My Kung Fu Sweetheart
Hong Kong 2006
Directed by Wong Jing.

Phoenix (Cecilia Cheung) finds out at the age of 14 that her parents (Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu) are members of the Secret Society for Martial Arts, her family has a natural talent for it, and she can spend summer vacations training on Mount Hua. As she grows up, her parents separate, but still dote after her, looking for a proper boyfriend and gifting her with things like a 1000 year old condor, while she looks for the "man of her destiny" -- who her master explains will see her only when it is impossible to see her. And then the evil kung fu masters return...

Since KUNG FU HUSTLE, Stephen Chow has done...precious little. So thank goodness that Hong Kong cinema still has Wong Jing to keep it alive. Immediately seizing on the great comedic duo of Yuen Wah and Yuen Qiu in Chow's film, Wong Jing has gone on to feature them in the KUNG FU MAHJONG series and in this superior stand alone outing, MY KUNG FU SWEETHEART. They are tremendous fun. Cecilia Cheung provides the emotional center of the film. But really, this is Wong Jing's film all the way thanks to his very goofy script that manages to hit the right notes: goofy comedy with lots of lame jokes, yes; but also just enough drama to make you care about the characters. He throws everything possible in, and as usual lifts gags from himself, from other HK movies, and from abroad: He even includes the classic Magnifying Glass joke from TOP SECRET! (1984). The most inspired bit is the condor sidekick that Phoenix has, really just a man in a bird suit, but he becomes a fully realized character of his own. Finally the movie benefits from fun action scenes choreographed by long time second-string fight choreographer Benny Kong.

Rating: Recommended (Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on September 09, 2007.

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