One thing that’s happened since I started writing for Third Act Film is that I’ve been able to see a lot more foreign films. This isn’t always a good thing, as anyone who read my review for Yakuza Apocalypse will tell you, but it’s always an interesting experience. So, when I had the chance to see a romantic comedy about a property developer who falls in love with a mermaid, from the director of Kung Fu Hustle, you can imagine I jumped at the chance.
The Mermaid follows billionaire Liu Xuan, as he buys a plot of land thought to be impossible to build upon because of its significance to local wildlife. Using some shady techniques, he manages to get rid of the local wildlife, but what he, and the rest of the human race don’t know, is that there’s a mermaid colony living exactly where he intends to build. Knowing that he’s a notorious sleaze, the mermaids send the most beautiful member of their tribe in an attempt to honey trap / assassinate him. No, there wasn’t an easier way to explain the plot of this film.
As you might expect, this film is very strange. It’s also not what a lot of people would expect from a romantic comedy. There’s graphic violence, crazy over the top physical humour, and even a political message. The thing it is however, it is enjoyable.
As with anything this culturally different to what a person is used to, some parts of it simply don’t translate, with some of the jokes in particular being head scratchingly bizarre. For the most part though, it’s a pretty good film. There are some wonderful visuals, especially those of the mermaids, and director Stephen Chow certainly isn’t afraid to commit to anything he thinks will make the film unique.
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