OK, I might have teased this film was going to be side-splitting. I lied. It’s supposed to be a kung fu comedy, and has some famous stars in it, however it’s not the least funny. How you feel about the film will very much depend upon how you take to the mugging and childlike behavior of the films star Xiao Shen Yang. In short, the opening scene fails to capture the audiences’ attention, and nothing special is given to the movie’s much-needed boost. The plot follows a guy who sets out on a perilous quest in search of his lady love, and what follows in his version of a martial arts world is a series of misadventures tussling thugs and villians along the way.
Most of the stars are way pass their prime, except for Erics Tsang who only has a minor role. Kelly Lin’s role isn’t supposed to be funny so I can’t blame her. Jacky Wu, who’s a famous talkshow host also only has a minor role, and they dubbed His voice with someone else’s. The end result leaves me scratching my head. Parodies today seem to mistake simple modern cultural references for witty satire. This film is definitely one of the worst. Just Call me Nobody, more or less, pokes fun at costume epics through the adventures of a lowly shoemaker who bumbles and fumbles his way through the martial arts world. I found the film profoundly dumb. I’m sure if I was kid of about five I would have loved it, then again I wouldn’t have been able to read the subtitles. I think this film should be called Just Call Me Unfunny.
Is it all bad? Well, I can think of a few redeeming qualities, such as the clever use of CGI to boost the visual impact of ‘kung fu’ moves during the films duration. Fans of Hong Kong’s veteran funnyman Eric Tsang, Singapore’s multi-talented and versatile actor Mark Lee and Taiwan’s Jacky Wu, will love the cameo appearances made by these super comics. And even though Lin has an engaging natural charm, his role is throwaway material and even Chu’s previous movie, The Treasure Hunter, had more laughs and that wasn’t even billed as a comedy! I recently read something that I touched upon above and I wanted to make sure readers of this site know exactly what they are getting themselves into when watching; many Singaporeans could be drawn to the movie on the strength of its poster which touts the talents of top comics from the Chinese entertainment world…But once they watch the movie, they will realize they are the victims of a bait-and-switch.
All in all, a terrible, disappointed film on all levels. It’s the sort of thing where toes going up a person’s nose during a fight and held for effect is supposed to make you laugh and two men kissing by accident is the punch line of a joke. Sadly, you’ll have to come a bit more mature to make this reviewer chuckle. Those moments that recall the best of Kevin’s ‘mo-lei-tau’ comedies- like why the cobbler can’t be killed with a simple twist of the neck- are also lost amidst an unwieldy story with little appeal. Overall, I find this movie a waste of time and I don’t recommend it.