Chinese, 2008

Directed by Stephen Chow

Starring: Stephen Chow, Jiao Xu, Lee Sheung Ching, Tin Kai-man, Kitty Zhang Yugi

86 minutes

Reviewed by Jeremy Silman

Rating (a 1 – 6 scale): 5.0

After Stephen Chow’s brilliant, internationally acclaimed films Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle, the public apparently wanted more of the same. Instead, Chow offered up a science fiction/comedy flick for children that gives us a taste of ET, a quick hit of Kung Fu Hustle fight sensibilities, his usual slapstick humor, and classic lessons about who you are inside being more important than money (as Ti, a poverty stricken construction worker played by Chow, puts it, "If you have integrity, people will respect you even if you’re poor.”).

Many reviewers hated this film, perhaps because they aren’t used to Chinese humor or perhaps they didn’t get their quota of endless explosions or lingering moralizations that make up the heart and soul of most American movies. But, in my view, CJ7 is simply wonderful. It’s original (stepping on and over one cliché after another to create its own vision), incredibly fun, and (once a version comes out with kid-friendly dubbing) is sure to delight children of all ages.