Director: Stephen Chow
Cast: Stephen Chow, Kitty Zhang Yuqi, Xu Jiao
1 hr 28 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Official Website: www.cj7-movie.com
Opening Day: 7 February 2008
OUR COVERAGE AND
VIDEO OF THE "CJ7" SINGAPORE PRESS CONFERENCE
A comedy about a poor laborer father (Stephen Chow) and his
young son. When a fascinating and strange new pet enters their
lives, they learn a poignant lesson about the true nature
of family and the things money can't buy.
Although Stephen Chow received top billing for CJ7, the real
stars of CJ7 were actually the youngster Xu Jiao and the computer
generated alien dog CJ7. While these two “actual stars”
were impressive enough to carry this film, a good plotline,
barrel of laughs and Stephen Chow presence was sorely missed.
Fans of Stephen Chow should also take note that this family
orientated movie banks highly on the cutesy factor (the ooohs
& ahhhs) and run low on the side splitting jokes that
were a common affair on his previous two films.
Expectation was ridding high on Stephen Chow and his latest
film CJ7 after his last two flicks (Shaolin Soccer and Kungfu
Hustle) were extremely hilarious theatrical events. But it
was a slightly disappointing turnout as Stephen Chow decided
to shift his genre to pander to the younger and female demographics
with the cute little kid and the cute alien dog.
not to say it’s not enjoyable since Mr. Chow had spent
so much time with the production of the film. It just a little
hard to fathom why was so much time spend to make such a light
weighted family movie when others had taken lesser time and
were equally effective.
it was the time spent on looking for the young star of this
movie, Xu Jiao (Dicky) which wasn’t an easy task as
it was reported that Mr. Chow spend an awful lot of time seeking
her out. It was well worth the time and effort as it was an
uttering convincing that she was a he and he/she had an undeniable
screen presence / charisma that made Stephen Chow’s
absence in this film bearable.
other possible reason that this film took so long was the
computer generated alien dog which was the other highlight
of the film. It’s cutesy mannerism, look and behavior
will melt most ladies and kids’ heart. The seamless
rendering of this CGI dog also marks that China animation
is approaching the high standard of CGI in the Hollywood industry.
as adorable as CJ7 and Dicky were in the movie, there were
plenty of other elements that were absent. The first major
element that this movie was missing would be a good solid
plot. It seems that it was riding on the cute wagon aimlessly
and never really works on the reasoning for the alien’s
presence or the changes it brought to the poor father and
son. It’s resolution for this film came fast like a
comet out of nowhere and it felt as though as the production
team just wanted to wrap it up as soon as possible (perhaps
so that it could make it in time for the Chinese New Year
Blockbusters list?), leaving the relationship between characters
half baked and the results of a couple of events unexplained.
there were the laugh factors in this movie. It was noticeably
that the crowd that watched CJ7 were much quieter compared
to the audience that caught Kungfu Hustle. While Mr Chow should
be commended on his bravery to switch from his usual boisterous
comedic movie to a more family orientated movie, it just doesn’t
feel like it’s his area of expertise. Fans coming to
CJ7, hopping that they could get a barrel of laughs might
be disappointed that there are only a few solid slapstick
moments that truly funny.
it would be the absence of Mr Chow himself. It would probably
be more accurate to bill him as a supporting role or special
appearance as he spent most of his time behind the camera.
Although he did have his share of missing moments in Kungfu
Hustle, this was even more apparent as his character does
not have such a strong bearing to the story. Even in some
of the moments when he did appear on screen, it often felt
that his character was actually a distraction from the procession
of the story and actually upset any momentum that it might
have gathered before.
it’s a good effort and there are plenty of cutesy scenes
and moments to endear the film to the kids. CJ7 is not as
good as the previous homage that Stephen Chow had made in
previous years but in the good spirits of Chinese New Year;
let’s not penalize him too much for bringing something
new to the table.
(A bold move to a new genre and even though it was entertaining
in it’s own ways, this cutesy flick doesn’t rank
as one of Stephen Chow’s best works in recent years)
Review by Richard Lim Jr