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This is the funniest Hong Kong movie I've seen (though I've only seen a few
dozen) -- even better than Jackie Chan's stuff. In fact, it's one of the
funniest comedies of any kind that I've seen.
The scene where the seemingly indestructable hero keeps popping up, fists on his hips (in a Superman pose), wearing that incredibly ridiculous Gar Fai (AKA Jim Davis' Garfield) mask, is to die for.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Love on Delivery stars Stephen Chow as Ho, a wimpy delivery boy who
falls in love with Lily (Christy Chung) a kung-fu student. But her
instructor Black Bear (Joe Cheng) has been trying to court her and
butts heads with Ho. Black Bear challenges Ho to a fight, but the
cowardly Ho ducks when Black Bear tried to punch him, hitting Lily
instead. Humiliated by such a display of cowardice, Ho turns to a
broken down kung-fu master Tat (Ng Man Tat) to teach him the art of
fighting, But Tat's unconventional methods of training may not be as
effective as they seem.
A funny and violent film starring Stephen Chow (who also wrote the screenplay). The beautiful Christy Chung co-stars (who speaks her dialog phonetically). The always interesting Ben Lam co-stars as Tuen, an invincible Karate master who believes karate is better than kung-fu and will do whatever he has to do to prove it. Jacky Cheung, Philip Chan and Billy Chow make cameo appearances as well. The wild fight scenes were directed by Ching Siu-tung (who also co-directed the film).
The film parodies Rocky, Rocky III, The Terminator, Garfield (aka Ga Fei Miao) and the Karate Kid series. Tat wears a wife-beater just like Miyagi, Chow tries to master the "crane kick" as well. A funny and more realistic version of the film as well. A couple of music videos are worked into the film as well (which are pretty funny). Remember, being a good fighter is not all about how strong you are but how to out wit your opponent.
Christy Chung stars as a Judo student and her teacher feels that he
should be able to have her. Since she knows that she can have anybody,
she decides to play around with her teacher and Stephen Chow shows up
at just the right moment to get asked out to a Jacky Cheung concert
right in front of the Judo teacher. In a poop involved confrontation,
the teacher accidentally hits Chritsy in the face and Chow doesn't
stand up for her. He says that he loves her dearly, but she won't date
a coward. He starts training in kung fu, and like all Chow movies,
there is no training and this is just a reason for more comedy. They
drag the story out with tons of hilarious stunts and jokes. So after
briefly learning kung fu, Chow sort of gets lucky against the Judo
master where he fights him in a Garfield mask. After saving Christy
from possibly being rapedd, he ends up losing credit for his good deed
and she finds a boyfriend in no time. One that can protect her that is.
This guy just kind of shows up to get rid of all types of martial arts
since his Karate is so superior. He also takes the credit for being the
masked Garfield hero and Chow ends up having to fight him in a contest.
There are 3 fight scenes. The first one is played for laughs, the second is a huge throwdown, and one of the very few times I found myself rewinding a Stephen Chow movie for the action. A lot of effort was put into this scene and that is for sure. The final battle in the arena is a mix of comedy and realism. Some of the choreography is good and MMA is put to good use. Chow never does end up learning kung fu, so he has to defeat his enemy by using his wit. Luckily, he did do some weird training on top of a moving van and it proves to be very useful. The gags never stop. Another Stephen Chow classic.
Stephen Chow is a comedic genius. Sure, Love on Delivery can at times
be childish or even banal, but the overall effect is one of sheer
insanity of the best kind. One of my favorite scenes is the satire of
the Terminator. The characters are genuinely funny caricatures of the
down on his luck loser delivery-boy, the dreamy lover girl, the
penny-pinching boss, the cocky martial arts instructor, the dirty cheat
out to make a quick buck, and many more.
Like Shaolin Soccer, Chow manages to create a mindless romantic comedy mixed with chopsocky martial arts and it works, but expect something more like a cartoon that your typical western comedy.
Not knowing any of Chow's films before seeing Shaolin Soccer, I only
heard about this HK comic actor and thought he was just another of the
typical broad comedians that come out of the HK film industry. Shaolin
Soccer was a real revelation but it could have been a unique instance.
Kung Fu Hustle showed me that he was an accomplished comedic talent. I
have been trying to find his earlier films and am finally succeeding. I
encourage you to do the same.
There's a lot to compare Chow with the classic comedians of the US film industry. Unlike Jacky Chan who has publicly stated his fondness for Buster Keaton, Chow seems to be more related to Harold Lloyd style. A low key personality in crazy situations. Unlike Chan and many other HK performers, Chow never forces his personality over the top. He surrounds himself with inventive situations and great supporting characters. The one unique aspect about Chow is the philosophic nature of many of the characters he plays. This film is a good example.
Lots of very good comic situations and a great climax. The main drawback is the overused wide-angle cinematography which make the film look cheaper then it should. This film has a lot in common with his more famous films so it should be enjoyable.
Don't expect any kind of substance in this film (or in most of Chow's films). Director/producer Wong Jing has a knack for putting together ridiculously shallow but hilarious plotlines and throw them altogether like the way one tosses a salad. This film is no different. However, if you like Chow or if you like whacky comedies then you won't be disappointed; it sure has some ridiculously funny moments.
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