Ronald Cheng effortlessly pulls out the magic sword belonging
to Fairy Athena Chu, and Fairy Sun Li who lives by love, is
drawn as moth to flame by this deja vu-like infatuation. As
Sun Li chases after the Ronald Cheng, who just wants to get
away from this "rotten peach blossom", the Pandora's
Box opens a doorway into another time zone.
eight years ago, when Hong Kong filmmaker Jeff Lau directed
Chinese Odyssey 2002, it charmed this reviewer to bits. The
Lunar New Year movie starring Tony Leung, Faye Wong, Chang
Chen and Vicki Zhao was an innovative look at love, while
parodying some of Hong Kong’s well loved movies. This
is not forgetting that Lau also helmed the legendary two part
1994 movie A Chinese Odyssey starring Stephen Chow as the
Monkey King. Any self respected Hong Kong film fan will tell
you how great this series based on the classic novel Journey
to the West is.
we have Lau’s latest work which has a Chinese title
taking a pun on the Chinese title of the first part of the
original 1994 movie. Creative? Lack of innovation? You decide.
What we are more interested in is, whether this movie will
have us cheering for Lau again, considering the dismal The
Fantastic Water Babes (2008) and Metallic Attraction: Kungfu
Cyborg (2009) he made before this.
by Lau himself, the movie tells the story of a bandit who
travels to another time zone via the titular Pandora’s
Box. Hot on his trails is a fairy who is determined to fall
in love with him. What’s wrong about that, you may ask.
You see, the bandit believes that this fairy will bring him
bad luck, which is why he will stop at nothing to get away
from her. Along the way, he meets other characters from Red
Cliff series (2008-2009), Kung Fu Hustle (2004) and the director’s
own A Chinese Odyssey series.
much of a story, we hear you say? True, but that is precisely
this slapstick movie is offering for its viewers. It is no
Ann Hui or Wong Kar Wai material, if you must know. What you
should be expecting is an incoherent plot that draws chuckles
occasionally, and more importantly, a game of spotting who’s
who in this 89 minute flick. Disposable as it is, you should
have some fun watching out for cameos by Kenny Bee, Patrick
Tam, Sandra Ng, Alex Fong, Lam Suet, Gillian Chung and Wu
Jing amongst others. See, even we had a fun time listing down
the stars who made cameo appearances in the movie.
in the main roles of the bandit and the persistent fairy are
Ronald Cheng and Betty Sun, who deliver decent performances
without being overly annoying. They are supported by other
familiar faces like Eric Tseng, Gigi Leung and Athena Chu
in this shamelessly silly comedy. As mentioned, it manages
to milk a few chuckles here and there, mainly from its ability
to disregard seriousness – it definitely helps if you
have seen Lau’s previous movies. Other than that, you
would probably be busy looking out for how stars like Yuen
Qiu, Yuen Wah, Ada Choi and Stephy Tang (we can’t help
it, but the list goes on) play a fool as different characters
in this throwaway movie.
There is nothing to complain about the movie's
visual transfer. It is presented in a rather unpleasant dubbed
Mandarin audio track.
Review by John Li
Posted on 24 May 2010