There was no doubt about the sympathies of a large section of the audience at the premiere of Casino in Hong Kong on Wednesday. Applause started as soon as the words 'produced by Wan Kuok-koi' came on screen. It continued at the end of the customary two hours of blood and thunder which characterise a Hong Kong film even in these dying days of a once-thriving industry. Ask any former film-buff why audiences stay away from Hong Kong movies in their thousands, and they invariably say because they are bored to tears with the same old formula with its predictable plot and vacuous storyline. Casino - though it presumably contains vestiges of truth, since it was financed by the man whose life story it purports to tell - is likely to buck this trend while the hero of the drama faces charges related to triad activities in a Macau court. But for that inconvenience, the film would have been launched in Macau, where the plot depicts the kind of gangland violence which takes place almost weekly on the enclave's streets. The film was apparently censored here to comply with laws banning the 'glorification' of triad societies. But it retained a large share of the usual bully-boy stuff, interlaced with talk about loyalty, manhood, strength and derring-do, all of which the film's characters possessed in large measure. Before he disappeared into a Coloane jail, Wan, or Broken Tooth Koi as he is known, was immersed in a publicity exercise, during which he told a reporter from Time magazine that he 'did what other gangsters do'. When he was interviewed on TVB's Focus on Focus, 262 viewers complained to the Television and Entertainment Licensing Authority. They asked why airtime was spent on a man who unashamedly claims membership of a criminal organisation known for racketeering, prostitution, loan-sharking and murder. Whether Mr Wan was involved in any of those activities is beside the point. The truth is that Macau is now infamous for the lawlessness of some sections of society and the impotence of the authorities. Its economy is suffering and its image is at a low. That is not the message conveyed in Casino. Banning films is never justified, but movie-makers might ask themselves if they are acting responsibly producing films which impress young men by presenting triads as kindly, brave and caring. Maybe a touch of reality in their plots would revitalise the industry.