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A Dream Team
  |     review     |     notes     |     availability     | A Dream Team
Sammy
 
Chinese: 翻生奇兵
Year: 2012
Director: Adrian Kwan Shun-Fai, Su Fei
Cast: Sammy, Sharon Chan Man-Chi, David Lo Dai-Wai, Danny Summer, Tats Lau Yi-Tat, Siu Yee, Felix Lok Ying-Kwan, Jill Vidal, Terence Yin, Chen Chi-Sing, Ko Wah-Kwan
The Skinny: There are decent Christian films but A Dream Team is not one of them. This evangelist lift of A Night at the Museum is ham-handed and lazily made. More effective as a commercial for Hong Kong Christian museum Noah's Ark than as a medium for spreading the Christian faith.
 
Review
by Kozo:

A Dream Team is lazily written and unevenly acted, and does not surpass its shot-on-video-by-a-bunch-of-pals feel. Then again, it’s hard to expect more from Media Evangelism, the Hong Kong organization founded in 1987 to create media representing Christian values. If we’re to take the “evangelism” part of their name literally, then A Dream Team is meant to spread Christian values to non-Christians in hopes of conversion or at least a nudge in the Christian direction. However, this ham-handed and sophomoric film is not going to do that job, because it’s about as persuasive to non-Christians as a Mitt Romney quip compilation would be to Democrats. Co-director Adrian Kwan is no stranger to Christian film and made the well-regarded The Miracle Box, but he doesn’t have the resources to pull off the same trick here. Regardless of its bad filmmaking, A Dream Team might speak to you if you’re already someone who cares about what it’s trying to say. If you qualify in the above statement then please stop reading right now.

Still here? My apologies, but as an actual motion picture, A Dream Team is pretty lousy. First and foremost, the film is an advertisement for Noah’s Ark, a Christian theme park in Hong Kong centered around a replica of — you guessed it — Noah’s Ark. Inside are historical displays and interactive events, and seeing the figures and sculptures inside come to life (like in Hollywood hit A Night at the Museum) is the film’s main hook. Sammy stars as Hui Man-Keung (like the guy in The Bund, *polite laugh*), a poor individual nearing 30 years of age who was born under a terrible star. Feng shui decreed that Keung’s dad (Felix Lok) would suffer a terrible fate if he stays with Keung, so dad shipped off his son when he was just a tyke. That’s why Keung is bitter about his childhood, though he still acts silly and loveable like that TV personality DJ Sammy.

One day, Keung goes to work for Noah’s Ark but the ominous Mr. Fox (Danny Summer) announces the very next day that the place will close. That saddens Keung because A) he’ll be out of a job, and B) said job will end right around Keung’s 30th birthday, which is when the “Brutal Ultimatum Curse” stipulates that Keung will die. Luckily God (David Lo) appears and gives Keung a spray bottle of “Living Water”, which he uses to bring the sculptures and paintings in Noah’s Ark to life. Soon, Keung has the reanimated historical figures — including Empress Dowager Cixi (Sharon Chan), the Garden of Eden’s Eve (Jill Vidal), some Roman soldiers (Tats Lau and Samuel Pang), astronaut Colonel James Irwin (Chen Chi-Sing) and an animated version of Noah — working together as a “Dream Team” to perform for customers and keep Noah’s Ark open. However, Mr. Fox is nonplussed and plots with his glowing red eyes to stop the Dream Team.

If you think the plot sounds like it could work for a commercial film, well, you’re right. The problem is that A Dream Team was made on the super cheap, with cheap direction, acting, visual effects and action. Actually, there is no action, visual effects are Adobe Photoshop-level, and acting is limited to Sharon Chan (a TVB regular who has taken classes) and Sammy’s hair (which apparently was inspired by Christopher Walken’s). Otherwise the actors are earnest if not embarrassing, like the constantly-smirking Terence Yin. Yin plays Dr. Jones, a whip-wielding, fedora-and-leather-jacket-wearing adventurer (Seriously, Media Evangelism?) who joins the Dream Team. Naturally there are plot twists, which open things up for God to return, smile benevolently and say stuff like, “I am the true master of life and soul.” This is a sermon disguised as entertainment, except it only succeeds at sermonizing and doesn’t succeed at entertaining. If one were to rank this Dream Team, it would totally fall below the 2004 Allen Iverson-Stephon Marbury version — which sucked, by the way. But less than this movie. (Kozo, 2012)

 
Notes: • Do you want to visit the actual Noah's Ark museum? Sure you do! Click here to visit their English website. Actual travel to Hong Kong is up to you.
Dream Team ends with a semi-cliffhanger and the promise of Dream Team 2. Unfortunately, the filmmakers are not talking about the USA Basketball team coached by Don Nelson that won the Gold Medal at the 1994 World Championship of Basketball. They mean an actual sequel to this film.
• The first draft of this review was 666 words. Hmmmm.
 
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Vicol Entertainment Ltd. (HK)
DVD + Soundtrack Set
Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

   
   
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