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JUMP (HK/China)

  Publicity Stills of
(Courtesy of Columbia TriStar)

Director: Stephen Fung
Cast: Kitty Zhang, Leon Jay Williams, Special Appearance by Daniel Wu
RunTime: 1 hr 37 mins
Released By: Columbia TriStar
Rating: PG
Official Website: http://www.sonypictures.com.sg/movies/jump/landing_site/index.html

Opening Day: 14 January 2010


JUMP, a hip hop dance romantic comedy, features an awkward and naive farm girl who dreams of stardom in the big city. A cleaner in a local dance school by day, Phoenix secretly pursues her dream by night, perfecting her own unique hip hop martial arts dance style. Her transformation quickly becomes a media sensation but it impacts her life in unexpected ways.

Movie Review:

Directed by Stephen Fung and based on a story by Stephen Chow, one would have thought the delay in production due to the reshooting of scenes with the now infamous Edison Chen would have bode some forewarning that perhaps things won't go down too well with Jump. But surprise, surprise! It turned out to be not so much of a dance movie but instead it's a delightful comedy, and a Kitty Zhang vehicle no less as well.

Produced and written by Stephen Chow, one immediately sees the tremendous similarities that Kitty Zhang's role of Phoenix, the country bumpkin with aspirations of being a world class dancer, have with various Stephen Chow characters in the way they behave, and their characterization, of the down and out loser possessing some innate talent just waiting for an opportunity to be unleashed. From being a kung fu exponent to a card shark, the role of Phoenix, if turned into a male one, can very much be a role played by Chow himself, complete with weight-conscious sidekicks dipping into the same bag of weight jokes, and uncouth, androgynous supporting characters who provide most of the jokes involving obligatory body parts (thought the one here is probably the first I've seen so blatantly performed on screen).

Chow must have also struck gold this time, with his second foray in producing a film with a female star as the lead. One remembers an earlier effort with Shaolin Girl (which also starred Kitty Zhang in a small support role) being in my opinion a terrible film, and here he has redeemed himself when he cast his muse from CJ7 in the lead role, and with her perfect comic timing and absolute believable dancing ability, seem more at ease and natural to be able to carry this movie on her shoulders, being the only recognizable leading name on the marquee.

The story's kept simple to appeal to all, with an easy to identify, universal theme in not giving up when the chips are down, and the oft used cliché of only the tough who gets going when the going gets tough. There will be those who will not hesitate to put you down through envy or just plain resignation to their own fate and adamant in replicating it on others they meet, and one should never let naysayers discourage one from going all out to fulfill lifelong dreams. There will also be those who will encourage constructively, and these are the folks that should influence positively.

Dance fans may be a tad disappointed given the lack of dance itself, save for the training montages (even with a Rocky tribute) and a major dance off finale that is staple in any self-respecting dance flick. In fact the story dwells more on the hectic day in the life of Phoenix, how she struggles just to be within touching distance of her personal obsession, and a rather average romance, no thanks to the deadpan performance of Leon Jay WIlliams as the rich playboy who falls for Phoenix, and making everything easier with his money and the convenience of him owning a dance school.

But thankfully Kitty Zhang proved to be more than just a pretty face, and possessed the ability to carry off moments of absurd comedy, the energetic dance moves, fall victim as the damsel in romantic distress, and executing some mean kung fu moves (well, knowing Stephen Chow, kung-fu just had to be featured somehow) to shine as the complete package, and a star in the making to watch out for!

Movie Rating:

(Hesitate not and jump into this Stephen Chow styled comedy!)

Review by Stefan Shih


. Dance Subaru (2009)

. CJ7 (2008)

. Dance of the Dragon (2008)

. Step Up 2 : The Streets (2008)

. Step Up (2006)

. Take The Lead (2006)

. Center Stage: Turn It Up DVD (2008)


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