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some conflicting tones
SnoopyStyle24 January 2017
Ruthless land developer Liu Xuan is planning reclamation project for Green Gulf. He's using powerful sonar to drive away dolphins. He takes on Ruolan as his business partner. The playboy Liu Xuan calls up cheap floozy Shan after being ridiculed by Ruolan. Only they don't know that Shan is actually a mermaid. She is part of a community being driven out by Xuan's sonar. Shan is told by Brother Octopus to assassinate Xuan. After many failed attempts, Shan wins over Xuan with rotisserie chicken. Shan is conflicted about killing him but a conflict is inevitable.

This is Stephen Chow's very broad brand of comedy. The museum mermaid is hilarious. There are some funny bits with Shan. There are lots of funny with a good helping of environmentalism. However, there are some uncomfortable violence especially the climatic battle. Chow is obviously heavily influenced by documentaries such as The Cove. It's awkward to have such vicious violence trying to coexist with the broad cartoon comedy. There is a difference between cartoon violence and brutal horror violence. He needs to cut down on the horrifying.
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nogodnomasters16 April 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The film is a romantic comedy. Lui Xuan is a real estate developer. He has sonars around his island, "The Green Gulf" to keep away protected species so he can develop it. Unbeknownst to him, it has trapped and is killing off the local indigenous mermaid (and men too) population. Shan has been assigned to lure Mr. Lui so she/they can assassinate him. Lui courts her as this turns into an odd Chinese version of Romeo and Juliet involving two different species. Shakespeare sells.

The film has English subtitles. The comedy was good. It made me laugh out loud. The police scene was a riot. The sound track fit neatly into the film using mostly stuff we hear in American and old European films. The opening scenes of a side show scam artist sets the comedy mood. The film also has action. It hits on all cylinders.

Guide: Quick male butt showing. Implied topless scene. Use of SOB and frequent "bitch." A large tentacle is where manhood should be. Shooting and killing. Even the music has subtitles.
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Not Disneys Mermaid
kosmasp1 November 2017
Still you could say that the humor may still strike a nerve with young ones. Most of the humor that is. If you don't know the director by now, you will have a template of his style and comedy after watching this. If you do know him, you know what to expect. And while it does have quite some flaws, it still was a lot of fun.

So it may feel weird to be entertained to the level you are entertained, especially because some of the jokes are really set low (some even below water ...), they still hit their marks mostly. It has to do with timing and good execution (this time no pun intended). Good fight scenes, but also predictable story. The charm lies elsewhere ...
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Just a little too strange, and I like strange, but I still enjoyed it!
Hellmant29 December 2016
'THE MERMAID': Three and a Half Stars (Out of Five)

A Chinese sci-fi/comedy fantasy romance; co-written, co-produced and directed by Stephen Chow. It tells the story of an extremely wealthy playboy, who falls in love with a mermaid that's sent to kill him. The movie stars Chao Deng, Yun Lin, Yuqi Zhang and Luo Show. It's received mostly positive reviews from critics, and it's became the highest-grossing Chinese film ever made! I found it to be just a little too strange, I like strange but I didn't like parts of this (for whatever reason), but I still enjoyed it (mostly).

Liu Xuan (Deng) is a very rich playboy businessman, that purchases a wildlife reserve for a sea reclamation project. His company then uses new sonar technology to get rid of all of the sea life there. What Liu doesn't know is that the area is inhabited by merepeople, and his sonar technology has killed many of them (and caused the others to get really sick). The surviving merepeople want to kill Xuan because of this, and they send a beautiful mermaid, named Shan (Lin), to assassinate him. The two then start to fall in love instead.

The movie is obviously very different than Disney's 'THE LITTLE MERMAID'; Hans Christian Anderson's original fairy tale was the main inspiration for both films though. It's violent, at times very dark, and R-rated (I think it's probably considered a family film in China though). It's also very bizarre, and weird. I respect those things a lot; but not if I don't actually like what they create (like a lot of the weird slapstick comedy in this). I do like the movie overall though, and I respect it's originality and awesome creativity.

