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Chrissie Chau is an iGirl in iGirl.

iGirl 夢情人

Year: 2016  

Kam Ka-Wai


Dou Lili, Andy Lee, Wang Guangli, Wong Jing


Leung Yat-Hong

Action: Jack Wong Wai-Leung

Ekin Cheng Yee-Kin, Chrissie Chau Sau-Na, Dominic Ho Hou-Man, Connie Man Hoi-Ling, Lam Chi-Chung, Joyce Cheng Yan-Yi, Jeana Ho Pui-Yu, Iris Chung Choi-Hei, Ren Jiao, Fung Min-Hun, Andres Gustav Nelsson

The Skinny:

Average product from the Wong Jing fun factory that's heavily flawed but also mildly entertaining, especially if you like Ekin Cheng, Chrissie Chau or some combination of the two. Progressive-leaning audiences had best steer clear, however.

by Kozo:

This high-concept male fantasy from the Wong Jing fun factory is shoddily written and developed but has a few minor positives that ease the experience. iGirl is basically your generic shonen (or maybe seinen) manga tale told in sloppy Hong Kong movie style, about a boy and his misadventures with a manufactured dream girl. That said boy is played by forty-eight year-old Ekin Cheng is beside the point the character of Evan (Cheng) is a stand-in for every nice young Hong Kong guy who's stuck with an unappreciative and materialistic girlfriend that prefers money and a cut bod to innate decency and a finely-coiffed mane of hair. Truly, iGirl is an anthem for unfortunate and well-meaning males everywhere.

iGirl opens with Evan breaking up with his haughty girlfriend Janice (Jeana Ho). But that same evening, Evan receives a massive crate containing a synthetic female (Chrissie Chau) programmed to serve his every whim. She's there for sympathy or sex but Evan avoids doing the deed with her (He's a nice guy, remember?), and instead tries to learn about her in an awkward and sometimes charming manner. Taking the name 001 (Ling-Ling-Yat, for those following along in Cantonese), she forms a nascent, affectionate bond with Evan. Soon, Evan's pals Johnny (Dominic Ho) and Irwin (Lam Chi-Chung) get their own iGirls, 002 (Connie Man) and 003 (Joyce Cheng), allowing the group to form a lively if creepily-realized sextet of fun-loving youngsters.

What follows is basically a disjointed "learning to be human" montage featuring 001 and Evan, with occasional detours to horny or off-color shtick involving their friends. Also, we meet the creator of iGirl, a Caucasian fellow named Dr. Intelligent (Andres Gustav Nelsson), who was somehow able to develop his revolutionary A.I. technology in an open-air warehouse somewhere in the New Territories. Cleanroom? Dr. Intelligent needs no cleanroom! However, Dr. Intelligent does need better security because a group of girls, namely Janice and the evil ex-girlfriends (Iris Chung and Ren Jia) of Johnny and Irwin, are able to break into his lab and appropriate Dr. Intelligent's technology to become super-powered beings with bad tempers. The targets of their ire: the iGirls, naturally.

iGirl is completely ridiculous but that's to be expected given the cast, the filmmakers and the obviously low budget. Likewise, the story is such a hole-ridden mess that it's best to simply ignore logic and enjoy the ride which is actually possible sometimes. Chrissie Chau is surprisingly nuanced as 001 and her chemistry with Ekin Cheng, playing yet another variation on his super-nice-guy persona, is decent. Unfortunately, the film speeds through the growth of their relationship and doesn't cover all the things it should, like how a normal dude acclimates to having a robot girl living with him. As is, he accepts her presence far too easily, which speeds the plot along but makes everything that's happening seem even more manufactured.

iGirl would have been much better if it had downplayed the other two couples and simply concentrated on Evan and 001. Focusing on the lead couple could have made for stronger character development and situation comedy, and reduced the needless low-brow filler involving their pals. Director Kam Ka-Wai's visual storytelling is solid, however, and the island setting of Cheung Chau has its own charms. All things considered, iGirl serves a particular niche for star-laden, disposable fluff and is probably not as bad as it could have been. It is not, however, for anyone of a progressive slant as it quite obviously objectifies (They're robot servants!) and demonizes (Ex-girlfriends are evil!) women. In this regard, iGirl is not Hong Kong Cinema's finest hour. (Kozo, 8/2016)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Deltamac (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
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