The Mermaid 2016 Review: Stephen Chow prove yet again a good director

Shan, a mermaid, is sent to assassinate Xuan, a developer who threatens the ecosystem of her race. But ends up falling in love with him instead.

Xuan’s estate project involving reclamation of the sea threatens the livelihood of the mermaids who rely on the sea to survive. Shan is dispatched to stop Xuan and this leads them into falling for each other. Out of his love for Shan, Xuan plans to stop the reclamation. Unfortunately, Shan and the other mermaids are hunted by a hidden organisation and Xuan has to save Shan before it’s too late…

This may not be a Stephen Chow (Phim Chau Tinh Tri) masterpiece.

It is not because this is a bad movie. It is simply because Stephen Chow has set a very high standard in classic like Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin soccer.

Comparing to what is available in the cinemas since beginning of the year, this movie fares well. Complicated movie like Hateful 8 may be critic’s favorite. But The Mermaid (My Nhan Ngu) does what a movie fundamentally should do, that is to entertain its audience.

Stephen Chow prove yet again a good director needs just to able to tell his story well, to make a good movie.

His visual sense is driven, not by a need to appear artistic and confusing, but to resonate with audiences.

The result, a well made movie (Review phim) that is entertaining and a simple story told well by a gifted film maker.

Chow has a gift for spotting talent and using them well.

Not only he is brave in casting a newcomer to lead role.

He is able to spot the that Deng Chao will be perfect as a comic male lead.

He is likable. Even when he is acting like a greedy spoil rich brat. He certainly oozes charisma.

Under Chow’s direction, he is able to master the act of comic timing and delivery. Best scene has to be the “failed assassination scene” where the interplay between Jelly (mermaid) and Deng Chao result in a stomach ripping experience for the audience.

I used to think his wife (Sun Li) is the only credible actress in his family. After watching Deng’s performance here, I am convinced he is more than a Running Man.

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