The Mermaid Review: The film has achieved massive financial success
A playboy business tycoon, Liu Xuan, purchases the Green Gulf. A wildlife reserve, for a sea reclamation project, and uses sonar technology to get rid of the sea life in the area. Unknown to him, the Green Gulf is the home of merpeople. And the sonar has caused many of them to succumb to illness or die. Xuan’s business ventures in the area are threatened when he crosses paths with the mermaid. Shan, who is sent to avenge her people.
Great slapstick, as many changing of styles as a film can handle including an extra violent third act that shouldn’t work. But somehow does. Stephen Chow (Chau Tinh Tri) has been doing redeemed weasel tales for more than 25 years by now. But rarely on such scale. Deeply felt and more sustained than Journey to the West was. And as often with Chow the best comic bits are as funny as anyone can deliver.
With an engaging mix of goofy comedy, charming romance and a heartfelt. If somewhat trite, message of ecological sanity. Stephen Chow’s The Mermaid (My Nhan Ngu) has achieved massive financial success. After less than two weeks in release, it has become the highest-grossing Chinese language film in history. Soaring past last summer’s Monster Hunt. The story of a mermaid sent by her people to assassinate the real estate developer who has been trashing their home waters. But who instead falls in love with the guy and leads him to a new ecological awareness.
The film (Review phim) lacks much of the anarchic edge or verbal dexterity of Chow’s early mo lei tau comedies, or the transcendent martial arts climaxes of his Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle. It is nonetheless packed to the gills with the kind of moment-to-moment weirdness that characterizes Hong Kong cinema in general and the films of Stephen Chow in particular. Moments of sublime whimsy enlivening simplistic political point-making.