2.20.2008

stephen chow's cj7 opens march 7


I've been meaning to post some more about Stephen Chow's CJ7 for a little while now. The sci-fi comedy from the comic genius behind Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, has been apparently been making box office bank in Asia, and opens here in the States next month. Reviews have generally been good, not great. I was particularly entertained by Grady Hendrix's review of the film. I acually got the chance to check out the movie a couple of weeks ago, and it's... weird. A really weird, funny movie.

CJ7 is a family-oriented sci-fi comedy, sort of along the lines of E.T., about a kid and a cute alien dog-like creature. Stephen Chow plays the boy's poor father, Ti, who works hard to scrape out a very humble living for themselves. The two are so poor it's funny. Unable to afford expensive cool toys for his son, Ti finds a mysterious orb at the junkyard and brings it home. The "toy" turns out to be an alien pet with extraordinary powers. Craziness ensues.

I really didn't know what to make of this weird little movie. It's kind of all over the place, bouncing somewhere between family, slapstick and dark comedy. While I'm a big fan of Stephen Chow's work, and this movie has its share of great Chow-esque moments, overall it's a bit of a disappointment. At some points during the film I was laughing my ass off, but at other moments I found myself growing impatient with the cute overload. In the end, it sort of felt like a really long advertisement for the little stuffed CJ7 toy. See the movie, and you'll know what I mean.

A special honorable mention goes to the kid who plays Chow's son Dicky, who's absolutely brilliant in the movie. He's actually played by a girl, newcomer Xu Jian. Pretty awesome, considering most of her scenes are with a CG alien dog. Anyway, CJ7 opens in New York and Los Angeles on March 7. For more information about the movie, go here.