|Index||5 reviews in total|
In China, Lau Sing (Stephen Fung) leaves his wife and their young
daughter in his province and travels to the big city with his friends
to raise money in pharmacology business. Four years later, he becomes
well-succeeded and raises a small fortune, but a scum gambler burns the
building. killing his friends and accusing him of the criminal act. Lau
Sing is arrested and the young lawyer Siu Chin (Gillian Chung) defends
him in court, but she does not succeed and her client is sentenced to
decapitation. However, Lau Sing escapes on the day of his execution and
travels with Siu Chin to his province, where along forty-nine days he
unravels dark secrets.
"49 Days" is a complete mess, with an absolutely confused screenplay and is based on the belief of many Chinese people of reincarnation and karma. Further, there are serious inconsistencies and mistakes in the subtitles in Portuguese that makes the story tougher to be understood, The intention of the writer and the director is also never clear, blending drama, romance, mystery, comedy and horror and making in the end a salad of genres. My vote is four.
Title (Brazil): "49 Dias" ("49 Days")
It's crazy to be doing a movie marathon of 4 movies in a row, and
having 3 of which are from the horror genre. However, having completed
those 3 first (the last being Spielberg's Munich), they again prove
that the horror genre is diverse, and all 3 are different - the
mystery-thriller, the ghouls-spirits, and the slasher flick. Onwards,
shall we? This Hong Kong horror movie has 2 titles, one the Chinese one
which means the rhino's horn, while the other in English refers to the
seven by seven equals forty-nine days of the initial afterlife, in
which the body's spirit will roam the earth before proceeding to the
nether-land. And this movie actually talks about both in a rather
It's my second Stephen Fung - Gillian Chung pairing in a movie, the first being their take on martial arts in last year's House of Fury. This time, they take on the supernatural, with Fung playing a Chinese physician who had to leave his village, wife and daughter to try and make a comeback in his medical hall business. It took him four years to build a brand, but jealous opposition got him framed and imprisoned. Gillian Chung plays his lawyer who investigates and tries to prove his innocence, yet getting entangled romantically to the leading man. Thankfully the romance bit is tossed aside midway to focus more on the mystery of the story.
It's no M Night Shyamalan, but the influence from the writer-director is nonetheless heavy. The movie relies and references the mystical powers of the rhino's horn - the many uses that it has for Chinese medicine like acupuncture, and its ability when lit to see spirits. To those unfamiliar with Chinese afterlife, this movie too explains to certain depth what those forty-nine days are. To brand this film as an outright horror movie is incorrect, while it has certain standard aspects like the building of atmosphere, this movie plays more like a thriller-mystery, and its theme of Fate and Retribution.
Which somehow, plays a bit like one of my favourite movies, Frequency (Jim Caviezel-Dennis Quaid). While the production looks like a straight-to-television movie, the story is surprisingly above average. The spatial jumps that happen every now and then could be there for narrative sophistication, which could catch you offguard, but please hold your horses about potential plot loopholes when you notice them. I was finding fault with them, and they irritated me (thought it was slip-shoddy work), but as the movie progresses, you'd come to appreciate when the loopholes are addressed. Not all though, but most, and that's good enough by me.
The acting however, was below par. It's clearly a Stephen Fung vehicle considering the amount of screen time he has, but he didn't manage to flesh out his character thoroughly. Gillian Chung's role was also one-dimensional, considering that hers was a lead role too. There are plenty of smaller characters in the movie, but their roles were either to lend comic effect, or are the villains.
Being a PG rated film, it's a pity this movie has its gory scenes censored. But if you're looking for a mystery-thriller with a touch of the supernatural thrown in, then this movie would be my recommendation this period.
YES! "49 Days" made me scream silently!
Many years back one of my friend gave me "49 Days" DVD knowing that i am a horror movie buff. But i neglected this, watching Hollywood movies. And my friend keep on bugging me for the review of the movie (we use to discuss about movies), so one night i started watching single in my room with headphones ON. Movie was boring because of poor quality and slow taking....some how i managed to watch 20mins and it made me to watch 'The End'. I am a great horror lover, use to watch scary movies (mostly nights) never scared but this movie made me scream silently.
No rotten faces, no violence, no blood but the background music made me stun!!!
Recommended to watch and enjoy!
49 Days isn't a crap movie, but nor can it be considered as any good. At best, the movie can be labeled as an adequate time-killer which doesn't bore, but at worst, there is nothing exciting in it at all. In other words, a movie that you finish and just moments later you feel - "I have just wasted my time." Have you ever sit through a movie, where tens of people die in a fire, yet there is not even a single sign of emotion moving within your heart? 49 Days loses out big time, because of its lack of emotions and wholly fully ordinary direction by a former kung fu star. Stephen Fung, a director himself could have done a heck lot better, if he was given the job and likewise, Gillian Chung performs in a role that allowed nothing more than being her old cliché self.
The movie attempts to ape A Chinese Ghost Story and also a trying efforts of the late 80s, but sadly the script does not allow any breakthrough. The result is once again yet again missed opportunity because the director wanted to play safe. The movie starts and ends without being surprise or anything whatsoever, but luckily it doesn't bore you either. Perhaps it is saved by a charismatic performance from Stephen Fung and a beautiful look of Gillian Chung. The pairing shows glimpses of chemistry, but the director never attempts to give their relationship any depth or character which results in an empty feeling towards the end.
