EAST MEETS WEST - Stay Away
EAST MEETS WEST (fantasy comedy in Cantonese)
Cast: Eason Chan, Karen Mok, Kenny Bee, Jaycee Chan, Ekin Cheng, William So, Huang Yi and Stephy Tang
Director: Jeffrey Lau
Screenplay by Jeffrey Lau
Time: 96 mins
Rating: * (out of 4)
PREAMBLE: One thing that comes to mind after 10 minutes of this movie is: What the hell were the people smoking when they did this gad-awful trash of a movie? Jeff Lau's East Meets West is apparently an attempt at spoofing the Hong Kong music industry and a host of popular Cantonese comedies. However, it ends up making a sorry ass of itself.
It boggles the mind how so many famous and talented stars are involved in crazy cinematic circus.
WHAT'S IT ABOUT? I really don't know but the synopsis provided in the Production Notes is as follows:
Ten thousand years ago eight gods fought incessantly, not realizing that by doing so they were securing their own demotion into the secular world. They can only return to heaven once they can get along with each other harmoniously. Ten thousand years later a stereotypical Hong Kong girl Zhong Xiaoming, and her smart father Ah B, have no idea why they are being chased up for a debt. Having no alternative, they flee to Guangdong to search for the girl’s unreliable mother Jia Jia to find out the reason. From antiquity to the present, East and West, dance and flight, a pleasantly surprising cast, magnificent and happy, no great disparity between rich and poor, success and prosperity!
HITS & MISSES: It is a put-off to see characters dressed outrageously and acting ridiculously even if they are gods incarnate. There is absolutely no emotional connection between the cast with the audience and for the most part we don't know what is happening or why. Is the sight of Kenny Bee in Beatles or Elvis hairstyle funny? No one laughed or even sniggered at the media screening I attended. Will anyone laugh at Ekin Cheng covered in flour and communicating in sign language? Again, no one found it funny enough to laugh.
Besides the iconic hairstyles, the cast also don crazy-looking eyeglasses and idiotic wigs and make-up. The big name cast, especially Karen Mok, are largely wasted in a movie that largely requires them to make a fool of themselves. Mok is supposed to be playing a woman who yearns for love and affection but is too shy to show it. However, she appears to be just clowning around in a meaningless role. Jaycee Chan has a cameo ostensibly to make fun of his father Jackie. Kenny Bee just looks lost throughout the movie while Ekin Cheng looks pathetic.
THE LOWDOWN: Let East Meet West. Just stay clear of this trash.