GHOST BUDDIES - Pathetic Excuse for a Comedy
GHOST BUDDIES (comedy in Hokkien and Mandarin)
Cast: Mark Lee, Maggie Shiu Mei Kei, Vivian Tok, Lim Ching Miau, Wee Kheng Ming and Chow Kee Moo
Director: Simon Sek
Time: 95 mins
Rating: * 1/2 (out of 4)
|Maggie Shiu and Mark Cheng in Ghost Buddies|
PREAMBLE: Where is Jack Neo when we need him? The Singapore film-maker and director works best with Mark Cheng and Henry Thia in comedies dealing with 'kiasu' Singapore and Malaysia. As the main star of Ghost Buddies, a pathetic spoof shot entirely in the Klang Valley, Mark Cheng looks lost and ineffective. Very few of the gags work - and there was nary a laugh among viewers at the media screening in KL.
Indeed, this one is the pits, even for die-hard fans of Cheng and his Hong Kong co-star Maggie Shiu who is largely wasted in this unfunny film.
|Lim Ching Miau and Maggie Shiu|
What is worse is that these stiffs - a suicide lass named Miao Miao (Lim Ching Miau), gambling addict Ah Hu (Lenny Ooi) and sentimental old Uncle Wang (Chow Kee Moo) - all have unfinished business in the living world and they want Ah Hui to help them with their quests.
|A graveyard scene|
HITS & MISSES: As the title suggests, Ghost Buddies is supposed to be a dark comedy but it turns out to be neither scary nor funny. In fact the movie's tone seems to have been set in an opening scene at a restaurant which has Ah Hui explaining his work as a mortician to a couple of queasy women and sends them leaving hastily without touching the food. Similarly, Ghost Buddies is a put-off because its gags are utterly childish and silly.
No one has been named as writer of the screenplay in the production notes and I can only guess that the predictable and inane script is done by a 'committee' that rehashes ideas and gags from other comedies. From this film it is obvious that Mark Cheng is unable to carry or sustain a film and Maggie Shiu's talents and experience as an actress are sinfully underutilised. She has a scene where she is supposed to do a sexy pole dance to seduce a guy. That scene is as seductive as a dead fish!
THE LOWDOWN: Lame, tame and what a shame!