Movie review: East Meets West 2011

East Meets West 2011
Comedy/98 minutes

2.5/5 STARS

THE original East Meets West, The Eagle Shooting Heroes (1993), is long considered to be a comedy classic.

Viewers lapped up the wacky parody of old-school swordplay flicks, a string of inane slapstick gags and crazy wirework that made little sense in that show, but which was nonetheless laugh-out-loud funny. The star-studded cast included the two Tony Leungs, Leslie Cheung and Maggie Cheung.

However, this reboot version about a group of average Joes who realise one day that they have superhero powers fails to live up to expectations.

Which is a pity, considering that it is also filmed by director Jeff Lau, the comedy veteran who made the original.

The new version, though equally ridiculous by all accounts, often seems to be trying too hard - lacking the unaffected, carefree attitude that helped make the original so entertaining to watch.

Other than leads Karen Mok and Eason Chan, the rest of the star-studded cast, which includes Jaycee Chan and Kenny Bee, are wasted talents and given little to do.

The movie starts off rather promisingly, throwing up a couple of nutty antics in the vein of the madcap action-adventure style that the old film had been in.

In one scene, for example, a dumpling chef (played by Ekin Cheng) fights off villains by wrapping them in giant dumpling skins.

Halfway through, however, the film switches tracks suddenly to become a preachy "make love, not war" romantic drama, which is downright boring.

The director should have stayed consistent and stuck to what he does best - low-brow, nonsensical farce.

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