Features

Most Outrageous Stephen Chow Comedies

Writer: Casey Chong


Which Stephen Chow movie is your favourite?

From a brief TVB star to becoming one of the most successful Hong Kong comedians of all time, Stephen Chow is more than just a bona fide superstar. He is also an icon that inspired many others in the Hong Kong film industry. In fact, out of the top 10 highest-grossing Chinese language movies in the Hong Kong box office, most of the movies belong to Stephen Chow.

Among the top moneymakers are his "Kung Fu Hustle", "Shaolin Soccer" and "CJ7". This year he returns with a brand-new CG-heavy wacky comedy "The Mermaid", which he is once again involved with behind the camera (writing, producing and directing) but leaving the acting part to the rest.

To celebrate his upcoming comedy this Chinese New Year season, let's take a step back to the past and check out our handpicked list of his five most outrageous comedies ever done throughout his career.

1. "From Beijing With Love" (1994)

Stephen Chow and Anita Yuen in "From Beijing With Love".

Hollywood had its own "Austin Powers" trilogy and to a certain extent, "Spy Hard". As for the Hong Kong version of a James Bond parody, it was none other than "From Beijing With Love". A mash up of "From Russia With Love" and "The Man With The Golden Gun", this wacky spy comedy featured one of Stephen Chow's most hilarious performances to date as a lowly Mainland butcher who used to be an international spy. His usual deadpan delivery was put into good use, while his co-star Anita Yuen and Law Kar-Ying rounded up the cast with their solid supporting roles.

2. "A Chinese Odyssey Part 1: Pandora's Box & Part 2: Cinderella" (1995)

Stephen Chow and Athena Chu in "A Chinese Odyssey Part 2: Cinderella".

Stephen Chow may have written and directed his own version of the famous "Journey To The West" tale in 2013, but the definitive yet funniest take still belongs to Jeff Lau's two-part magnum opus of "A Chinese Odyssey" saga. Even though this was made during the pre-CGI era, the special effects and the production value was top notch. But of course, what made "A Chinese Odyssey" such a beloved comedy gem was Stephen Chow himself. Here, he certainly gave his all with a funny yet surprisingly affecting performance as the Joker/Monkey King.

3. "The God of Cookery" (1996)

Stephen Chow in "The God of Cookery".

Stephen Chow and Lee Lik-Chi's joint directing effort ("From Beijing With Love") was a hilarious parody that mocked the Chinese cooking genre with Chow's trademark "mo lei tau"(nonsensical comedy) style. Apart from his signature deadpan delivery as the lead actor of the movie, he also showed tremendous talent behind the camera with excellent comic timing and knew how to bring the best out in his supporting cast. Plus, it's not every day that we get to see Karen Mok willing to "uglify" herself playing a street hawker.

4. "Shaolin Soccer" (2001)

One of the soccer scenes in "Shaolin Soccer".

Who would have thought the combined ideas of Shaolin kung fu and soccer/football could end up as one of the most financially successful Hong Kong movies of all time? Yes, it was so successful that "Shaolin Soccer" bagged 7 Hong Kong Film Awards including Best Picture, Best Director and Best Actor for Stephen Chow himself. The movie itself was full of manic energy displayed during the soccer sequences. Special effects were used extensively and creatively to produce the kind of "mo lei tau" visual gags that made you laugh out loud. Likewise, Stephen Chow was a riot as Sing a.k.a "Mighty Steel Leg", but the supporting cast was even funnier with a notable scene stealer from Wong Yat-Fei's award-winning performance as "Iron Head".

5. "Kung Fu Hustle" (2004)

Stephen Chow and Eva Huang in a scene from "Kung Fu Hustle".

A spectacular tribute to classic kung fu movies of the 1970s done in an all-out wacky fest, "Kung Fu Hustle" parodies the popular genre inside out unlike anything you've seen before. With the help of veteran action choreographer Yuen Wo-Ping, the fight scenes were both dazzling and graceful. Best of all was Stephen Chow's imaginative use of special effects that enhanced the action scenes in such a gleefully over-the-top manner. While some viewers may have been disappointed with Chow himself being relegated to a secondary role, he still managed to make his presence felt. Not to mention he was also helped by an equally wacky supporting cast including Yuen Qiu, Yuen Wah as well as his regulars Lam Tze-Chung and Tin Kai-Man.

"The Mermaid" opens in cinemas nationwide on 8 February 2016.

Cinema Online, 08 February 2016


Related Movies:
The Mermaid (Mandarin) (08 Feb 2016)

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