Tuesday, 23 February 2016

The Mermaid Review 2016 美人鱼

The Mermaid

The Mermaid is the latest film from fan favourite Stephen Chow. Unfortunately for viewers Stephen Chow yet again doesn't star in his own film, but he is a marvelous comedic Director and his comedy timing is perfect in his new fantasy-romantic-comedy film.

Real estate tycoon Liu Xuan (Deng Chao) has been making a fortune using new sonar technology which happens to destroy all near by sea-life. Liu buys up a large area of protected land which he intends to use for real estate development, it just so happens this area is the home to a group of mermaids.
The mermaids hatch a plan to take down Liu Xuan and get him to abort his new development. The plan involves getting one of the mermaids to seduce and then kill him. Shan (Lin Yun/Jelly Lin) is chosen as the sexiest mermaid, she gets modified and trained to blend in with the humans then complete her mission.

From the synopsis, you can almost guess where this film is going. The basic story isn't that fresh but the film as a whole is completely original and distinctive from pretty much any film for years. Comparable to possibly only Splash and The Little Mermaid, this is such a refreshing take on the mermaid rom-com genre.

The Mermaid is genuinely hilarious. Full of great entertaining and creative gags, there's something that makes you genuinely laugh every few minutes, the pacing is brilliant. There is great uses of subtle humour in a scene with Liu trying to explain to the police that he was kidnapped by mermaids which had the cinema roaring. But there is also plenty of crazy slapstick comedy, one scene in particular is of Shan trying to kill her target and failing miserably, it gets stretched out with each gag getting funnier and more absurd.

A Mermaid... half person, half fish.

The cast are all brilliant in their roles. Liu Xuan comes off great as a wealthy jerk who is actually misunderstood and looking for real love. The Octopus played by Show Luo was surprisingly good and involved in a couple of hilarious scenes, one involving him pretending to be a chef and part of his body ends up getting cooked for customers.

But Shan(Lin Yun) is the star of the show. Unknown to most audiences, the 19 year old's performance is adorable and incredibly cute. Full of quirkiness, from her facial expressions, to reactions, to her waddling about pretending to be human. Lin Yun has an ocean full of charisma and could go on to be a big star. She reminds me of a young Shu Qi mixed with Zhang Ziyi, only a lot more warming.

I hope no one notices I'm peeing right now.

Like a lot of Chinese comedies, the tone of the film changes drastically at points. Towards the end it gets a little too dark, which shocked me considering how light in tone the rest was. But this is more as part of their environmental message, which is still as important today as ever. Using real footage of water pollution and dying sea-life, The Mermaid does contain an underlying message from Chow which should be applauded.

The CGI in The Mermaid is hit or miss. In some scenes it actually looks pretty great. In others, it stands out too much and is quite jarring with how fake it looks. But for a comedy, this isn't actually too important. And in some ways, it almost adds to the charm of the film.

A shock to many, The Mermaid has not only gone on to become the highest grossing film in China. It is also now the 2nd highest grossing film in the WORLD this year, so far!
Sitting right behind Deadpool, it's second in terms of money. But for me The Mermaid is first in terms of laughs.


The Mermaid is currently showing in many cinemas across the UK, USA, AUS/NZ and of course Asia. So check if any cinemas near by are showing it now!

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