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Kidnap Ding Ding Don

Kidnap Ding Ding Don

Alex Fong and Ivana Wong on stakeout in Kidnap Ding Ding Don.

Chinese: 綁架丁丁當
Year: 2016

Wilson Chin Kwok-Wai


Julia Chu, Chimmey Chan


Alex Fong Lik-Sun, Ivana Wong, Bob Lam, Kabby Hui, Elena Kong Mei-Yi, Emily Kwan Bo-Wai, Sek Sau, Mimi Chu Mi-Mi, Hui Siu-Hung, Mimi Kung Tse-Yan, Evergreen Mak Cheung-Ching, Wilson Chin Kwok-Wai, Alycia Chan, Jerry Lamb Hiu-Fung (Narrator)

The Skinny: Sometimes funny but mostly annoying kidnapping comedy starring rising comedienne Ivana Wong. As one expects from a cheap Hong Kong comedy, its loud and obnoxious with brief snippets of action and overplayed emotion. For Hong Kong Cinema completists only.
by Kozo:

Wilson Chin, the auteur behind the notorious Lan Kwai Fong movies, returns with the sometimes funny but largely annoying kidnapping comedy Kidnap Ding Ding Don. Rising comedienne Ivana Wong stars as Ding Ding, a kidnapping victim who gets a lucky break when her amnesiac abductor (Alex Fong) offers to let her go. Rather than escape, Ding Ding has the bright idea to go through with the ransom anyway because she hopes to stick it to her father (Shek Sau), who's been estranged from Ding Ding ever since her mother died. Meanwhile, her kidnapper, whom she names "Minion", can't remember who he is or why he woke up in a pool of his own blood. Presumably Ding Ding knows the answer because she was tied up in a chair in the same room when the blood-splattered Minion awoke, but she demurs from offering an explanation and Minion agrees to follow her blindly rather than insist on getting the truth. Together, the two proceed to falsify a kidnapping and fall in love. Movies are magic, eh?

Minion's role in the kidnapping is easy to figure out if you think about it – though Kidnap Ding Ding Don is clearly not a film for deep thinkers. The story is little more than a flimsy framework for labored situation comedy and rampant overacting from its cast, which includes Elena Kong and Mimi Chu as Ding Ding and Minion's neighbors. The actresses play Ms. Sylvie and Ms. Goldie, who intrude upon the couple's lives because they're nosy, not to mention their lust is stoked by the sight of a shirtless Minion hosing himself down in the backyard. Ding Ding and Minion also get involved with local snack seller Wah (Hui Siu-Hung), who has issues with his daughter (Alycia Chan). These subplots are mostly superfluous, though Bob Lam earns some laughs as Ms. Sylvie's wig-wearing husband. Kabby Hui brings youthful sexiness to the mix as Ding Ding's wanton competition, while Emily Kwan amuses as domestic helper Julianna. However, Kwan's makeup-darkened skin is an unfortunate sight.

Humor-wise, there are bright spots besides Bob Lam. One overdone and senseless, but still funny gag involves Ding Ding and Minion planning their ransom video, complete with bad acting and multiple takes pushing different tones like scary or sexy. Moments like this offer quick bursts of hilarity, while a decently-choreographed chase sequence and a minor action finale add some multi-genre Hong Kong Cinema flavor. These positives are undone by the usual endemic problems, like ham-fisted emotional payoffs and overly-talky banter that pads out the running time. As a director, Wilson Chin is better with comedy than with drama, though the bar is so low here that the comparison is ridiculous to even bring up. At the very least, Kidnap Ding Ding Don is rarely pretentious. While the Lan Kwai Fong movies attempted occasional commentary on youth and dating douchebaggery, Kidnap goes for easy themes like love, family, belonging, blah blah blah. Nothing here is original or inspired, so only a fan of the stars or a Hong Kong Cinema completist should pencil this into their schedule.

The lead actors are fine. Ivana Wong is still in line to be Hong Kong’s next top screen comedienne, though she should reconsider her material (and maybe the filmmakers she works with) if she wants to stay on that track. Alex Fong is self-effacing and offers pleasing eye candy for those employing a female gaze. Those using the male gaze get Kabby Hui. Kidnap Ding Ding Don’s title is a reference to the anime character Doraemon, who’s called “Ding Don” in Cantonese. The characters’ names are drawn from “Ding Don” and there’s also a visual cue that recalls Doraemon’s trademark bell collar. What’s the deal here? Are the filmmakers trying to say that, like in Doraemon, there’s someone in Kidnap Ding Ding Don who is magical and rescues a total loser from a total loser life? Whatever – I doubt this attempted reference will actually get anyone to see Kidnap Ding Ding Don. Personally, I’d rather watch the Doraemon anime or the live-action Doraemon Toyota commercials starring Jean Reno. (Kozo, 8/2016)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
Vicol Entertainment Ltd.
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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