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Generally entertaining but poorly thought through
cherold17 February 2017
In this environmental activist comedy from Stephen Chow, mermaids whose environment is being destroyed by an evil developer plot to kill him, using a pretty mermaid as bait. The complications are unsurprising.

While lacking any comical martial arts, the movie still has Chow's usual slapstick humor and weirdness. This includes a very funny scene of a series of hapless assassination attempts, a goofy singing duet, and a cool special-effects driven scene involving splashing water into objects. Some scenes are a bit too dumb, but overall this is a reasonably amusing movie, although nowhere near as funny as Chow's masterpiece, Shaolin Soccer.

The plotting doesn't make much sense. The developer unconvincingly shifts from fairly cartoony awfulness to general sincerity, and the mermaids are, weirdly, more concerned with vengeance than with fixing their problems. But within its silly, slapsticky world, this isn't a huge problem.

What is a huge problem is the shift into violence towards the end. It's both upsetting and nonsensical; a classic example of a movie that makes its villains evil to the point where they do terrible things that not only don't benefit them, but that would seemingly work against their interests. This whole part of the movie is pretty terrible, and to some extent ruined it for me.

One last note. I had a dual audio version of this, and started off watching the English dub. I'm not someone who automatically rejects dubbed movies, but I strongly suggest that you do not, under any circumstances, watch the English dub of this, because it is horrendously bad. I think it's a shame that a successful director's biggest hit of all time doesn't rate competent English actors. If I were rating this based on the dub, I would take another star off. It's an embarrassment.
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From The Director Of Shaolin Soccer & Kung Fu Hustle
CinemaClown2 July 2016
The highest grossing Chinese film of all time is an absolute bonkers of a cinema that nicely blends the elements of comedy, fantasy & romance into one utterly ridiculous, batshit crazy & delightfully entertaining feature while also packing in surprising level of heart & a thought-provoking message concerning our environment.

The Mermaid tells the story of a money-minded businessman who purchases a wildlife reserve for a sea reclamation project, and uses his sonar technology to get rid of the region's aquatic life. The plot follows a young & beautiful mermaid who's dispatched by her folks to kill him but both of them end up falling in love with each other.

Co-written, co-produced & directed by Stephen Chow (best known for Shaolin Soccer & Kung Fu Hustle), The Mermaid has all the craziness of his previous works, be it absurd moments of hilarity, idiosyncratic characters or corny CGI effects which further enhance the oddities of his flicks. The laughs are plentiful yet after a while, it runs out of fuel.

It does make a statement against environmental pollution in its own wicked manner although what actually surprised me was the tragic turn the plot takes in the second half, which was unexpected but still a welcome move, for it gives the story a sense of direction while showcasing that beneath its farcical surface lies a rich, thoughtful & somewhat sensible tale.

The cast does a capable job of illustrating its whimsical characters, and the chemistry between the two leads only gets better as the story progresses. Camera-work is energetic, always trying to keep up with its maniacal moments. Editing does let its comical aspects fetch a tad too far. Visual effects is cartoonish as mentioned before, while the background score fails to heighten the emotions & is incompatible for the most part.

On an overall scale, The Mermaid is another whacky entry from Stephen Chow that promises loads of laughter but everyone won't be able to get on board with its eccentricity, for few will find it quite annoying while others will enjoy it for the same reason. It does work as a comedy, is touching as a romance & is overly fanciful at times yet Stephen Chow's latest would've been more rewarding if it had settled for a more balanced narrative.
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A modern Chinese fairytale.
Reno-Rangan14 August 2016
This is from one of the renowned filmmaker from China, Stephen Chow. The film holds the numerous records, including the highest grossing Chinese film of all time. So anybody would be curious enough to check it out. This is highly inspired by the western fairytale 'The Little Mermaid', but totally a Chinese. It carries a strong message about the marine life and pollution, especially that coming from China is obviously not usual. A great theme for a Mandarin film to get exposed to the International stage. An appreciable effort with the decent graphics, but it's filled with lots of negatives than leaving a good impression on the viewers.

