Movie Review: CJ7 Fails to Deliver its Promises

As many would know, my favourite Hollywood actor is Michael J Fox. Not only because he is a great, intelligent and down-to-earth guy tragically striken with Parkinson’s, he also has a floating skateboard and can play Johnny B Goode. But who is my favourite Asian actor? It is no doubt Stephen Chow, who I have followed since I was a tiny toddler, thanks to his slapstick comedies.

In recent years, Chow has been strongly involved with the directorial and writing aspects of his movies and this has been a good thing, because he is quite talented at writing comedy with embedded moral lessons. Also, the awesome CGI for Shaolin Soccer and to a lesser extent, Kungfu Hustle. I’ve seen so many of his movies though, that I can’t pinpoint which ones are my favourites at all.

So it was with much excitement that I went to see CJ7, his latest movie. Short for Chang Jiang Number 7 (Long River 7), the movie was promised by Chow himself to be dedicated to the modern city folks who find it very hard to shed tears for anyone. I went in expecting to see a heart-rending comedy which would teach me about the importance of morals in today’s materialistic society. BUT TOO BAD IT WAS JUST A SHITTY ET RIPOFF WITH CGI SEQUENCES ADDED JUST TO MAKE THE TRAILERS LOOK GOOD.

Ok, the previous sentence summed up the entire movie.

Basic plot goes like that: Little boy goes to a school like Ouran High, where everyone but him is rich. Also, the boy is a girl, like Fujioka Haruhi. But he is really a boy in the show, just the child actress is a girl. Who looks like a boy. Yet is really pretty too, like Haruhi. Little boy has no mum, only a dad (Stephen Chow) who works as a labourer at some construction site. They are extremely poor and the little boy gets all his stuff via the junkyard. One day, he really wants this lame Aibo (the robot dog) ripoff called Chang Jiang No. 1 but the dad can’t buy it cos he has no money duh. But the dad finds a UFO egg in the junkyard and gives it to boy. The egg hatches into this furry space dog who is thus named CJ7 and the boy plays with it for the subsequent large chunk of the show.

This part is where almost all the CGI is used, in a possibly 15 minute long fantasy sequence which accounts for 95 percent of the fantastic-looking trailers that so piqued our interest and then crushed our hearts when we realised that the fantastic trailers had absolutely NOTHING to do with the real storyline.

And then the dad dies in a freak accident. Boy cries. But alien revives him. And alien dies having spent its powers. Boy cries. Some fat girl rejects a fat boy. And a new alien craft lands and in comes about 400 of these alien dogs. The End.

Stephen Chow promised to make us cry. He succeeded, I did cry for a couple of scenes. But those were cheapshots. It’s like the tragic equivalent of Jim Carrey’s toilet humour where he pees in bottles and makes people drink it. The tragic scenes were so forced that I felt dirty for succumbing to the tearfall. And I’m still pissed off about that 15 minute sequence which only served to trick people via trailers.

The ultimate blow is Stephen Chow doesn’t even appear too much in the show and his lines are all the same, always "We may be poor but XXXXX [replace with something along the lines of 'we must have courage', 'we must have backbone', 'we must not steal'] The kid actress Xu Jiao is alright or possibly even good. The problem with kid actors is that everyone judges them very leniently. Either that or all kid actors are fucking good, like Dakota Fanning. DF’s performance in I am Sam is still the most godly ever by a child, edging out Home Alone’s Culkin.

It absolutely did not help that I saw the movie DUBBED. Most of Chow’s movies in the past had his role dubbed by this same guy but CJ7′s dubbing was terrible. Maybe I just got better at discerning shitty dubs, due to the extensive anime viewing in recent years. But the terrible dubbing made the already-bad show worse.

The Asian talent pool for comedy is drying up fast. Chow is getting real old and nobody is stepping up to replace him. Ditto the action scene, where the likes of Jackie Chan, Sammo Hung, Jet Li are not being replaced. That is because young actors are all pussified girly men who can do nothing but look pretty and pout.

Do not watch CJ7! Save your money for JUMPER, at least it has great effects. Also, Sweeney Todd is pretty over-rated as well.

20 Responses to “Movie Review: CJ7 Fails to Deliver its Promises”


  • Yeah Sweeny Todd wasn’t that great, glad I saw Juno that day instead. I prefer to watch his movies in Cantonese, still I’ll probably rent it once it comes here.

  • lol Singapore and dubbed HK movies

    This is why your country fails and you know it. I bet Jackie Chan sounds gay in Mandarin.

  • I used to love Chow Sing-chi too. You know, those simplistic slapstick comedies like From Beijing with Love, $60 million Dollar Man, etc (too long to name). Sigh, those were the good old days…
    After Shaolin Soccer, his movies were just…to put it simply, watered-down with over-the-top CGI. Kungfu Hustle FAILS…

    You should have gone to watch Kungfu Dunk instead. At least here in malaysia, we had the option of TWO languages: cantonese or mandarin (lol). Apparently Kungfu Dunk was based on Slam Dunk, but I found it more similar to Shaolin Soccer instead (over-the-top CGI, overly talented main hero going from rags-to-riches, some weird jackass who becomes his mentor, etc)

    You should just come over to malaysia, land of UNDUBBED TVB serials, CANTONESE-speaking Stephen Chow/Jackie Chan and TWINCEST. Malaysia BOLEH!!!

