Posted March 6, 2008 in Film

Talk about cuteoverload.com. Machine gun comedy director Stephen Chow pauses his slick international career of hits like Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Hustle to try to be China’s Next Top Steven Spielberg. A small boy named Dicky (in truth, small girl Jiao Xu—take that, gender bias!) with a single parent (Chow) befriends a space alien. Sound familiar? Even with the CGI advances, the creature CJ7 ain’t much more fantastic than ET. He is, however, a hell of a lot cuter, though his puppy face and squeezable green body doesn’t stop Dicky from stomping, stretching, and squishing him like a Nerf ball. Though narratively flat, Chow’s latest might sell a lot of toys; still, it can’t sell tears and the great gooey third act burns out like a meteor. Eight-year-old Jiao Xu, gangly and flat-topped, steals the film away from her expensively animated co-star in a performance so natural, mercurial, and stubbornly real that it makes all of Chow’s pixels and over-determined sentiment feel doubly synthetic. (Amy Nicholson)



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