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Movie reviews: Kung Fu Monster, Make It Big Big

KUNG FU MONSTER (PG)

Set during the Ming Dynasty, this wuxia comedy-fantasy from acclaimed director Andrew Lau - who helmed the Infernal Affairs and the Young And Dangerous movie series - revolves around several flawed characters who cross paths when they attempt a joint heist on the Eastern Depot's army.

Thus begins this charming group of outlaws' transformation into a force to be reckoned with, as they learn the value of friendship, love and sacrifice.

Their undertaking happens amid the nationwide bounty hunt for the titular adorable little monster with a surprising aptitude for gongfu, which happens to be stolen property of the Imperial Palace.

Kung Fu Monster is a thrilling, funny and heartwarming adventure that takes place amid beautifully shot landscapes, with standout performances from Alex Fong (formidable as Commander Crane) and Louis Koo (oozing gravitas as Imperial Police animal tamer-turned-outlaw).

However, it suffers from a lack of originality, blatantly borrowing from other movies - like the scene where Hulk smashes Loki around in The Avengers and English director Edgar Wright's distinctive filming style from Shaun Of The Dead.

Fortunately, it ends on a spirited note, which distracts from several unresolved subplots. - JASMINE LIM -3 Ticks


MAKE IT BIG BIG (PG)

PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE

Love 97.2's Breakfast Quartet morning show DJs - Mark Lee, Dennis Chew, Marcus Chin and Chen Biyu - finally make it to the big screen after appearing on variety TV shows and even a musical.

Not only does this local reality-comedy delve into the personal lives of the four radio presenters, it also makes an effort to address social issues like the pervasiveness of fake news on social media and the covert nature of mental illness - all done with a dash of distinctly local humour.

However, to an extent, it ends up trivialising the latter topic, sometimes for the sake of laughs.

So while its premise is well-intentioned, the final product leaves much to be desired.

Make It Big Big is Lee's directorial debut, and his struggle with dual roles shows.

Predictably, much of the acting is delivered in the hyperbolic style we've come to expect of Mediacorp actors.

Chin is the only one who impresses with his charisma, while noteworthy cameos come from veteran stars like Christopher Lee and Jack Neo.

If comedy in the vein of Neo's flicks tickles your funny bone, then you are likely to get 'big big' enjoyment out of this. - JASMINE LIM -2.5 Ticks

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