  • Agree with you on the point that the Asian talent pool is drying up, with the overemphasis on emo-pretty boys and manufactured teen queens, there doesn’t seem to be any new talent capable of inducing GAR-like reactions from us (No, Donnie Yuen doesn’t count, his movies suck).

    Recent stuff either has too much or unneeded CG, or there is no plot (just fighting, fighting etc.)

  • Crap, I just returned home after watching CJ7 and I saw this post. Anyway its really disappointing, after you see what stephen sing has done over the years, you really would expect a hell lot from the movie.

  • Eh crap sorry, its Stephen Chow, I must really quit daydreaming while writing

  • Really..
    Lots of people are saying that the movie is bad too..
    I wanted to watch the movie since I rarely go to the cinema or watch a movie at all..
    But since I saw lots of people hate it..so it’s a no..
    I guess I’m gonna stick to ‘anime-only’ shows for awhile..
    Haha..

  • Jumper sounds promising…but it’s not out yet here. Not a big fan of Stephen Chow movies either, Kung Fu Hustle left me somewhat disappointed.

    I love Micheal J Fox too. Back to the Future is possibly teh best trilogy EVER. Better than LotR or Matrix or anything. I’ve watched it a million times and can memorize the script so good I could write a book adaption.

  • My current Asian rock star now is Edison Chen.

  • Dear All,

    For love of god or whatever you respect, don’t watch “Kungfu Dunk”… if CJ7 is bad, the Dunk show is 10 times as bad…
    The script was shallow, the acting is frightening inadequate (even from Eric Tsang) and the basketball sequence was just painful to watch as well…
    It’s just a lame excuse for Jay “God please teach me how to act” Chow…

  • @One “My current Asian rock star now is Edison Chen.”

    I can’t agree more

  • Yes, the film CJ7 is disappointing after so many years of excellent films from Stephen Chow. i think it was too breif and a bit rushed. I thought it was going to be really good and funny after i watched the trailer but it was a bit of a let down. It did make me cry but over all the film was bad if you compare it to the other films made by chow eg. From Beijing with Love which was absoloutely hilarious!

  • i’m in n. america and got my grubby little hands on a v. bad copy. i was a bit disappointed with the film. majority of the film was on the child and not s. chow who i really wanted to see. i just expected to see more of him after a three yr absence. i loved kung fu hustle. i watched it again after cj7 to reinforce what chow is capable of. i think chow still have a lot in him. he is a bit older (45) but i still see him as best talent out of hk at the moment in terms of original scripts, acting and originality. dragonball’s going to be a let down. kung fu hustle 2 may be a bit run down but i’ll watch anything to see chow again. one aspect i did highly enjoy from cj7 is his tenderness w/ child, he’ll be a great dad.

  • The movie was pretty good in original language…u should watch a Stephen Chow movie dubbed, just loses all the edge and all the actual meaning u know…

  • I am not sure how’s the movie if it goes under the translatin of mandarin. But i found pretty good, it watch in malaysia in cantonese version. I don’t know why you guys feel dissapointed. But i feel the Steven Chow did great job. Well, the only thing i am disspointed is that S. Chow doesn’t really play more in the screen, but that’s ok. The kid actor is good. I think he is quite talented. Well an innocent-like kids. Anywhere do you remember Steven Chow concept in evey part of his movie. Most of his movie is like a bad turning to good. I mean from start we can see egoness and innocent, and then something happen and becomes good, mature and better. Well i can see that S.chow is using the concept on the little boy. The little boy appears to be innocent, like something of humanity is missing but later part when the daddy met accident the boy turn good because of some lesson.

    Well the fact is, i really enjoy the scene. Is all with laughter and also sadness. Si nu ai le…all in the scene. i laugh to my limit and suddenly in later part i feel like holding tears to the limit. Anyway you guys should see it cantonese version( the original language). Steven Chow Rocks!

  • think about jay chow want to compete against stephen chow, please jay chow, you might think you can play basketball, but you cant, you suck a lot. if watching this movie just like watching cartoon drawn by a kindergarden kid who is mentally retarded. why hong kong have to look for jay chow since he have no idea how to speak cantonese? imagine jay chow watching the preview, i believe he do not know a word. go back taiwan, work on your song, cause your talent has come to an end.

  • I thought it was nice!
    jumper on the other hand…nice enough idea…too bad it sucked…BAD.

  • i cant believe you guys feel dissapointed.
    i really like CJ7 i thought it was really good.
    my 4 friends cried. it was so funny aswell.

    dont expect alot from someone, noones perfect.
    :)

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