The story is very important for a film and this is a very simple and short, but the remaining is packed with the comedies and stunt sequences. The film opens with the introduction of a multi- billionaire Xuan, who unveils his new sonar project on the coast Green Gulf where marine creatures consider it as a paradise. On the other side the shrunken to a very few, the merpeople plot to kill him. So they send their finest young mermaid, Shan to seduce him, but instead it creates a chaos when she falls in love with him. The final standoff between the man and merfolks set to reveal who will be the victorious at the end and the fate of Green Gulf.

If you are a die-hard fan of Stephen Chow, be prepared for a big disappointment. He's out of his comfort zone here. Thankfully, he did not star in this crap. His strength are comedy and martial arts, but this film was none of them. I mean it is categorised as a comedy, but those parts were too sensitive to call them jokes. You won't be laughing much because of the killing, hurting, tortures, kind of upsetting events draws us away from enjoying it. So if you think it is a cute mermaid love story aimed for children just like CJ7 and if you allow them to watch it, you might regret it later.

"Love has no law. It is beyond any rules and boundaries."

I don't know what is the rating for the domestic release, but this is definitely an R. It is certainly for adults and not everybody going like it. Looks like a film made for the local market only despite the influence of the western fairytale. It might have done well in Chinese box office, but the rest of the world does not consider it Mr. Chow's one of the best works. I think he should stay away from such project in the future, instead make a sequel for CJ7 or for the 'Kung Fu Hustle' where his fans are very eager for the official announcement.

If you had seen all his film, especially the directed ones, then you might enjoy some of the jokes from this which is his trademark. The romance was underdeveloped and then the event followed by it that brings the grand finale was too violence. That is when this fantasy-comedy turns an action-thriller without a forewarning. I was shocked for such kind of transformation in the story. I wanted to like it, but could not because I expected something like a Disney film, but it was more like a semi Tarantino film.

The addition of a cecaelian character was good from the comedy perspective. But just one from its kind makes him the last survivor and have sympathy than as he's the centre of the comedy in the narration. The overall story as well as all the main characters were never established to its full potential. I'm disappointed with the writing, the director is known for genuine screenplay, but he terribly failed to please his international fans. Of all, I only hope there won't be a follow up to it because we want the old Stephen Chow. He's better than this and I'm sure he will come strong. I can't recommend this film for children or the families, the youngster who are not very sensitive might be the right audience.

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bizarre and exaggeratedly comical
RosanaBotafogo1 January 2022
It's so bizarre and exaggeratedly comical (at least it tries to be) it could turn out to be good, for someone, I couldn't win, I lost interest in the opening minutes, I didn't get it back, and I let it roll at random...
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Environmental and PC rom-com smash hit from China
paul-allaer12 March 2016
"Mei ren yu (Mermaid)" (2016 release from China; 94 min.) brings the story of Liu Xuan, a real estate developer. As the movie opens, he wins a bidding war at an auction for the Green Gulf conservation area. He plans on converting it into a development of some sort. Meanwhile, we learn that an old ship wreck on Green Gulf is the place where a bunch of mermaids live. They decide Mr. Liu needs to be eliminated, and send their cutest looking girl mermaid, Shan, as the honey trap. To tell you more would spoil your viewing experience, you'll just have to see for yourself how it all plays out.

Couple of comments: this movie is directed by well-known Chinese actor Stephen Chow. Here he brings an all-too obvious story line that provides some laughs at times, but for me the movie is simply too "politically correct" (too much money: bad! hurting the environment: bad! etc.). Thankfully the chemistry between the two leads (Chao Deng as Liu Xuan and Yun Lin as Shan) is palpable and that helps a lot. The first hour of the movie is heavy on the rom-com, while the last half hour is bigger on the action scenes. I rate the movie 6/10 because I feel it's an okay but nowhere near a 'great' movie, as seen from my (American) perspective.

