CJ7 Directed by Stephen Chow. 88 minutes. Subtitled. Opens Friday (March 14). Rating: N
Nothing makes my stomach churn more than a cheap resuscitation.
I’m not talking zombies or realistic medical procedures. I’m talking killing off a character, breaking the hearts of audience and characters alike, then taking it all back. Poof! Everything’s fine, no consequences. Proceed to the happy ending and never mind that the movie has just spat upon the viewer’s heart, mind and soul.
CJ7 makes that hideous act of cynicism its climax. That’s not a spoiler; you see it coming a mile away, despite the fact that the death involved is no part of the plot. Which is because there really isn’t one.
Poor boy in a school full of rich kids stumbles across a toy dog from outer space. The kid has power fantasies. They don’t work out, but the brats stop bullying him because he has a cooler toy and a bigger bully – a little pro-consumerist message for the kids.
The titular space dog looks like something designed to be the cheapest tie-in toy possible: featureless green plastic body, synthetic fibre hair. Despite having all the signifiers of “cute,” it lacks any actual cuteness.
Stephen Chow and Xu Jiao, as father and son, have a couple of funny scenes, but the laughs are thin and feeble and the film feels rushed and half thought through. Only a few faint traces remain of the comic and cinematic flair Chow showed in his last film, Kung Fu Hustle.