Stephen Fung plays a character who comes back from the dead after being wrongfully accused for arson of his own house and while he is given most of the focus, his character isn't well developed and resulting in absolutely no emotional responses even when he die. Gilian Chung is also given a role that wastes her time and talent and needless to say - she is looking pretty. Boyz's Steven appears here and there in what seemed like a Chapman To's cameo, but minus the comic genius of the later. Raymond Wong is just painfully annoying as traitor and rather mad and one dimensional to the point of destroying the movie. Wong Yat Fei is once again funny, but his presence is far too shortlisted.
Overall, 49 Days isn't a totally crap and in fact it isn't really that bad. However, it just forgot the plot and at times it just seems stupid. Hampered by poor direction, average sets, 49 Days is really a wholly fully average production that merges too many genres. Ask yourself after watching the movie - is it a comedy? horror? thriller? family drama? If you are asking Neo, he really do not know, as it isn't really comedy, it isn't scary, it isn't thrilling and the family drama has no emotions whatsoever. Sure this movie doesn't bore you to death as it moves in a very fast pace and before you know it the movie have already ended. Perhaps it is a good thing, but only when you really have a lot of time on your hands to kill off, in that case, it is a pretty much painless time-killer...
I rate it 6.5/10
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Expecting error correction in a business revolving around creative
control as the movies represents a very natural demand on the part of
consumers, albeit one seldom answered with a resounding round of true
Years post the HK film biz's first batch of pseudo-scary, rather lame attempts at wooing people with wishy-washy ghost tales, the same insipid shortcomings dominate. 49 Days places itself firmly in the company of such mediocrity, demonstrating the case for how better technology often fails in alleviating symptoms pertaining to simple story and common sense.
In a vein similar to that of classics Ghost and The 6th Sense, 49 Days relies chiefly on an interesting but obvious twist to bring it together halfway through, in addition to deploying the requisite quota of redundant, convoluted mysticism. Apparently it has something to do with reincarnation and the dead coming back to sort things out in a given timeframe, but the only such temporal restraint you'll be eager to figure out is when the awful thing'll end at long last.
Eclipsing everyone else in the production, handsome Raymond Wong (Love Undercover, The Lion Roars, PTU) delivers a wicked performance as dual-purpose crony Pang Shi, starting proceedings one way, exiting in a modest blaze of acting glory.
Pang Shi works with 1920's entrepreneur Lam Shing (Steven Fung), a successful millionaire in an undisclosed city making his very honest fortune selling traditional medicine a la Wong Fei Hung. Everything goes well until one fine day Lam Shing's accused and convicted of a crime he of course didn't commit. Languishing in the local crook depository, only cadet attorney Siu Chin accepts the ignominious fate of standing up for Lam Shing. She's executed by Twin Gillian Chung, definitely one of the prettiest faces in the world of entertainment today, but sadly not much more judging by this sad release. Chung's character suffers from an over-sized portion of comic relief, plus dabbles in lifting themes from My Cousin Vinnie.
Eventually the hapless duo arrange for Lam Shing's escape from incarceration, and they manage to make it back to his homestead, now eerily deserted like a disused Shaw Brothers lot. Here is where the so-called horror element kicks in, but if this scares you please seek professional help, you're in no shape to handle modern society. Amid horrible voice-overs the fatigued story trudges on, with at least some highlights shining through. Despite a conspicuously short legal-process bit, the prison itself has some excellent imagery, and the movie overall benefits from a technically polished veneer. And even though the mood picks up somewhat after the prison break, its all for naught as sentimental opportunities, including clearly useful ones like the family reunion, are done poorly.
The latter part mainly consists of Lam Shing meeting his now-grown daughter Ling Qi (newcomer Qiu Li Er), an addition passing for that annoying, noisome little girl from everything following in the shaky footsteps of over-hyped The Ring. There's then a lot of mumbo-jumbo about fate and victims destined to act on their yuan fen, or pre-scripted karma. Not the most revealing nor intriguing of prospects, let us tell you, even though one of the instruments of this mechanism is mostly impressive veteran Lawrence Mon, here both executioner and protector, plus the guy taking it upon himself to clue the cast in to what's going down in 49 Days.
Above other considerations, 49 Days takes its own sorry self too seriously, producers' feeble attempts at humor bouncing off the venerable armor of subparness like so much putty. Sure, certain moments exhibit good graphic effects (particularly when we see magical candles exposing the whereabouts of ghosts), and to their credit continuity throughout retains a solidly consistent state.
Probably the biggest boon for most comes in the gorgeous form known as Gillian, and believe you me its feels as cruel as it sounds saying this. However, classy beauty like that doesn't come along too often, and every chance to behold its magnificence has to be OK at the very least, even if it's a vapid flick like this one.
49 Days misses hardly any fortuitous moment to strip itself of remaining credibility, belonging in no tradition one could point to. Pathetic action, laughable scares, all consolidate into a package even Ace Ventura's take on UPS couldn't dent further.
It would be so easy to take the cynical route and come up with 49 flaws here, but let's avoid that. Instead, here's hoping Gillian graces another project as soon as possible, and this time perhaps one requiring of more than just her cosmetic presence. As for 49 Days, pretend you didn't see it. Boo.
Rating: * *
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