Posted Mar 20 2016
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Mermaid - This Anti-Splash Movie Batshit Rocks

Dir: Stephen Chow

Starring Chao Deng, Jelly Lin, Show Lou

The latest from the director of both Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer is almost the anti-Splash. And has a lot of fun being such a thing.

Mermaid (no definitive article on screen but hard to search online without) is an all out bastshit crazy piece of culturally specific silliness. But it knows that. And, more importantly, it knows how to have fun with that. It vaguely chooses to cloak itself in a veil of “environmental message” but that’s really just an opportunity to spin a tale of a mermaid (yes, they exist) chosen by her people to go into the real world to assassinate a nasty tycoon determined to pillage the waters of the world. Until, of course, ‘maid and man fall in love.

Pretty basic really. And to be fair, everything about Chow’s film is fairly basic – from the deliberately saturated colour scheme to the deceptively effective but designed to look cheesy effects. (Seriously fun Octopus, by the way.)

Mermaid (no definite article required) is distinguished by the fact it has now become China’s highest grossing film of all time, which is a accolade it doesn’t seem strong enough to carry. That said, it is deliberately very silly and thus occasionally very entertaining. Its scattershot farce is more Curse of the Pink Panther than A Shot in the Dark, but in places, it is undeniably absurd. And undeniably funny.

 

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