In case you hadn't heard yet, "Mermaid" is the all-time highest grossing movie in China. The movie opened this weekend on a single screen here in Cincinnati, and I was curious to check it out, to see what the hoopla was all about. The Saturday evening screening where I saw this at was attended okay (better than I had expected). I was the inly non-Chinese/Chinese-American in the theater I might add. There were some jokes and scenes that were well received by everyone besides me, making me think that there were quite a few 'inside' jokes that simple went over my head as a non-Chinese. "Mermaid" is worth checking out for the cultural phenomenon that it has become in China.
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Stephen Chow is doing it again!? Nice!
subxerogravity9 March 2016
From the man who brought us such favorites as Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer comes The Mermaid.

It's a story about a billionaire who can do anything and has everything, thanks to his cash. Becomes a target of an assassination attempt by a group of mermaids whose home he has been destroying. Making matters more interesting the billionaire falls in love with his would be assassin who harbors the same feelings.

It's a funny comedy that you would expect from Stephen Chow filled with hilarious slap stick gags and outrageous physical feats down for comedy effect.

The main characters were fun and interesting to look at but I did find the supporting acts not as funny and a little bit of a waste.

I have to admit it's not his funniest comedy, and there comes a point where the film gets really dark in it's message on how humans are destroying the environment, but otherwise humorous.
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A Chinese fairy tale
sauravjoshi851 April 2019
The movie is about a love story between a human and a mermaid set up in modern day China. In terms of review the concept of the story is good but could've been executed little better. As far as acting is concerned lead characters are great specially Deng Chao as an arrogant businessman. Zhang Yuki is impressive in negative characters. Show lo is very impressive and surprisingly good. Lin Yun as mermaid wasn't much convincing and could've been better. Direction and screenplay is good. Location is ok. Movie is entertaining but still you will feel something missing. Overall a good entertaining movie
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Sorry a 6 that's WAY off, this is a phenomenal comedy action romance film!! Hits on all cylinders!!
joiningjt29 April 2021
Not sure why the low score but I guess I give extra to movies that are creative, funny, full of action, great cinematography, and have a great ending. So glad we purchased the bluray we will definitely watch this annually. Great for the whole family it even has a great message.
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The whole film can only be rated well
yoggwork19 February 2019
Warning: Spoilers
The whole film can only be rated well, and there is a strong sense of irrelevance. The length of the film is too short, there should be many transitions, some abrupt before and after.
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Tragic, comedic and thoroughly entertaining, "Mermaid" is an entirely different breed of fairy tale
quincytheodore16 March 2016
One of the most visible traits from Stephen Chow is his lead female is always quirky and far from generic beauty, thus the mermaid here is definitely not your average princess. The style of mixing comedy and drama is incredibly and bizarrely compelling, often depicting light nuance and then jarring grim tone hand-in-hand. However, it works perfectly for the drama as well as delivering its eco-friendly message with approachable means.

Liu Xuan (Chao Deng) is a businessman who ruins environment for profit, little did he know that a group of mermaid is hell bent on stopping him. It's a rather simple build up, although the simplicity is strikingly presentable. This is a love story that is littered with silly antics in expense of its own characters. It's nicely done without being too cheesy and having good female lead Yun Lin as Shan who is adorably unlike supermodel can be uniquely charming.

The comedy is spot-on, as expected from Stephen Chow. His signature stupid series of unfortunate events are ridiculously infectious and effective in delivering laughter. Those wanting classic slapstick from Shaolin Soccer or Kung Fu Hustle will not be disappointed. Its transition from comedy to drama and even slight horror can be jarring, but no one does it better than Stephen Chow. The mixed tone plays smoothly, sometimes having sad and funny moments at the same scene.

Unfortunately, it's not without flaws. Its usage of CGI can be sketchy, Chinese film has a certain juvenile style of CG, which might fit some movies theme, but here it is often poorly done. Still, the movie plays its nature premise pretty well, using it as subplot and also an integral part of the movie.

