CJ7 (2008): Directed by Stephen Chow

A giddy, childlike enthusiasm dominates every frame of the films of Hong Kong writer-director-actor Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer), calling to mind the gravity-defying fun and slapstick logic of old Looney Tunes cartoons.
Grade: C (** out of *****)
While in theory he seems well-suited for a cockeyed twist on an E.T.-style story of a lonely kid and his odd alien friend, in actuality, CJ7 is only mildly pleasurable.
Like a hyperactive tyke, the film has a rambunctious energy that is amusing at times but ultimately wears you out.

Ti (Chow) lives with his son Dicky (child actress Xu Jiao, doing a little gender-bending) in an urban slum, camped out in a bombed-out building. Since the death of his wife, Ti has tried to provide for Dicky by slaving away on a construction crew, with most of the money going to the esteemed private school that Dicky attends. But Dicky feels like an outcast around his spoiled classmates and struggles in his classes.

Dickys sad world changes, when his father (while searching the neighborhood junkyard to find a toy for his son) uncovers a green ball that he brings home. Ti calls the gift CJ7, a reference to the sophisticated robot dog CJ1 that all the rich kids have. Dicky is at first unimpressed, but once his dad leaves the ball comes to life as an adorable creature thats part Tribble, part pooch. Though CJ7 cant speak, Dicky discovers that hes been left behind by an alien spaceship that recently visited Earth. A friendship soon blossoms, but can it last

As its plot makes clear, CJ7 models itself after Spielbergs classic fable about a boys special relationship with his extra-terrestrial chum. Like with E.T. the human protagonist is an unhappy loner whos the product of a single-parent household, although Dickys home life is much more direr than anything Elliott had to face in his comfortable suburban upbringing.

For a while, after CJ7s introduction, Chow appears to be mischievously upending the narrative of E.T. and other similar boy-and-his-pet childrens films. Rather than bonding in heartfelt ways, Dicky and CJ7 have a contentious relationship once Dicky realizes that his daydreams about his alien dog having superpowers (which could help him thwart his schoolyard adversaries and ace tests without studying for them) are just fantasies. Rather than being a loving little boy, Dicky can be irrational and impatient, a refreshing change of pace from typical Hollywood films where the child characters are almost always perfect angels who act like miniaturized adults.

Chow adds a touch of reality to his childrens movie thats rare for the genre, but CJ7 is riddled with many problems elsewhere. As with his earlier films, Chow demonstrates an impish comedic sense, parodying chop-socky and fantasy-adventure movies in CJ7, but often his elaborate action-comedy set pieces feel more like references to other movies rather than inspired sequences in their own right, failing to advance the plot or character development. Consequently, their artificiality becomes off-putting, a lot of manic energy at the service of nothing underneath.

And while Chow tries to look at childhood with more honesty than childrens films usually allow–Chow himself grew up in poverty–hes unable to sustain a satisfying alternative to the conventional narrative model. Dicky and his father bicker about grades and their penniless existence, and theres a playful banter in their disagreements that feels real while acknowledging the frustrations that can accompany lower-income living. Unfortunately, Chow and his five credited co-writers havent created strong characters, just archetypes: the beleaguered father, the impudent child.

In three-minute cartoons, such clichs are acceptable because of the truncated story length, but in a feature-length film (which runs less than 90 minutes), such thin characters are a major hindrance. Ultimately, the characters take a backseat to the action sequences, with only negative repercussions as it severely hinders audience empathy for this familys plight.

Thats a shame because actress Xu Jiao is quite delightful as the young boy. Only eight when she landed the role, she turns Dicky into a handful of a kid: selfish, sweet, lonely, charming, infuriating. Xu Jiao doesnt seem to be acting as much as shes just being natural. As for Chow, he takes a backseat to his younger counterpart, but even then his performance is typically demonstrative. Never an actor of much nuance, he plays every emotion large, especially the comedic moments.

The effects designed to bring CJ7 to life are solid but decidely unspectacular, though its not as if Chow is working within the American studio system and its lavish effects houses. Much like Chow, the creature knows no shades of gray in its performance, and its a good reminder how challenging it can be not only to animate a lifeless character but also to make it seem alive and thinking. As much as Chow wants to create a Chinese variation on E.T., this is one crucial element in which his film clearly pales to Spielbergs classic.

Another weakness of CJ7 is its inability to morph from light comedy to tear-jerking melodrama as its story reaches the final reels. Where E.T. superbly mastered this tonal transition, Chow seems to be forcing his emotional effects, awkwardly orchestrating two third-act near-death sequences that frenetically push emotional buttons without earning such a response. Its a fault of Chow as a filmmaker in general that he overdoes everything he attempts: action, comedy, pathos. One longs for him to try subtlety once in a while instead of just always asking himself what Bugs Bunny would do.


