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Women From Mars


Michael Wong, Ekin Cheng and Cheung Tat-Ming search for their buddies.
Year: 2002
Director: Andrew Lau Wai-Keung, Raymond Yip Wai-Man
Producer: Manfred Wong, Ng Chi-Hung
Writer: Manfred Wong, Matthew Chow Hoi-Kwong, Chau Ting
Cast: Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin, Michael Wong Mun-Tak, Cheung Tat-Ming, Qu Ying (Kiu Wing), Ruby Wong Cheuk-Ling, Audrey Fang (Fong Chi Shuen), Louis Koo Tin-Lok, Shu Qi, Jan Lam Hoi-Fung (voice only), Francis Ng Chun-Yu, Lai Yiu-Cheung, Pinky Cheung Man-Chi, Miao Felin, Josie Ho Chiu-Yi, Belinda Hamnett, Amanda Lee Wai-Man, Yuen King-Tan, Angela Tong Ying-Ying, Kristy Yeung Kung-Yu, Cheung Yi-Tung, Stephen Fung Tak-Lun, Bobo Chan Man-Woon, Lam Chi-Chung, Michael Lam Wai-Leung, Matthew Chow Hoi-Kwong, Spencer Lam Seung-Yi, Wong Tin-Lam, Joe Ma Wai-Ho
The Skinny: The mega-mega cast is probably the most welcome thing about this poorly executed comedy that was put together as a benefit for debt-ridden producer Ng Chi-Hung. The material is there for an entertaining, off-color comedy, but the uninspired script and tired direction make the enterprise a wasted one. And, unfortunately for Ng Chi-Hung, the film was a critically-panned flop.
Review
by Kozo:

     Put together as a benefit flick for debt-ridden producer Ng Chi-Hung (who played the kindly Brother B in the Young and Dangerous flicks), this all-star comedy from directors Andrew Lau and Raymond Yip has a reasonably workable premise. A Man Called Ekin Cheng stars with Michael Wong and Cheung Tat-Ming as three egocentric males who disregard their better halves regularly. Naturally, a comeuppance is in order.
     Ekin Cheng is Tom Kan, a celebrity hair stylist who plays around incessantly with the ladies. He tries to bed pretty DJ Kitty (Qu Ying), but she's initially resistant to his charms. Meanwhile, Michael (Michael Wong) spends his time hitting on chicks in bars while his reporter girlfriend Ruby (Ruby Wong) remains faithful. Michael hails from a village of male chauvanists, and publicly disses her when she comes to cover a story for the local news. The event puts a damper on their relationship, but Michael's unrepantant attitude only hurts matters. And finally, Cheung Tat-Ming is Michael's cousin Bo, a pet shop owner who plays on the sympathies of women to make money. Even worse, when his loyal girlfriend CiCi (Audrey Fang) gets pregnant, Bo gives her a $100 note to take a train to Shenzen for an abortion. And no, he doesn't offer to go along.
     The three bastards are due for a bigtime smackdown, and get it when they catch a bus ride to hell. Two of Hell's minions (Shu Qi and Louis Koo) appear before them and offer all sorts of random exposition. Then they hijack the guys' privates and send them back to Earth. Lacking their franks and beans, our three heroes (?) are understandably troubled. Complications ensue when Tom's romance with Kitty takes a turn for a worse. An evil co-worker (Stephen Fung, whose character is called by the cloying name Brad Pitt) sold pictures of Tom and Kitty to the paparazzi, so naturally Kitty wants nothing to do with Tom. Why he cares is unknown, since he's supposed to be a womanizer. However, her absence means that Tom can't lean on her to help get his manhood back. You see, they can get back their boys if they can find a woman to say "I Love You" to. Even more, she has to say it back.
     The journey of these three guys to find some verbal affirmation of love is where the film gets its main source of "action", though it's rather trying. The script calls for lots of moments which detail the guys' chauvanism, but their supposed insensitivity strains credibility. Thanks to their epic stupidity and unbelievable denseness, the three guys appear to be supremely moronic chauvanists who probably don't deserve to ever get their manhood back. This leads to the expected epiphanies as the men experience their periods and begin to "understand" women. This understanding also involves being frightened by rodents and adopting the occasional effeminate hand gesture. The creativity here is blinding.
     As a benefit film, you would expect that the production be rushed and lazy. Well, it is. The massive amounts of cameos is welcome, but the performances could hardly be called acting (though Francis Ng and Ruby Wong are standouts). Even worse, the writing is just plain awful. The characters lack sympathy and sometimes credibility, and the use of voiceover is annoyingly obvious. Subtlety is a foreign concept in Women from Mars, as nearly everything that occurs needs to be verbalized. The filmmakers take pains to spoon-feed the audience, and the film proves less than engaging as a result.
     To elaborate on what might have saved Women from Mars would be useless. Blaming the actors would be wrong, as they did this film out of charity. Some spark of actual creativity might have helped the film, as would a more off-color, irreverent tone. Nothing unexpected or remotely inspired occurs, and even the "big event" in the film isn't compelling. Instead, we have to contend with tired ruminations on man's existence, and the supposed idea that all these romantic connections have any sort of meaning. Big surprise: they don't, and boredom or actual napping is the likely result. Unfortunately for Ng Chi-Hung, the film was a total flop, so any financial benefit will likely be small. But really, it's the paying audience members who got screwed in this deal. (Kozo 2002)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Universe Film Production

   
   
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