HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
Newest Reviews
Iron Fury
Ride in the Whirlwind
Deathstalker II
Cloak and Dagger
Honeyland
Love Ban, The
Western Stars
League of Gentlemen, The
Higher Power
Shinsengumi
IT Chapter Two
Rich Kids
Arena
Glory Guys, The
Serial Killer's Guide to Life, A
Lovers and Other Strangers
Shiny Shrimps, The
Good Woman is Hard to Find, A
Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark
Doctor at Sea
Spear
Death Cheaters
Wild Rose
Streetwalkin'
Mystify: Michael Hutchence
Devil's Playground, The
Cleanin' Up the Town: Remembering Ghostbusters
Hustlers
Mega Time Squad
Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker
Souvenir, The
Birds of Passage
Ma
Woman at War
Happy as Lazzaro
Mickey's Christmas Carol
Marriage Story
Santa Claus is a Bastard
Star, The
Tom & Jerry: A Nutcracker Tale
   
 
Newest Articles
Bash Street Kid: Cosh Boy on Blu-ray
Seeing is Believing: Being There on Blu-ray
Top Thirty Best (and Ten Worst) Films of the 2010s by Andrew Pragasam
Top of the Tens: The Best Films of the Decade by Graeme Clark
Terrorvision: A Ghost Story for Christmas in the 1970s
Memories Are Made of This: La Jetee and Sans Soleil on Blu-ray
Step Back in Time: The Amazing Mr. Blunden on Blu-ray
Crazy Cats and Kittens: What's New Pussycat on Blu-ray
No Place Like Home Guard: Dad's Army - The Lost Episodes on Blu-ray
A Real-Life Pixie: A Tribute to Michael J. Pollard in Four Roles
We're All In This Together: The Halfway House on Blu-ray
Please Yourselves: Frankie Howerd and The House in Nightmare Park on Blu-ray
Cleesed Off: Clockwise on Blu-ray
Sorry I Missed You: Les Demoiselles de Rochefort on Blu-ray
Silliest of the Silly: Monty Python's Flying Circus Series 1 on Blu-ray
Protest Songs: Hair on Blu-ray
Peak 80s Schwarzenegger: The Running Man and Red Heat
Rock On: That'll Be the Day and Stardust on Blu-ray
Growing Up in Public: 7-63 Up on Blu-ray
Learn Your Craft: Legend of the Witches and Secret Rites on Blu-ray
70s Psycho-Thrillers! And Soon the Darkness and Fright on Blu-ray
Split: Stephen King and George A. Romero's The Dark Half on Blu-ray
Disney Post-Walt: Three Gamechangers
But Doctor, I Am Pagliacci: Tony Hancock's The Rebel and The Punch and Judy Man on Blu-ray
Once Upon a Time in Deadwood: Interview with Director Rene Perez
   
 
  Meow Feline FineBuy this film here.
Year: 2017
Director: Benny Chan
Stars: Louis Koo, Mai Li, Andy Huang, Jessica Liu Chu-Tian, Lo Hoi-Pang, Michelle Wai, Louis Yuen
Genre: Comedy, Drama, Science Fiction
Rating:  8 (from 1 vote)
Review: In a distant corner of the universe lies the cat-shaped planet Meow populated by super-intelligent, super-powered felines. For a thousand years the King of Meow has been sending messengers to the planet Earth, laying the groundwork for an invasion. Now that time has come. So the King sends Pudding: bravest, mightiest warrior of Meow, on a mission to Earth to rally their sleeper agents. Unfortunately a freak thunderstorm has Pudding's spaceship crash in Hong Kong whereupon he also loses the Meowian Secret Weapon. Stranded and desperate, he adopts a hasty disguise as Xi Xili: an over-sized (indeed, human-sized!) ginger house-cat whom local dimwit Go-lee Wu (Louis Koo), a failed footballer turned struggling entrepreneur, mistakes for the pet his boss hired him to watch over. Before the bewildered cat from outer space knows what is happening, Go-lee takes it home to meet his wacky family: feisty wife Pearl (Mai Li), a model and actress struggling for work because she is often inexplicably mistaken for Vin Diesel in drag (!), older son Yoho (Andy Huang) who dreams of becoming a filmmaker and younger daughter Yoyo (Jessica Liu Chu-Tian) who suffers from a congenital skeletal anomaly in her right leg. Delighted to finally own a cat, Yoyo bestows him with his new name and showers him with love, leaving Xi Xili mortified, plotting to eliminate the family and set the invasion in motion.

At first sight of its trailer few had high hopes for Meow which seemed like the Hong Kong version of such charmless CGI-swamped family fare as Garfield (2004), Marmaduke (2010) or the dreaded Alvin and the Chipmunks franchise. A children's sci-fi comedy about an enormous talking alien cat certainly marks a bizarre change of pace for action filmmaker Benny Chan (the man behind, among others: Who Am I? (1998), Gen-X Cops (1999) and Shaolin (2011)) here in his sixth collaboration with seasoned actor Louis Koo. Yet against all odds and thanks to a barrage of inspired gags, groundbreaking visual effects (at least, for HK films), engaging characters and a heart as big, warm and furry as the ginger furball that waddles across the screen, Meow stands as perhaps the closest thing to Paddington (2014) the Chinese film industry will likely produce. Cat-lovers alone will likely savour scenes such as Xi Xili's encounter with the lazy local cats whom he discovers have happily relinquished their invasion plans since human hosts already tend to their every need.

The first act goes to an amusingly dark place as Xi Xili grabs a kitchen knife and tries to freakin' murder the Wu family. Only to be undone by their zany sleepwalking antics and Yoyo's inherent kindness and lovability. The turning point comes in a disarmingly emotional scene during a robbery wherein the Wu family endanger themselves to keep Xi Xili safe from harm. Thereafter co-writers Chan Hing-Kar - seasoned comedy director behind La Brassiere (2001) and All's Well That Ends Well (2011) - and Ho Miu-Kei, who co-wrote Stephen Chow Sing-Chi's blockbusting fantasy The Mermaid (2016), refashion this into a story about Xi Xili learning the beauty of family as the Wu's unite in the face of escalating adversity. The space cat becomes involved in Go-lee and Pearl's marital and financial difficulties, fueled first by the nice-but-dim husband's propensity for falling for every scam artist he encounters then a wealthy former schoolmate (Louis Yuen) out to woo his spouse. Yet for all their failings the Wu clan still band around their most vulnerable member, young Yoyo while she is beset by bullying, self-esteem issues and medical bills that seem insurmountable.

Exuberant performances from an excellent ensemble cast pitch the film towards live-action cartoon bolstered by computer graphics that rank among the most accomplished and eye-catching in Asian cinema. Particularly in the opening sequence set on Meow while Xi Xili himself is a remarkably lifelike creation. Yet the film would be little more than a series of crowd-pleasing skits (later, a plot twist segues into an all too plausible satire of the Hong Kong entertainment industry with spot-on parodies of inane HK ads, tabloid headlines and movies) were it not able to pull off some admittedly sentimental yet earnest and surprisingly weighty drama.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 223 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star is the best at shouting?
Arnold Schwarzenegger
Brian Blessed
Tiffany Haddish
Steve Carell
Olivia Colman
Captain Caveman
Sylvester Stallone
Gerard Butler
Samuel L. Jackson
Bipasha Basu
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Andrew Pragasam
Darren Jones
  Rachel Franke
Enoch Sneed
Paul Smith
Paul Shrimpton
  Desbris M
   

 

Last Updated: