hasn't made a good movie since CJ7
Ever since, his films have fared from simply mediocre to truly awful. Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons was a lame rehash of Jeffrey Lau's A Chinese Odyssey in many ways, even going so far as using the same tragic romance, except without any of the depth or gravitas.
The lead impersonated Stephen Chow's ticks and mannerisms to a T, yet comes off rather insincere as a result. The comedy fell largely flat, the story was underdeveloped, there were many needless scenes of filler, and the visual effects were piss poor. Its only real redeeming features were the excellent opening sequence and some of the supporting cast. Beyond that, it sucked.
The Mermaid was a bit better, but still largely underwhelming. The lead star is far more engaging this time around since he isn't resorted to simply doing a Stephen Chow impression, and there are some standout funny moments. But where this film falls short is with its environmentalist message. The film hammers home its point far too many times. By the end, it started feeling more like some preachy elementary school PSA than an actual film. And for all its funny moments, the film still had its fair share of jokes that didn't quite land. The use of the Fist of Fury theme was also somewhat distracting and unfitting. Overall, this one was okay.
His new film, The New King of Comedy, looks about as uninspired and unimaginative as it gets. It looks just like a rehash of the original except with a bigger budget, a more Mainland friendly tone, and a gender-swapped lead (is China really gonna cash in on this trend as well?). I see no purpose for its existence. At first, I thought it would be an actual sequel to the original, which could have had a lot of potential. Instead, it just seems to be a shitty remake made for the Mainland audience. Yay.
For the longest time, I have praised Chow for his ability to keep his films apolitical amidst China's overreaching influence on their media. Yet, The New King of Comedy looks exactly like the kind of film made to pander towards that crowd. He also seems to be rehashing a lot of his old films now, starting with Journey to the West, and now this.
I can't express my disappoint enough. He was one of my favorite filmmakers. Now he's a hack.