The unique fairy tale is attractive in its own way, with slapstick humor and oddly riveting drama.
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Typical Chow
tenshi_ippikiookami7 January 2017
Which is not a bad thing. "The Mermaid" is a very funny movie that showcases all the strengths and weaknesses of Chow's movies: it is funny, it has lots of slapstick, it is way overacted, has lots of cameos, it is has problems of pace (from frantic to coughing and sputtering), it has a plot as thin as an atom. And its CGI is subpar.

The story is simple: The mermaids (and all the fish) are being killed by a sonar that has been put in the sea by supermillionare Xuan. Xuan is your typical new rich that believes everything can be solved by throwing money into someone's face. Lead by half-man half-octopus... Octopus and the oldest surviving mermaid, the mermaids decide to put a plan in motion: they will send Shan to seduce Xuan and kill him. Cue lots of slapstick, sillier and sillier moments, amazing overacting, and a tongue-in-cheek tone that makes the movie highly enjoyable for all its running time.

Chow is not going to change now, so for someone who has not enjoyed his previous movies, "The Mermaid" will probably not change his mind. The plot is non-existent, just an excuse for the silliness, and at the beginning the movie has problems with pace. However, with so much enthusiasm and love for its style, it overcomes its shortcomings and ends being lots of fun. With a little bit of a side dish message about the environment and the importance of relationships and love instead of money.
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A great movie that should be seen by kids and adults
abisio29 May 2016
The Mermaid is something completely unexpected; incredibly funny for moments with some very violent scenes and a clear message about damage being caused to nature and the world; to satisfy the greed of a few.

The story is simple; a clumsy mermaid disguised as a normal woman; tries to seduce a greedy tycoon who is killing marine life where she and her community lived. She falls in love with the guy (and he with her) and tries to protect it. However thinks get more complicated (and violent) when people find out about the mermaids community.

As usually happens; foreign movies; particularly the successful ones; are punished by the MPAA with a ridiculous "R" rating that basically kills younger viewers and of course the movie itself.

The movie has some violent scenes; particularly ones showing people killing whales, dolphins and some mermaids. There are some depicting of mermaids burnt by the powerful sonar systems using to "study" marine life but those scenes are meant to show the human cruelty.

There are other goofy violent scenes; but are playing basically for fun.

This is an Stephen Chow movie (the guy that created Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer among others. This is in my opinion his best movie. Very fast paced; funny and cruel when it has to be.

In brief; see it and recommend it. It is time to star seeing good movies instead of crap like Avengers (or the last X-MEN) that basically take over all USA cinemas.
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This is a sloppier production than Shaolin Soccer but still fun
socrates9928 February 2016
My wife and I wanted to see this because of the high IMDb rating and also because there is a large Asian population in our town due to the local state university. Frankly, we were also curious if the Asian kids would be as disrespectful of their own ethnic movie as they are of ours. Very often they will use their smart phones during top movies of all kinds and it's been appalling to us. It's hard to believe they're unaware of how badly that makes them look but much easier to believe they don't care.

Well, we weren't disappointed, most of the audience was Asian, as expected, as it's in Chinese with subtitles, and some did use their cell phones during the movie. I suppose it could be we don't get the top notch kids, but the university insists they are.

Anyway, the movie itself dragged in the beginning, but started to pick up about a third of the way through. It finishes strong and pleasantly. The early parts revolve around a feckless rich and unattractive playboy who is in the habit of getting what he wants. And what he wants besides prostitutes is to develop an island and make a lot more money. In order to have his project pass muster, he scares away the (apparently protected) dolphins living there with constantly playing loud sounds.

It turns out there are more than dolphins in the area, and, in fact, there are genuine mermaids who have long stayed out of sight. The story concerns one of them played by Jelly Lin, I think it was, who is sent to kill the playboy because his sonar is causing huge damage to the marine life including the mermaids themselves. This is good as the more the mermaids and an octopus get screen time the better the film becomes. Jelly Lin makes for a delightful focus who doesn't mind getting into some broad humor. It eventually all becomes a rollicking, almost slapstick comedy folded into a surprisingly touching love story.

