Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chinese Deception: Hero Beyond the Boundary of Time

I was wrong- I was horribly wrong!  This movie sounded like some cheesy fun.  It has a plot involving time-travel, kung-fu and dating.  Little did I know what I was getting into!  Here's the thing: foreign comedies can be pretty weird for us Americans.  To be fair, that works both ways.  I'm sure that the lovely folks over in China look at us weird when we send them The Change-Up or Jack & Jill.  Don't judge us negatively, future rulers! I've had my experience with films like this in the past, but this one is worse than usual.  I can't quite explain it well in words alone, so pictures will be there to help.  To see how things horribly go awry, read on...
Our hero is a man who must go FORWARD in time to find a wife for the Emperor, who needs her to survive.  If this makes no sense, it is actually a plot point later.
After traveling to the present-day (of 1991), our hero seeks out a woman.  It's about here when things go horribly, horribly awry.  Enjoy this quick cavalcade of offensive imagery, including...
Our two heroes eyeing an attractive woman and, well, their members pushing up a table.  That raises so many horrible, horrible questions, but not as much as this...
GAH!  How does that even work?  Oh and The Hangover: Part II, this movie beat you to the joke!
Here's a fun one- the girlfriend of the guy dating our heroine's boyfriend is beaten our hero.  Man on woman violence = always funny and classy.
Of course, it wouldn't be complete without our hero having sex with a Mob Moll and taking a call from, wait for it, our heroine while he's mid-coitus.  Truly classy.
Nearly an hour into the film, we get actual conflict in the form of two assassins sent forward in time as well to stop the new Empress.  If their appearance and general story-arc feels familiar, then you've seen Suburban Commando.

Sadly, this duo is not The Ultimate Warrior and The Undertaker.
 In the film's lone, straight-forward action scene, they lose and die.  In, well, the past, the Emperor realizes that the plan to cure him is stupid and he's not really sick.

That's right- this whole movie was just a waste of time- they admit it.
Despite the horrible things he has done, our 'hero' stays in the Present (of 1991) with his 7 wives, ensuring the dark future of Idiocracy comes true.  The End.
Do I even need to say anything?  This is a Chinese sex comedy disguised as a Chinese Fantasy-Adventure.  There's nothing like false advertising to make you love a film!  Hell, even Netflix is not sure what to make of this film.  In their description, they say that our hero is 'a Eunuch living in the 17th Century.'  Yeah, he has seven wives, so either this description is wrong or they are very disappointed!  Who was the market for this film?  It's apparently based on a novel from China, but I can't imagine that the content is exactly the same.  The worst part- Tony Leung Chiu-Wai is actually a very accomplished Actor.  He's the star here, but he's in a lot of good movies.  Before this film, he was the Co-Star in Hard Boiled.  Since this film, he has appeared in respected films like Gorgeous (with Jackie Chan), the Infernal Affairs Trilogy and others.  Hell, he was Zhou Yu in Red Cliff- a damn fine movie that is the high-point of my burgeoning Blu-Ray collection!  So he's not a bad Actor- good.  What is this movie then?  It's a bunch of odd sex jokes- including a scene where our 'hero' attempts to drug a woman, only to inadvertently give his friend a giant erection (I spared you the shot).  It's...a sight to behold, if it wasn't so horrid.  There's obviously a market for this film somewhere, but I am not it.  I'll stick to obtuse, Chinese films about people hunting Tigers to prepare them for war, okay?  Take us away, CB4 cameo...
Next up, I celebrate Motherhood and family in the way only I can.  The Bad Seed is back for Part 2, Mommies!

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