Hong Kong 2004
Directed by Mark Young.

Cut rate quickimart version of JACKASS. As if the world needs such a thing. Apparently these short clips ran on MTV Asia, and have been compiled into a DVD by Taiseng for sale in the U.S. It does not appear to be available in a Hong Kong edition, so we all know where the lowest common denominator is now, don't we? Of course, I rushed to get a copy as soon as I heard about it, but for the most part, CHISEEN is pretty disappointing.

Still, it looks like they had a lot of fun. Daniel Wu rides a big wheel down some mountain roads, Terence Yin puts on a mask and handcuffs and roams around Mongkok like a crazy person, Sam Lee and friends invent "wokboarding" and try going down a flight of stairs in a giant steel wok. All of these bits are slightly amusing.

Adding the danger and pain element, Daniel Wu introduces the "House of Pain" segments with a friend, "bad idea boy", on whom he inflicts various forms of torture, including burning him with cigarettes, hitting him in the ass with a durian, and in the single most shockingly impressive/horrible stunt, firing firecrackers at him point-blank.

The best bits in the show, though, have none of those stars, and feature an american english teacher who joined in the fun. In the DVD extras he talks about how doing the show cost him his job, because one stunt had him pretending to be a tourist and asking strangers to film him in front of monuments with his videocamera, then handing them the camera with it playing a scene of him undressing. The horrified and confused look on people's faces was priceless, but apparently word got to some parents that he was a "pervert", he was unable to explain the humor, and they let him go. My favorite of his sketches features him practicing his newly invented art of "urban snorkeling" -- diving into the various fountains all around Hong Kong, in malls, on the sides of buildings, and so on.

According to Daniel Wu, the overall poor quality of the program is partially due to the fact that the DVD does not have the original soundtrack, because the clips were made with music from MTV Asia. So all the clips have new, lame music, and not much dialog. I can't imagine this hurt the film all that much, however, as it is still just a string of gags, some funny, some not, and most of it on youtube. Search youtube for "Chiseen", or try these:

Firecracker stunt:

Oh, and did I mention this one? Brilliant.

Rating: Not Recommended (Not Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on November 30, 2007.

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