The effects aren't quite as good as in Shaolin Soccer, but they're tolerable and occasionally very effective. The message is clearly and honorably pro-environment in the end. Too bad the violence gives the movie an R rating because Asia does not enjoy a good reputation for conservation as the dolphin, whale and rhinoceros killing has, to my knowledge, hardly abated, despite numerous complaints. And what could be better than to have their kids watch someone like Stephen Chow, the director, promote conservation?
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Enjoyably wacky
ebossert27 March 2016
Note: Check me out as the "Asian Movie Enthusiast" on YouTube, where I review tons of Asian movies.

So here's the story. An estate project involving reclamation of the sea threatens the livelihood of the mermaids who rely on the sea to survive. So they dispatch one of their own to seduce and kill the project manager. The director here is Stephen Chow, who has also acted in many films. His more popular directorial efforts include Shaolin Soccer (2001) and Kung Fu Hustle (2004), but two of my personal favorites are From Bejing With Love (1993) and Journey To the West: Conquering the Demons (2013). If you're familiar with his work, you will know what to expect with Mermaid. He gives us a charmingly wacky, high energy film that moves at a brisk pace from start to finish. There are tons of jokes that are consistently peppered at the viewer; some work better than others, but it helps to keep the viewer engaged throughout.

The premise itself also allows for some unorthodox character interaction, which is especially entertaining. How many comedy movies concern a nutty mermaid who is attempting to seduce and assassinate someone? I always like it when a movie is a bit different, and this one certainly is. Like some of Chow's other films, there are some rather serious and violent moments that are introduced, but they work well despite resulting in some tonal shifts. The reason I feel this way is because this film makes its lead characters likable and you don't want to see them get physically harmed. So that's a positive.

The lead actress here is Yun Lin, who is a newcomer, but she dominates the proceedings with a very expressionistic performance. When she shows up for the first time, her make-up is all messed up and she's practically screaming her lines. You're saying to yourself, "Is this the lead actress?" Acting like this can get extremely annoying, but I have to say that she nails it very well. To give a performance this energetic and yet still be funny and likable is quite an accomplishment. She was definitely good in this. The lead actor (Chao Deng) is also very good. He plays off of Yun Lin properly and they have good chemistry together. Finally, I have to point out that the supporting actress (Kitty Zhang) could very well be the most beautiful woman on the planet. My goodness! The first time I saw her was in the very romantic comedy "All About Women" (2008) and really liked her performance in that one. She's just as good in Mermaid. At one point during the later half, she gets quite serious and she's entirely convincing. I do not want this woman getting angry with me.

With all of that said, however, I would not elevate Mermaid into quite the same class as the previously mentioned movies from Stephen Chow's filmography. But at the same time, I'm not exactly sure why I feel that way. Maybe it's the environmental theme and characters, which are basic and not particularly nuanced. So in some sense these qualities limit the overall depth of the film.

Also, the special effects are low grade and cartoonish. There's a lot of mermaid and tentacle stuff going on, which is not particularly convincing from a visual standpoint. This flaw is limited to being a minor distraction due to the light overall tone. For some reason, I easily forgive lackluster special effects in comedy films. And to be perfectly honest, I think moviegoers place way too much emphasis on special effects nowadays. If the film itself is immersive, low-grade special effects can be perfectly fine. Clash of the Titans (1981) is a great example of that. I love that movie.

Regardless, I definitely enjoyed Mermaid, and it could very well move up my ratings list after a second viewing. If it plays in a cinema in your area, check it out. It is not yet available on DVD, but there is a good chance at a wide release given the popularity of the director.
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Hmmmmmm just Not that funny :(
clarkmick3327 June 2016
I laughed probably once every hour which is not very much given this film is only around two hours long. I don't understand how they managed to pull all that money from Chinese film goers. Did they give them all free bottle of beer before they watched the show.I think you probably had to be drunk to really enjoy this film.

I understand the Chinese cultural slapstick comic nature of the film however I though they tried way too hard to be funny. Chinese comedies do not do subtle humour.

