Reportedly made on a US$20 million budget that probably went mostly to the CG, the concept behind CJ7 is cut from the same cloth as movies such as E.T. (1982) and Free Willy (1993), while Chow still finds time to combine his trademark elements of cruel humiliation and impossible surprises. However, the celebrated exaggeration and deadpan expressions we have come to love about Chow are now very much gone. This is where the older generation of Chow’s fans will be severely disappointed. Special effects aside, the responsibility to carry CJ7 seems to rest purely on the small shoulders of the young girl actress (Xu Jiao, who plays Chow’s son) and the alien elements of the movie. She does an admirable job but sadly, her talent just about makes the highlight of the film. Other peripheral characters like Kitty Zhang's school teacher and that fat guy in Kung Fu Hustle hardly do anythin. Chow himself isn’t prominent in the film.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
Seein Chow as the disciplinarian coolie father who puts his son in the best school while starvin on the construction site is interestin. However, the story is too short for any real message other than the bite-sized morality lectures. It comes off like a well-designed kiddie movie meant to appeal to as many people as possible across the world. So we’re left to make the best out of the experience. CJ7 will undeniably push Chow’s name on more foreign fronts. The rest of us, especially the older ones, will be left to rue the good old days when Stephen Chow and Ng Man Tatwere still talkin to each other. ★★