Xu Jiao(Dicky Chow)
Stephen Chow (Ti)
Kitty Zhang(Miss Yuen)
Lee Sheung Ching (Mr. Cao)


Running time: 86 minutes

Director: Stephen Chow
Production companies: Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia, China Film Group, Star Overseas
US distribution: Sony Pictures Classics
Producers: Stephen Chow, Chui Po Chu, Han San Ping, Vincent Kok
Associate producer: Connie Wong
Screenplay: Stephen Chow, Vincent Kok, Tsang Kan Cheong, Sandy Shaw Lai-King, Fung Chih Chiang, Lam Fung
Cinematography: Poon Hang Sang
Editor: Angie Lam
Production design: Oliver Wong
Music: Raymond Wong

Reviewed by Tim Grierson

xosotin chelseathông tin chuyển nhượngcâu lạc bộ bóng đá arsenalbóng đá atalantabundesligacầu thủ haalandUEFAevertonxosokeonhacaiketquabongdalichthidau7m.newskqbdtysokeobongdabongdalufutebol ao vivofutemaxmulticanaisonbetbsport.fitonbet88.oooi9bet.bizhi88.ooookvip.atf8bet.atfb88.cashvn88.cashshbet.atbóng đá world cupbóng đá inter milantin juventusbenzemala ligaclb leicester cityMUman citymessi lionelsalahnapolineymarpsgronaldoserie atottenhamvalenciaAS ROMALeverkusenac milanmbappenapolinewcastleaston villaliverpoolfa cupreal madridpremier leagueAjaxbao bong da247EPLbarcelonabournemouthaff cupasean footballbên lề sân cỏbáo bóng đá mớibóng đá cúp thế giớitin bóng đá ViệtUEFAbáo bóng đá việt namHuyền thoại bóng đágiải ngoại hạng anhSeagametap chi bong da the gioitin bong da lutrận đấu hôm nayviệt nam bóng đátin nong bong daBóng đá nữthể thao 7m24h bóng đábóng đá hôm naythe thao ngoai hang anhtin nhanh bóng đáphòng thay đồ bóng đábóng đá phủikèo nhà cái onbetbóng đá lu 2thông tin phòng thay đồthe thao vuaapp đánh lô đềdudoanxosoxổ số giải đặc biệthôm nay xổ sốkèo đẹp hôm nayketquaxosokq xskqxsmnsoi cầu ba miềnsoi cau thong kesxkt hôm naythế giới xổ sốxổ số 24hxo.soxoso3mienxo so ba mienxoso dac bietxosodientoanxổ số dự đoánvé số chiều xổxoso ket quaxosokienthietxoso kq hôm nayxoso ktxổ số megaxổ số mới nhất hôm nayxoso truc tiepxoso ViệtSX3MIENxs dự đoánxs mien bac hom nayxs miên namxsmientrungxsmn thu 7con số may mắn hôm nayKQXS 3 miền Bắc Trung Nam Nhanhdự đoán xổ số 3 miềndò vé sốdu doan xo so hom nayket qua xo xoket qua xo so.vntrúng thưởng xo sokq xoso trực tiếpket qua xskqxs 247số miền nams0x0 mienbacxosobamien hôm naysố đẹp hôm naysố đẹp trực tuyếnnuôi số đẹpxo so hom quaxoso ketquaxstruc tiep hom nayxổ số kiến thiết trực tiếpxổ số kq hôm nayso xo kq trực tuyenkết quả xổ số miền bắc trực tiếpxo so miền namxổ số miền nam trực tiếptrực tiếp xổ số hôm nayket wa xsKQ XOSOxoso onlinexo so truc tiep hom nayxsttso mien bac trong ngàyKQXS3Msố so mien bacdu doan xo so onlinedu doan cau loxổ số kenokqxs vnKQXOSOKQXS hôm naytrực tiếp kết quả xổ số ba miềncap lo dep nhat hom naysoi cầu chuẩn hôm nayso ket qua xo soXem kết quả xổ số nhanh nhấtSX3MIENXSMB chủ nhậtKQXSMNkết quả mở giải trực tuyếnGiờ vàng chốt số OnlineĐánh Đề Con Gìdò số miền namdò vé số hôm nayso mo so debach thủ lô đẹp nhất hôm naycầu đề hôm naykết quả xổ số kiến thiết toàn quốccau dep 88xsmb rong bach kimket qua xs 2023dự đoán xổ số hàng ngàyBạch thủ đề miền BắcSoi Cầu MB thần tàisoi cau vip 247soi cầu tốtsoi cầu miễn phísoi cau mb vipxsmb hom nayxs vietlottxsmn hôm naycầu lô đẹpthống kê lô kép xổ số miền Bắcquay thử xsmnxổ số thần tàiQuay thử XSMTxổ số chiều nayxo so mien nam hom nayweb đánh lô đề trực tuyến uy tínKQXS hôm nayxsmb ngày hôm nayXSMT chủ nhậtxổ số Power 6/55KQXS A trúng roycao thủ chốt sốbảng xổ số đặc biệtsoi cầu 247 vipsoi cầu wap 666Soi cầu miễn phí 888 VIPSoi Cau Chuan MBđộc thủ desố miền bắcthần tài cho sốKết quả xổ số thần tàiXem trực tiếp xổ sốXIN SỐ THẦN TÀI THỔ ĐỊACầu lô số đẹplô đẹp vip 24hsoi cầu miễn phí 888xổ số kiến thiết chiều nayXSMN thứ 7 hàng tuầnKết quả Xổ số Hồ Chí Minhnhà cái xổ số Việt NamXổ Số Đại PhátXổ số mới nhất Hôm Nayso xo mb hom nayxxmb88quay thu mbXo so Minh ChinhXS Minh Ngọc trực tiếp hôm nayXSMN 88XSTDxs than taixổ số UY TIN NHẤTxs vietlott 88SOI CẦU SIÊU CHUẨNSoiCauVietlô đẹp hôm nay vipket qua so xo hom naykqxsmb 30 ngàydự đoán xổ số 3 miềnSoi cầu 3 càng chuẩn xácbạch thủ lônuoi lo chuanbắt lô chuẩn theo ngàykq xo-solô 3 càngnuôi lô đề siêu vipcầu Lô Xiên XSMBđề về bao nhiêuSoi cầu x3xổ số kiến thiết ngày hôm nayquay thử xsmttruc tiep kết quả sxmntrực tiếp miền bắckết quả xổ số chấm vnbảng xs đặc biệt năm 2023soi cau xsmbxổ số hà nội hôm naysxmtxsmt hôm nayxs truc tiep mbketqua xo so onlinekqxs onlinexo số hôm nayXS3MTin xs hôm nayxsmn thu2XSMN hom nayxổ số miền bắc trực tiếp hôm naySO XOxsmbsxmn hôm nay188betlink188 xo sosoi cầu vip 88lô tô việtsoi lô việtXS247xs ba miềnchốt lô đẹp nhất hôm naychốt số xsmbCHƠI LÔ TÔsoi cau mn hom naychốt lô chuẩndu doan sxmtdự đoán xổ số onlinerồng bạch kim chốt 3 càng miễn phí hôm naythống kê lô gan miền bắcdàn đề lôCầu Kèo Đặc Biệtchốt cầu may mắnkết quả xổ số miền bắc hômSoi cầu vàng 777thẻ bài onlinedu doan mn 888soi cầu miền nam vipsoi cầu mt vipdàn de hôm nay7 cao thủ chốt sốsoi cau mien phi 7777 cao thủ chốt số nức tiếng3 càng miền bắcrồng bạch kim 777dàn de bất bạion newsddxsmn188betw88w88789bettf88sin88suvipsunwintf88five8812betsv88vn88Top 10 nhà cái uy tínsky88iwinlucky88nhacaisin88oxbetm88vn88w88789betiwinf8betrio66rio66lucky88oxbetvn88188bet789betMay-88five88one88sin88bk88xbetoxbetMU88188BETSV88RIO66ONBET88188betM88M88SV88Jun-68Jun-88one88iwinv9betw388OXBETw388w388onbetonbetonbetonbet88onbet88onbet88onbet88onbetonbetonbetonbetqh88mu88Nhà cái uy tínpog79vp777vp777vipbetvipbetuk88uk88typhu88typhu88tk88tk88sm66sm66me88me888live8live8livesm66me88win798livesm66me88win79pog79pog79vp777vp777uk88uk88tk88tk88luck8luck8kingbet86kingbet86k188k188hr99hr99123b8xbetvnvipbetsv66zbettaisunwin-vntyphu88vn138vwinvwinvi68ee881xbetrio66zbetvn138i9betvipfi88clubcf68onbet88ee88typhu88onbetonbetkhuyenmai12bet-moblie12betmoblietaimienphi247vi68clupcf68clupvipbeti9betqh88onb123onbefsoi cầunổ hũbắn cáđá gàđá gàgame bàicasinosoi cầuxóc đĩagame bàigiải mã giấc mơbầu cuaslot gamecasinonổ hủdàn đềBắn cácasinodàn đềnổ hũtài xỉuslot gamecasinobắn cáđá gàgame bàithể thaogame bàisoi cầukqsssoi cầucờ tướngbắn cágame bàixóc đĩa开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育亚新体育亚新体育亚新体育爱游戏爱游戏爱游戏华体会华体会华体会IM体育IM体育沙巴体育沙巴体育PM体育PM体育AG尊龙AG尊龙AG尊龙AG百家乐AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人<AG真人<皇冠体育皇冠体育PG电子PG电子万博体育万博体育KOK体育KOK体育欧宝体育江南体育江南体育江南体育半岛体育半岛体育半岛体育凯发娱乐凯发娱乐杏彩体育杏彩体育杏彩体育FB体育PM真人PM真人<米乐娱乐米乐娱乐天博体育天博体育开元棋牌开元棋牌j9九游会j9九游会开云体育AG百家乐AG百家乐AG真人AG真人爱游戏华体会华体会im体育kok体育开云体育开云体育开云体育乐鱼体育乐鱼体育欧宝体育ob体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育亚博体育开云体育开云体育棋牌棋牌沙巴体育买球平台新葡京娱乐开云体育mu88qh88