Tripitaka (Nicholas Tse) arrives in Sache with his three disciples
(Chen Po Lin, Kenny Kwan and Steven Cheung) to embark on an
ardous journey to retrieve the sacred sutras from the West.
When his disciples are captured by the Tree Spirit, Tang Monk
seeks help to save them. However, he meets a lizard imp Meiyan
(Charlene Choi) and unwittingly falls into her love trap and
commits a Heavenly Sin by falling in love...
tagline says “When Star Wars meets Journey to the West”,
the producers are not joking. It's a East West fusion no doubt.
seriously, before you embark on this trip, you need to first
dispense your belief followed by casting away whatever thoughts
about the original “Journey to the West” epic
tale of Tripitaka and his four disciples harrowing journey
to seek the sutras. Yes, “A Chinese Tall Story”
still retains the basic structure of the classic tale. That
is the familiar characters liked Monkey God, Pigsy and the
sea turtle etc. However, Director and Screenwriter Jeff Lau
has opt for a love story angle instead, breathing new life
to the otherwise pretty much familiar story which everyone
is so acquitted with.
that’s not all. Be prepared to see a totally new world
inhibited by strange creatures that are more Aliens-looking
than the usual ghost spirits or ox demon. Even the costumes
are a marvel to look at. If this is not enough to stifle your
imagination, Lau goes to the extent of introducing spaceship
battles a la Star Wars!
a tricky situation when it comes to rating “A Chinese
Tall Story”. Although the love theme in the story is
universally understandable and appreciates by audience, I’m
afraid the cheesy CG effects which took up a huge chunk of
the screen time might not. HK movies still has a lot of catching
up to do in terms of computer technology comparing to their
counterparts in the West. Pardon the obvious pun. Isn’t
it more feasible to concentrate on the sets designs (which
in my opinion are as good as “The Lord of the Rings”),
story-plotting and fight choreography rather than spending
millions on effects that are lamer than the usual games displayed
on an X-Box or playstation?
Jeff Lau who charmed the audience with the Stephen Chow’s
vehicles, “A Chinese Odyssey I & II” almost
a decade ago seems to lose his usual wittiness and humour
(his usual trademark in movies such as “All for the
winner” and “Haunted Cop Shop”) with “A
Chinese Tall Story”. On a positive side, you should
admire the man who updated a much-loved Chinese classic into
something so align with the present generation.
I’m old school, I wouldn’t recommend this to someone
beyond the age of 25. But if you are accustomed to spending
hours on online gaming, perhaps “A Chinese Tall Story”
might suit your taste buds.
A brief 15 minutes making of special is included.
The usual cast and crew interviews are in it. Although CG
forms much of the whole movie, it's not discussed in details.
Pity! Maybe the effects crew are too afraid to face the cameras.
And that sums up this short feature.
DVD comes with Chinese and Cantonese 5.1 Dolby Digital. That's
a good thing with this dvd. If you wish to experience the
cast original voice dubbing, just switch to the Cantonese
version. Oh and the surround sound is pretty much in place
during the battle sequences. Not bad for a HK movie.
images are sharp and colourful. Maybe the lush sceneries in
Mainland China plays a part in it. One of the recent movies
from HK that scored high marks in the visual and audio department.
by Linus Tee