CJ7 (PG)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner06/08/2008

Three out of Five stars
Running time: 86 mins

Stephen Chow's follow-up to Kung Fu Hustle is an enjoyable, ET-inspired fantasy adventure with an amusing script, a superb cast and Chow's unique brand of cartoonish special effects.

What's it all about?
Written and directed by Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle), CJ7 stars child actress Jiao Xu as 10-year-old Dicky Chow, a poor boy whose single father Ti (Stephen Chow) works hard at a construction site in order to keep him in a decent private school. However, Dicky is relentlessly bullied because most of his clothes and shoes come from rubbish dumps.

One day, Ti brings home a strange looking green ball that he found at the dump, as compensation for the CJ1 robot dog that Dicky had begged him for. When the ball later mutates into an impossibly cute looking alien with magical powers, Dicky brings it to school, hoping that his new friend (which he names CJ7) can help him defeat his bullies and succeed with his classwork.

The Good
Chow specialises in an amusing blend of cartoonish special effects and he puts them to great use here. Highlights include a scene where the school bully's hulking henchman throws Dicky into a tree and a machine-gun poop sequence that's simultaneously disgusting and funny.

Jiao Xu is utterly adorable as Dicky, delivering a sensational performance that should make her a huge star. For one thing, she has terrific comic timing and a face that is both funny and heartbreaking at the same time.

The Great
There's also strong support from Chow and Kitty Zhang Yuqi as Dicky's kindly teacher, Miss Yuen. In addition, the animation effects on CJ7 are excellent – it's amazing how much personality can be crammed into what is essentially a smiley faced Tribble on a squidgy green base.

That said, it's fair to say that not all the jokes work and the plot isn't quite as satisfying as the premise leads you to believe.

Worth seeing?
Despite its flaws, this is an entertaining fantasy adventure that both kids and adults will enjoy. Worth seeking out.

Film Trailer

CJ7 (PG)
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Content updated: 19/07/2018 22:31

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