Malaysian premier Najib Abdul Razak would be devastated if he ever saw the killer clown of a movie that is Julian Cheah's Prince In The City (2012). That's because unlike the 1981 Sidney Lumet classic of the same name about systemic police corruption, this Malaysian movie has absolutely no notion or mention of cops whatsoever; and the streets run riot with guns and gangsters! Presumably self-financed to the reported tune of RM 1.5 mil and with the rare audacity to make wide release at some 40 locations, this unintentional action-comedy is the kind of dime-a-dozen project that would've died a very quick but kind death in pre-production, in the hands of less resilient proponents. However, self-satisfied indulgent producer Julian Cheah and his fantastical levels of conceit and grandeur under Axis Line Entertainment ensure we see it on the big screen in technicolor glory, even if the cast and crew, I detect, seem to distance themselves from the picture out of sheer embarrassment. This 18-rated 35mm presentation will make spillover business from unsuspectin Malay cinemagoers who recognise Aaron Aziz on the poster and can't get tickets to Jackie Chan's CZ12 (2012). WBO run will be bleak, though I can report that the first two days of collections have managed not to break the RM20k floor set in September by inexplicable rock musical Leftwings as the lowest grossin Malaysian movie of 2012.
At a glance:
|"So Prince, what's the secret to your white chicken thighs in this climate?"|
|Revisiting Reservoir Dogs with Yank Kassim|
Bad news on the doorstep:
|Madsen: Will work for $20|
I don't know much about Spanar Jaya veteran Roslan Hussin (his first feature film in the director's chair) but Aaron Aziz, who plays Madsen's henchman in the movie, is a true pro - you'd really have to hand him that. His is the only role that actually works, never mind the lame story. He delivers all his English lines convincingly, although like everyone else in the movie, he lights up a cigarette every two minutes (presumably out of a real need, due to the emotional stress of starrin in such a movie). Even in the modest TMO well-recorded by Linus Chung, he grit his teeth and appeared the most inclined to come forward and promote the movie. Good man.
Reminds me of:Less-than-convincin crime capers like Juliane Block's Emperor (2008) and Kepong Gangster (2012). However, even these aren't vanity projects that can hold a candle to Prince Of The City.
I can't remember if I cried:Sittin behind industry veteran Yusof Haslam throughout the press preview, I felt he didn't know where to hide his face. I believe his outfit Skop Productions is the distribution force behind this lamentable farce. Looks like it's the easiest money they ever made, shippin out a deformed soldier to die at war and chargin him the boat fare!
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
|Let's play domino thugs!|
[picture credit: Julian Cheah Facebook fan page]
|Tara Wallace from New York gets some bikini time.|
|Aaron Aziz puts in some token moves for the token action scenes.|
|It's payday in some part of the world for Michael Madsen.|
|"Whaddya mean I can't produce, direct, write, finance and star in my own movie?!?!"|
|Director Roslan Hussin tries to console Yank Kassim.|
|Tara Wallace and Julian Cheah.|
|Julian Cheah - a man prepared to go to the ends of the earth to make you see his films.|
|"I'm trying so hard to see where this story is going."|
|Jehan Miskin sizes up Kenji Sawahii|