The characters in the film are totally ridiculous(but really that's just Chinese comedy in general). The relationships that form between the cast are nonsense. Its just a craptastic adventure.
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Goofy and Clever
Bryan_Roderick7 May 2016
Mei Ren Yu

The Mermaid is written and directed by Steven Chow. I was unaware that going into this movie. To be honest I knew nothing about this movie other than the English title and that it was a Chinese film. You might recognize Steven Chow's earlier work: Kung Fu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer. I'm beginning to understand why this movie made half a billion US dollars.

The store is about a group of near humans who want the business that is endangering their homeland to go away. Sound familiar? It's the same premise as Avatar and Furn Gully. Once you get past that it's much different, tonally. This is a goofy comedy that hits it's mark sometimes and on others is just bizarre.

Lin Yun plays Shan the young, innocent and beautiful mermaid. She's obviously new to acting and her role seemed to be perfect for her. Unknowing of the outside world and how to handle luxury. She wasn't believable in scenes that didn't involve her innocence.

Chao Deng plays Liu Xuan a wealthy beyond means businessman who endangers the merfolk. He was the best actor in the entire movie and when you look at this track record in China it's not a surprise that he could draw a crowd to see the film.

Show Luo plays the Octopus-man in the film is and is by far the funniest part of the film. Since it's easier for mermaids to hide among the humans it proves funny and near impossible to hide the fact he's a huge octopus on his lower half.

The direction of the film is well done and I had been meaning to look up who had directed it since the start of the film. Good direction can make up for some bad acting by supporting characters. Much of the dialogue seems to be lost in translation. I felt that some of the funny parts must be colloquial or maybe my sense of humor is too strict.

Verdict: Watch if you enjoy foreign films or Steven Chow. The first act is really slow and some of the supporting actors are off. The humor is either really goofy or clever.
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Too short
kajalkashsinha24 June 2021
Warning: Spoilers
This film was to short in length. I didn't covered romance part well. I think romance between them didn't develop between them and the climax comes. Its to early to fall in love specially when you are play boy. It was very hard to digest that he quiet his ways so easily. Comedy was not so comic. I didn't like the pairing was odd. She looked like a kid in front of him.
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The Mermaid doesn't know what it wants to be.
robbieclaravall21 May 2016
Warning: Spoilers
The Mermaid feels like a mix of random elements. I'll start off with the good; I did laugh at some parts. This movie is selling itself to be a Comedy through some advertisements and I believe the script handles the comedic actions well. Also the cast ensemble helped pull some of the funny aspects in the film as well. The first 2/3 of the film could be enjoyed merely as a Comedy; just something to have fun with and nothing really to over criticize or to over examine to the point of scrutiny.

The last 1/3 is where this movie messes up; I mean really messes up. From comedy this film turned towards a very dark direction; showing the effects of us humans to nature as well as environmental issues, the film is even bold enough to exhibit real life footage of animals dying and being slaughtered and destruction of sea habitat. There's a lot of violence and blood, all the comedic atmosphere present in the first 2/3 suddenly wiped off and the result becoming a serious, imminent warning.

Here's the thing; I don't mind dark elements being mixed in with humor. But the way it's done here makes us ponder what this film, in the end as an entirety, really wants to be because the way the light and dark are meshed in together here isn't done very well honestly. It felt random and the addition of the CGI (which I personally believe was poor) didn't help the serious undertone of the film trying to promote the protection of animal life and their ecosystem. Instead it made the film look goofy.

So there's a romance in this film regarding the main character and the mermaid. First, it looked completely unrealistic since the chemistry came absolutely out of nowhere with the 2 characters dating all of a sudden (plus the random marriage proposal some days after they met). And in the end, the main character decided to help "save the environmental life" by donating all of his money and from destroying it he suddenly changed character to wanting to preserve it. The reason behind this was just because of his undying love for the mermaid which is part of that environmental life; I find that preposterous. There can be a lot of other reasons this film could tell us in its message on why to stop destroying ecosystems that can sound far more convincing and realistic instead of some stupid romance that has no chemistry or any of the sort.

