The Mermaid Review: A 2016 Chinese fantasy film directed by Stephen Chow

The Mermaid is a 2016 Chinese fantasy film directed by Stephen Chow(Chau Tinh Tri). It is such a good, really well done blockbuster film.

It tells the story of a playboy businessman who falls in love with a mermaid who was sents to assassinate him. As my first Chinese blockbuster, The Mermaid (My Nhan Ngu) was very much satisfying and a great introduction. It definitely deserves its status as the highest-grossing film in China ever. This is the kind of a film that is obviously very familiar in its overall idea and storyline. But so original in many of its plot points and decisions that it becomes original which I appreciated immensely. It is a very interesting, modern retelling of ‘The Little Mermaid’.

It succeeds as a fantasy flick despite very cheesy special effects. I don’t know if they did it on purpose or if it was a budgetary concern. But the visual effects sometimes were borderline silly. However, the film is so well craft and it tells its story so well that the look of it should be forgiven. Not only is the movie well told and detailed, but also filled with a good message and good intentions. It is an environmentally conscious film with a beautiful message. But it is also a movie that is so innocent in most of its characters. Plot and tone that it seemed that it came out in another decade. And that is something most Hollywood blockbusters today do not have which is why The Mermaid was such a pleasant diversion.

Liu Xian is a very good character, if a bit typical. The mermaid (Review phim) herself is also typical. But very charming and endearing and their relationship is well portrayed leading to a solid romantic comedy. Octopus is campy and over-the-top, but so funny. The acting here is definitely not great, but it is serviceable nonetheless.

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