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Love is a Many Stupid Thing

     

(left) Shawn Yue, Chapman To, and Lam Tze-Cheung, and (right) Teresa Mak, 2R, Belinda Hamnett, and Iris Wong.

Chinese: 精裝追女仔2004
Year: 2004
Director: Wong Jing
Producer: Wong Jing
Writer: Wong Jing
Cast: Eric Tsang Chi-Wai, Nat Chan Bak-Cheung, Chapman To Man-Chat, Shawn Yue, Lam Chi-Chung, Raymond Wong Ho-Yin, Belinda Hamnett, Teresa Mak Ka-Kei, Iris Wong Yat-Tung, Race Wong Yuen-Ling, Rosanne Wong Yuen-Kwan, Stanley Fung Shui-Fan, Candace Yu On-On, Angie Cheung Wai-Yee, Jerry Lamb Hiu-Fung, Ken Tong Chun-Yip, Miu Kiu-Wai, Max Mok Siu-Chung, Cheung Kwok-Keung, Matthew Chow Hoi-Kwong, Wong Tin-Lam, Athena Chu Yan, Zuki Lee Si-Pui
The Skinny: Wong Jing's latest wackfest gets extra points for Infernal Affairs junkies, but otherwise it's more the of the same questionable laughs and throwaway hijinks. This movie is crap. However, some people out there do enjoy crap.
 
  Review
by Kozo:

Wong Jing mines the Infernal Affairs phenomenon for Love is a Many Stupid Thing, his latest disposable creation masquerading as film. The rotund producer-writer-director-actor-hack attempts to double the ripoff potential by calling this film Jing Jong Jui Nui Jai 2004, which roughly translates as Deluxe Pursuit of Girls 2004. That title (minus the 2004, natch) was used on the eighties "classic" The Romancing Star and its assorted sequels. What this means is that aside from the Infernal Affairs riffs, Love is a Many Stupid Thing depicts the wacky trials of a bunch of boys (some questionably attractive) macking on a bunch of girls (all totally attractive). Mix thoroughly, then let stew for a couple of hours, and you get this movie hodgepodge, which can entertain some, but is pretty much a travesty of cinema. Yeah, we're snobs over here.

The Infernal Affairs parodies get kicked off right away with Nat Chan Bak-Cheung essaying the Anthony Wong role from IA. He's Inspector Lek, who chooses not one, but three undercovers to leave the academy and join the triads. The three guys: Chapman To, Shawn Yue, and fat Shaolin Soccer vet Lam Chi-Chung. In a minor twist, Chapman To gets the Shawn Yue/Tony Leung Chiu-Wai role and not Shawn Yue. Why that happens is unknown, but Wong Jing chooses to add three undercovers and not just one so he can get the "Chasing Girls" format going. You see, in The Romancing Star and the other "Chasing Girls" flicks, there were usually a bunch of guys chasing a bunch of girls using chicanery and lame hijinks. To do that, you need more than one guy. Hence, there are three, and they get to chase the girls, played by Belinda Hamnett, Teresa Mak, Iris Wong, and 2R, a popstar duo who are nowhere near as popular as Twins. It's like a Hong Kong Cinema history lesson and math class rolled into one.

The three guys attempt to join the triads but aren't able to find a taker until they approach Sam, who's played by Eric Tsang. Tsang parodies his own performances from the IA films, which means that he gets to spit on his own work—unlike Chapman To or Shawn Yue. Here's the scorecard for those who are lost: Eric Tsang gets the Eric Tsang role from IA, but Chapman To gets the Shawn Yue/Tony Leung Chiu-Wai role. Shawn Yue plays a character with the same name as Chapman To's in IA, and Lam Chi-Chung plays a character with the same hairstyle as Chapman To's in IA—though neither seems to be playing Chapman To in IA. Weird.

Nat Chan gets the Anthony Wong role, and Raymond Wong gets the Edison Chen/Andy Lau role, of the triad mole who joins the cops. You getting this so far? Hell, let's just get the rest out of the way. Jerry Lamb gets the Francis Ng role from Infernal Affairs II. Candace Yu gets the Carina Lau role. And finally, Tony Ho Wah-Chiu, who played the triad interrogated by Andy Lau in IA1 gets the Tony Ho Wah-Chiu role. That is, he's a gangster interrogated by Raymond Wong, who's in the Andy Lau role. Except this time, the gangster is gay, and spends his time squeezing Raymond Wong's privates. Are you angry yet?

Well, you should be. The above description answers one of the two major questions in Love is a Many Stupid Thing, which is: who parodies who from Infernal Affairs? The second question is: how do they parody Infernal Affairs? The answer to that is: almost exactly, except they throw in lots of crappy hijinks to pad things out. In addition to scenes of the three undercover boys in drag, we get aphrodisiac jokes, boys chasing girls in fast motion, Belinda Hamnett in a wet t-shirt, bizarre musical numbers, and a shrunken Eric Tsang (?) getting kicked around. The Infernal Affairs parodies are almost dead on, meaning they lift whole scenes, but throw in hijinks and useless jokes.

Granted, some of the jokes can be funny, especially the parody of Inspector Wong's death scene in IA1. That, and Chapman To's overdone Tony Leung Chiu-Wai reaction is probably worth a rental, but everything else is your usual over-verbalized jokey crap, which usually culminates in one character swearing at another like it's supposed to be funny. We've seen all this Wong Jing stuff before. And in case we needed even more Wong Jing, the guy inserts himself into the film as an afro-sporting aprhodisiac dealer. One of his products makes people think they're looking at Athena Chu, which means a stock footage Athena Chu appearance. Woohoo! I'm in Hong Kong Cinema heaven.

At this point, about 30% of the people reading this review should get upset and launch hatemail to LoveHKFilm.com, saying, "But Wong Jing movies are supposed to be silly! He's just doing his job!" Well, I won't dispute that he's doing what he intends to, which is put together a bunch of silly stuff and pass it off as entertainment. Yes, there is an audience for this type of dopey parody cinema, which can be evidenced by the fact that Wong Jing is still working. But really, is this type of lazy cinema a good thing? Is Wong Jing really giving people what they want, or is he simply providing what people have come to expect?

By creating these lazy jokefests, Wong Jing is doing two things. One, he's lowering audience expectations, and furthering the public notion that Hong Kong Cinema is just disposable, unimportant crap. And, more vital to he and his backers, he's hoping that his assortment of lazy jokes and name actors gets people to part with their money. Judging by the fact that I purchased this DVD, he suceeded, and I've lost another ten bucks. If anyone besides me would like filmmaker accountability, raise their hands.

When it comes to a movie like this, you can't really review it. Serious critical analysis of a non-film like this just begs for the age-old rebuff, "Try to be less critical!", which arrives once a week in the Webmaster's e-mail inbox. To head that off, we'll just spell it out for you: if you like this sort of silly Wong Jing stuff, then you'll dig Love is a Many Stupid Thing. If you don't, then you won't. If you're into Infernal Affairs, and are curious of how Wong Jing might skewer it, then perhaps Love is a Many Stupid Thing could interest you. But don't kid yourself: this is a bad movie. You might find it funny, but it's still bad. The big question here isn't "Is the movie any good?", it's "Do you like bad movies?" I personally don't, but since I watched it, I can't blame anyone but myself. Note to Wong Jing: you win, I lose. Again. (Kozo 2004)

 
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Mei Ah Entertainment
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

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