I'll commend this film for some of the humor it showed in the first 2/3 and how it tried to show environmental issues, but in the end, The Mermaid felt like wasted potential since the mix of the serious drama and the comedy didn't really work well. It felt unorthodox and wholly unrealistic especially when we look at how it portrayed several elements throughout.
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Why only give 3 stars?
hooraychining20 February 2016
The first star: environmental protection is the theme of the film. We lack of the idea of love for wild animals, how to live with wild animals in harmony is a difficult problem for all of us. It is worthy to explore the relationship between human and nature through comedy form. Unfortunately, the film only convey the idea a little bit, did not cause audiences think deeply about this idea. In other words, the theme of this film lack of depth.

The second star for all the efforts at director Stephen chow, but I have to say that many skills he used in the film is out of date. All stuffs he tried to make me laugh is also very low, which let me feel he is repeating his wits, but poor, no new ideas. For example, in order to cater to Chinese audiences' nostalgia on Hong Kong TV series, he used a piece of original music from the 1980s, but the music can only lead us excited for few seconds. In general, the script is very poor, unless you are a first time to watch Chow's movies, otherwise, you won't have any surprises. In other words, we may expect for Stephen Chow too high. Fortunately, former works directed by him are very good such as "Kung fu" is my favorite.

The third star for cast. Chao Deng is working very hard. The supporting actress Yuqi Zhang is very sexy. She is the best clothing model in the film. But the overall actors' perform level is amateur. "Kung fu" is my first time to see director Chow's work. Up to now in retrospect, many aspects of "Kung fu", such as special effects and actors' perform can make up for the inadequacy of the screenplay. Besides, all amateur actors in this film is very good coordination with professional actors, they can complement for each other and show characters is also very bright, which give us a lot of surprise. In comparison in this movie, amateur actors perform as if to take home video, there is also nothing special brilliant acting given by professional actors. More frightening is Yuqi Zhang's tone color, as if her throat covered with a layer of Kraft paper. When she read her lines screaming, I always feel suffocated.
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Fish out of water story
pcqgod20 April 2016
'Mermaid,' the new offering from director Stephen Chow is a breezy fantasy romantic comedy in which a group of mer-people (the sub-titles only refer to them as "Mermaids," even though some are clearly men) decide the only way to save their lives is to assassinate the mega-tycoon behind the exploitation and destruction of their undersea home. They teach one of their young, erm, school-members, how to walk like a human (sort of) in order to turn her into a honey-pot trap for the tycoon, and the plot is off and running. This movie features some hilarious slapstick comedy as you would expect from this director, some beautiful visuals, sets and locations, and not an especially subtle pro-conservation/anti-whaling message. However, it's still fun enough that you don't feel you are being preached at the whole time, at least.
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Stephen Chow's Mermaid doesn't provide the lols despite a good message.
mgamble925 September 2016
Warning: Spoilers
Firstly, why do all Chinese movie romances have the guy yelling angrily, "I love you!" like it's a bad thing? They make me think that Chinese culture promotes the man being stoic and then loses his mind every once in a while while the girl is usually non-serious and goofy. I've never found the chemistry between Chinese leads to indicate a simmering romantic heat and I can't help but conclude that Chinese are a bit prudish. They try to make romance too innocent and childish and when they have a kissing scene it seemed awkward. Not hot.

In addition to a lame romance, Stephen Chow tries to use his slap stick physical comedy but most gags were not even remotely funny. Major physical elements didn't work at all. e.g., the rich dude trying to explain to the two cops his encounter with the mermaids. Also, the tentacled dude getting his tentacles cooked at the chef's stand didn't work either. The girl playing the mermaid love interest had a few chuckle worthy parts where she was singing. What is up with all the insults she has to deal with from everyone though? She just laughs and agrees? Weird.

I liked Kung Fu Hustle a lot but this was not even close to that film which to me is like the Chinese Monty Python and the Holy Grail. I give "The Mermaid" 5/10... +1 for the environmental message... 6/10.
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