Cj7

"OK"

Cj7 Review


Stephen Chow, as a director anyways, has a pension for genre-jumping though his cinema is based almost solely on the idea of frenzy. Admittedly, my knowledge of this peculiar Chinese director-writer-actor is relegated to his American-released, pictures but I'm calling it as I see it. Chow's most relevant hit, 2004's Kung Fu Hustle, gained notoriety based completely on the fact that it was, pound-for-pound, the craziest action film to come along in years. In a more minor way, the same can be said for his Shaolin Soccer: Even the most careless of Disney sports outings hasn't resulted in something as playful as Chow's concoction. The man's prowess comes from being half-animated and mostly insane.

For these reasons and a few more, CJ7, Chow's excursion into child-friendly filmmaking, comes off as beleaguered, if not irrefutably adorable. Ti (Chow) works as a construction worker in Hong Kong and spends his nights rooting around in garbage piles for things he can fix for his son Dicky (played by actress Xu Jiao). It's under one particular heap of broken televisions and discarded clothing that Ti finds a UFO that quickly zooms away after expelling a little green ball with a small circle on the top.

After a few tosses and some expected fidgeting with the small circle, the ball morphs into a little creature in front of Dicky's eyes, a furry alien-puppy that Dicky imagines will be able to beat up the meanest dog in all of China, create technological advances in test cheating, and form bionic footwear that would allow Dicky to one-up his schoolmates. As it ends up, CJ7 can only repair objects: a busted electrical fan, a rotted apple, a few soured relationships.

Chow has never been afraid of convention, a fact apparent by his beguiling embracing of genre schematics. Both Soccer and Hustle are structured like a dozen other action flicks or sports-story retreads, but instead of being laid with red brick and cement, Chow's features are built with silly putty, dynamite, and peanut butter. This delirious energy still courses through his latest film but the degree has changed. Instead of expectations being upstaged, they are merely tickled and given a good mussing.

As with his two previous efforts, the shining gem in CJ7 is the graphic design and animation. Certainly no Mogwai, CJ7 nevertheless is a creative little critter that keeps Chow's stills jumpy and alive; Chow's film could be accused rightly of many things but it most definitely isn't boring. The director wisely paces his film to correspond with CJ7's antics, following studs of textbook structure with moments of wild abandon. The love story between Ti and Dicky's teacher (Kitty Zhang) is thankfully defused at every instance, most notably by Chow's final affirmation of being "too handsome."

Not crazy enough by a measure, CJ7 beats out family-film duds like The Spiderwick Chronicles in sheer buoyancy alone. To the director's credit, the film's weepy moments, and there are some doozies, are put on in a rush in the interest of returning to more lighthearted scenes. As an exercise in family entertainment, Chow has the good nature to at least have fun, both aesthetically and in his writing, rather than tie himself to weighty dramatics. Still, the film is in dire need of some good old-fashioned calamities.

Aka Cheung Gong 7 hou.

Go fetch my iPhone.



Cj7

Facts and Figures

Run time: 86 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 31st January 2008

Distributed by: Sony Pictures Classics

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 51%
Fresh: 40 Rotten: 39

IMDB: 6.6 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer: Choi Pu Cho, Han San Ping, Vincent Kok

Starring: as Ti Chow, Xu Jiao as Dicky Chow, Kitty Zhang Yuqi as Miss Yuen, Lam Tze-Chung as Boss, Lee Sheung-Ching as Mr. Cao, Huang Lei as Johnny, Yao Wen-Xue as Storm Dragon, Steven Fung Min-Hang as P.E. Teacher, Han Yong-Hua as Maggie, Lei Yu as Johnny's Entourage

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Colossal Movie Review

Colossal Movie Review

It's rare to find a movie that so defiantly refuses to be put into a...

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword Movie Review

It's unlikely that Guy Ritchie could make a boring movie if he wanted to. This...

Snatched Movie Review

Snatched Movie Review

It doesn't really matter that the script for this lively action-comedy is paper thin: teaming...

Jawbone Movie Review

Jawbone Movie Review

Boxing movies aren't usually this thoughtful. Sure, there are plenty of punchy moments in the...

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Whisky Galore! Movie Review

Scottish filmmaker Gillies MacKinnon (Hideous Kinky) remakes the 1949 Ealing comedy classic, although it's difficult...

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Alien: Covenant Movie Review

Master filmmaker Ridley Scott is back to continue the story 10 years after the events...

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

The Journey (2017) Movie Review

A fictionalised account of real events, this drama is reminiscent of Peter Morgan's work in...

Advertisement
Sleepless Movie Review

Sleepless Movie Review

In remaking the 2011 French thriller Sleepless Night, the filmmakers have dumbed down both the...

Unlocked Movie Review

Unlocked Movie Review

By injecting a steady sense of fun, this slick but mindless action thriller both holds...

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

Lady Macbeth Movie Review

A seriously impressive feature directing debut with a star-making central performance, this period British drama...

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 Movie Review

It was never going to be easy to match the impact of 2014's Guardians of...

The Promise Movie Review

The Promise Movie Review

The director of Hotel Rwanda, Terry George, turns to another humanitarian horror: the systematic murder...

Their Finest Movie Review

Their Finest Movie Review

Skilfully written, directed and acted, this offbeat British period film tells a story that catches...

Unforgettable Movie Review

Unforgettable Movie Review

With heavy echoes of trashy thrillers like Fatal Attraction, this movie overcomes its painfully simplistic...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.