equal levels of success at the box office by bringing in $334 million worldwide.
In this sequel, cast members from the first movie including Jesse Eisenberg, Mark Ruffalo, Woody Harrelson, Michael Caine, and Dave Franco return. In this movie the Four Horsemen come out of hiding and are forced into attempting to pull off what looks like an impossible heist for a tech genius. A number of scenes were filmed in and around Macau including at the Macau Science Center.
Hong Kong-Chinese cinema got the opportunity to show off its finest work when the 2013 movie Unbeatable used the setting of Macau as a backdrop for parts of the movie. Directed by John Woo prodigy Dante Lam, the movie stars Nick Cheung and Eddie Peng. Cheung’s performance saw him win a Best Actor award at the 33rd Hong Kong Film Awards. The movie also won the Film of Merit award at the 2014 Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards.
The movie tells the story of Fai (Cheung) who runs away to Macau in an effort to escape the clutches of loan sharks. When he arrives, he encounters a young boxer, Qi, whom he mentors. During training, Fai re-discovers his love for boxing and begins a journey that sees him regain a love for boxing and life in general. The vast majority of the movie was filmed against the landscape of Macau.
Arguably, the most renowned movie on this list is Skyfall. The 2012 release was the 23rd movie from the James Bond franchise. It was directed by Oscar winner Sam Mendes and saw Daniel Craig return to the role of 007 for a third time. The movie was a box office smash hit generating $1.1 billion in revenue worldwide. This made it the first Bond movie to exceed the $1 billion mark for earnings and was nominated for an incredible 8 BAFTA awards.
The plot focuses on Bond’s mission to put identify a huge threat to MI6. Bond has his loyalty to his superior, M, tested when a former agent begins to dig up the past and question just how loyal MI6 is to its own agents. Interestingly, many think the casino scene is set in Macau. However, the scene that was filmed in Macau is where Bond first comes face-to-face with the arch villain of the movie, Raoul Silva on a deserted island. The setting was an unnamed island off the mainland coast of Macau. The casino scene was actually filmed at Pinewood Studios.
Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)
It’s another classic from the annuls of movie history. The Indiana Jones franchise is one of the most famous to grace cinema. Harrison Ford made the role iconic across the original trilogy and he returned to the role in the 2008 release of the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. The franchise has generated $1.9 billion in revenue worldwide. It has also won a number of Academy Awards including Best Art Direction for Raiders of the Lost Ark, Best Visual Effects for Temple of Doom, and Best Sound Effects Editing for Last Crusade.
In Temple of Doom, Indiana Jones must hunt down a mystical stone in North India where the local people also beg him to find their missing children captured by the notorious Thuggee cult. The scenes filmed in Macau come at the beginning of the movie when Jones tries to strike a deal with the evil Lao Che at Club Obi Wan. Despite the scene being treated as Shanghai, the actual footage of the deal and the ensuing car chase was shot around the streets of Macau.
The Man with The Golden Gun (1974)
The final movie on this list comes, once again, from the James Bond franchise. In this instance, it is the 9th movie in the Bond franchise. Roger Moore reprises his role as 007 for a second outing with Christopher Lee acting opposite as his nemesis Scaramanga. The movie was directed by Guy Hamilton and is widely regarded as one of the most critically acclaimed Bond movies of all time.
In this movie, Bond must try to get his hands on sensitive solar cell technology that is being sold on the black market to the highest bidder. During the movie, Bond soon becomes aware that he is being targeted by the world’s most expensive and ruthless assassins. Macau was used to shoot scenes where casinos were included due to the lack of casinos available in Hong Kong and Thailand.