Director: Wong Jing
Starring: Cecilia Cheung, Leo Ku, Yuen Wah,
Released By: Eng Wah
Day: 29 January 2006
on tales of Kung Fu Masters and villainous fighters, young
Phoebe, never expected her parents to be members of the legendary
Kung Fu Academy, located on Cloud Mountain. The startling
revelation occurred on the night an assassination attempt
was made on her life. Determined to be like her parents, she
enrolls in the Academy.
graduates several years later, and assumes a life of normalcy
with a corporate job at Lams’ Corporation. Here, she
befriends Dragon. At a meeting with Lam’s Corporation’s
business rivals, a massacre occurs. The business rivals turn
out to be the villianous traitor of the Academy, Mr White
(aka White Eyebrows) and his henchmen. Dragon escapes severely
hurt. Phoebe takes him to the Academy for treatment. The Academy’s
18 Golden Warriors heals him, and imparts martial skills to
him. Together with Phoebe, and her parents, they defeat White
Eyebrows with their newly acquired skills, “True Love
there wasn't any lion dance sequence in My Kung Fu Sweetheart
as the poster suggested, but there sure was one cheesy human-sized
condor, the same one that accompanied Yang Guo and Little
Dragon Girl from Return of the Condor Heroes.
to the fantasy martial arts world of (in)famous Hong Kong
director Wong Jing, who has, in the 80s and 90s, brought to
us many "Mo Lei Tao" (nonsensical) movies, and have
collaborated with Stephen Chow in many of his earlier comedic
outings, fueled with countless sexual innuendos.
the sex obviously toned down (there are still some recreated
for cheap laughs), Wong Jing seemed to have lost his Midas
Touch, and the first 10 minutes of the film somewhat resembled
a cross between Mortal Kombat and the recent Sky High.
Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu after their successful outing in Stephen
Chow's Kung Fu, here they play a married couple, who in secret
are highly skilled martial arts exponents. When their daughter
Phoenix (Cecilia Cheung) has matured, they bring her to Hua
Mountain to have her train at the Kung Fu Academy. There she
meets other martial arts experts, while discovering the roots
of an evil exponent called Pai Mei ("White Eyebrows").
In the spirit of competitiveness, she makes a mortal "enemy"
in another student called Rouge.
it's Mo Lei Tao galore as she graduates from the Academy,
goes back to Hong Kong, and lives life as a mousy secretary,
falling in love with her manager Dragon (played by Leo Ku),
while trying to reconcile her feuding parents - Yuen Wah and
Yuen Qiu bringing back their chemistry here. And as always,
every character will be related to every other character,
we go one big round to the inevitable final showdown.
who are not weaned on martial arts stories might find it a
challenge to understand the jokes, especially since those
stories provide the fuel for the laughs, ranging from the
ridiculous looking condor, to the essence of the martial arts
manual. Even the characters' names are not spared, with two
renowned writers Louis Cha and Gu Long thrown into the mix
it's a Wong Jing movie, so plot (what plot?) doesn't really
matter as scenes are made up and stuck together, that they
don't flow or make logical sense anyhow. And yes, toilets
do make an appearance, you can never discount that. However,
it's lacking the punch in the delivery of its punchlines,
probably because most scenes seemed contrived, or the current
batch of actors can't match up with those from the good old
days, and maybe since it's dubbed in Mandarin
too that some jokes were found wanting.
doubt it says "Kung Fu" in its title, don't expect
any ground-breaking action sequences or effects to spruce
up the fights. But if you prefer something light-hearted from
the usual actioners like Fearless, or none too melodramatic
moments from local fare I Not Stupid Too, then perhaps this
movie might serve as your alternative this festive season.
as always, the director will cast himself as a minor character
amongst many other throw-away characters in the movie. See
if you can spot him!
for sporadic laughs, but serves more as a nostalgic trip down
memory lane on the potential of what a good Wong Jing flick
by Stefan Shih