Possible spoilers ahead!
Stephen Chow has been one of my favorite filmmakers ever since I watched “Shaolin Soccer” more than a decade ago. I will give any of his movies a shot, regardless of what they are about.
Take for instance 2016’s “The Mermaid” which Chow directed and co-wrote. “The Mermaid” is a romantic-comedy fantasy about an evil billionaire named Liu who falls in love with Shan, who just so happens to be a mermaid. I know that sounds silly, and way out of Chow’s usual flare. But if Disney could pull off a similar movie, why not Stephen Chow?
The film tells the story of tycoon Liu Xuan (Deng Chao), who has made a ton of money by inventing sonar technology that kills all nearby sea-life. This includes the last remaining mer-people. They are understandably pissed-off at Liu, so they hatch a plan to murder him hoping to save their home.
The community of mer-people are led by Octopus (Show Luo), and he decides to send naive mermaid Shan (Lin Yun) to seduce Liu since he has a weakness for the ladies. But just when their goal is within reach, a problem arises: Shan and Liu like each other.
Now the real mayhem begins because how will Liu react when he discovers mermaids are real. Will he chose money over love? or will he run away with the strangest girl he’s ever met? To make matters worse, Liu and Shan have sparked a jeleous rge in Ruolan, (Zhang Yuqi) Xuan’s business partner.
If you had told me beforehand that I would like this movie, I wouldn’t have believed you. Especially after watching the opening of the movie which takes place at make-shift Ripley’s Believe or Not museum. I don’t know why this sequence is even included, because it really has nothing to do with the rest of the film.
“The Mermaid” has all of Chow’s trademarks: his zany sense of humor that shouldn’t work, but always makes me laugh. The film also has some of Chow’s famous action sequences; and innovative score; likable characters; and over-the-top special effects.
A good deal of the humor in “The Mermaid” comes courtesy of Octopus. One my favorite scenes involved him trying to convince Liu’s security not to chop off one of his tentacles. He later had another funny bit where he plays a chef Shan and Liu meet on a date.
The two leads, Lin Yun and Deng Chao have good chemistry and have a couple of scenes that you have to watch to believe.et’s just say some singing is involved. Later on, Deng Chao had one scene at a police station that made even my wifey laugh.
Look, tt doesn’t matter if you don’t like movies with subtitles. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never heard of Stephen Chow. It doesn’t matter if you’ve never seen a foreign movie in your life. Because “The Mermaid” will make you laugh at least once, and what more can you as for from a silly movie about mermaids?
“The Mermaid” final score: 8