Writer: Ezekiel Lee Zhiang YangWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“72 Tenants Of Prosperity”, “Kung Fu Hustle”
Boasting some 58 Hong Kong stars, "Kungfu Cyborg" director Jeff Lau (who will finally see his "Fantastic Water Babes" released this year) returns with this "Once Upon A Chinese Classic" adventure that relives his 1994 "Chinese Odyssey" hit, starring Ronald Cheng Chung Kei and mainland actress Betty Sun Li. Yes, it's "Kung Fu Hustle" meets Journey To The West and Romance Of The Three Kingdoms ("Red Cliff" to be more precise) so it's going to be a very watchable affair at any rate due to the number of actors making cameos throughout the whole movie, though some for mere seconds.
So, just like how we did for "72 Tenants Of Prosperity", here's a list of the extended cast - Gigi Leung, Athena Chu, Eric Tsang, Gillian Chung, Patrick Tam, Yuen Biao, Guo De Gang, Sandra Ng, Louis Fan, Stephy Tang, Wu Jing, Ada Choi, Lam Suet, Fan Bing Bing, Kenny Bee, Alex Fong Lik-Sun, Charlene Choi, Ella Koon, Wong Cho Lam, Marco Mak, Charmaine Fong, Fan Siu Wong, Wang Xue Bing, Tin Kai Man, Crystal Huang Yi, Ken Wong Hup Hei, Phoenix Kim, Yuen Wah, Yuen Cheung Yan and Xu Jiao.
You can see Ronald Cheng play a bumbling swindler who spends the whole movie trying to escape Betty Sun's Rose, a fairy with a stolen enchanted weapon. Somehow the pair opens up a magical artifact, the Moonlight Treasure Box, and are transported into China's past where the events of the warring kingdoms play out. We can leave out the rest of the insignificant synopsis to concentrate on other things.
The movie is a crazy mix of stop-start humour and the fun seems to be limited to watching out for the stars to appear. Mainland actor Huang Bo ("Crazy Stone") plays Zhou Yu while comedy king Eric Tsang plays Zhuge Liang. Gillian Chung plays Eastern Wu's Sun Shang Xiang. There are a lot of beautiful women in this film but none are used effectively, save for one boob gag. You would think that having roped in the landlady and landlord couple in "Kung Fu Hustle" together with the toad-like assassin would promise great impact but often the comedy timing falls short. The jokes reference "Titanic", "CJ7" and apparently also to Ning Hao's black comedy "Crazy Racer" last year. There isn't any standout laugh-out-loud moments other than an Osim massage chair gag by Lam Suet.
"Just Another Pandora's Box" is just another average Hong Kong comedy but you won't feel particularly short-changed for the price of a ticket. Watch it for the stars.Cinema Online, 17 March 2010