There is one little flaw which prevents Kung Fu Dunk from rising above mere entertainment. Its lack of a clear focus.
If you are a Jay Chou fan, this flick deserves at least three stars because it features your idol at his cutest doing what he does best- acting cool. All in a film with a passably interesting plot. If what makes you tick is Stephen Chow, Kung Fu Dunk gets three stars because it is somewhat senseless slapstick with inspiring messages, very much in the vein of Xing Ye’s blockbusters. Of course, the little thing to note is that Stephen Chow is pretty much inimitable:p
Jay handles comedy adequately, shining with a goofy and likeable presence which makes the audience root for him. He clearly revels in acting cool and silly cos’ he knows viewers will eat out of his hands and lap up everything he offers with relish. And boy does does he look oh-so-suave flying in mid-air, matrix style. Dunk is clearly a Jay’s vehicle, and Jay charms=) He still has to work on the crying though. I cringe when his tear ducts were activated. Still, take your time Jay- you are already singing, producing, directing and acting. There must be something which requires more effort! Charlene Choi is the requisite love interest, and the pretty lass is a nice concoction of sugar with a wee bit spice. I have always thought Choi the prettier and more malleable half of the pop duo Twins. Gillian Chung, oft-noted as the eye-candy of Twins, looks like a ill-tempered, vacant doll and is now more famous for being allegedly half-naked in bed with bad boy Edison Chen. Choi is cute=) The rest of the young hotties in KF Dunk were more or less forgettable, just typical characters in a basketball anime. No depth, not bad, just vague.
Eric Tsang was the surprise who almost stole the show. He, in all his rotound glory, is living proof that the veterans get the last laugh when it comes to serious acting chops, testosterone-deficient voice and balding head notwithstanding. The other Kung Fu masters are also the perfect ambassadors for the oldies equate goodies message.
A good film provokes. There is no doubt that Tsang’s sweet money-hungry agent vs naive charge relationship with Jay, the always rousing good-triumph over-evil theme, the standard silly humour and the exciting basketball matches featuring gravity-defying CG moves make Kung Fu Dunk quite the perfect Chinese New Year release. The thing is that I walked out of Suntec Convention Hall feeling rather..empty. I am quite lost about the real focus of the film, leading me to the very obvious conclusion that this show is best enjoyed without using any brains. Otherwise, you would, like me, roll your eyes when the most ridiculous things happen in basketball matches. I am all for CG fly then pause in mid-air-then flip 100 times sequences, martial arts and plain fantasy. I am not so supportive of basketball matches in which every single thing was bull shit, even to a non basketball fan. How i wish the director had, in the final matches, kept to the realism prominent in his treatment of Jay’s Shi Jie. Shi Jie is a natural, but even a genius needs to know the game, be trained and work with his team mates. Kudos to the director for keeping that in mind. KF Dunk failed to make me suspend all disbelief, and therefore failed to make me laugh whole-heartedly throughout its entire duration. Ok, maybe the whole problem lies with the fact that I have never been able to truly appreciate Stephen Chow and CNY comedies.
Yup, the problem lies with me. Jay, you can still do no wrong in my severely short-sighted eyes (No intentional sarcasm, I have like unbelievably bad myopia:p).