HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Blue Sky
Tokyo Dragon Chef
Pittsburgh
12 Hour Shift
Intergalactic Adventures of Max Cloud, The
Spoilers, The
Killer Therapy
Man Upstairs, The
Bloodhound, The
New Mutants, The
Tesla
Flame of New Orleans, The
Ham on Rye
Imperial Blue
Tenet
August 32nd on Earth
Don is Dead, The
Seven Sinners
Body of Water
Away
Soul
About Endlessness
Let It Snow
Ava
Deliver Us from Evil
Shark Attack 3: Megalodon
Midnight Sky, The
Lego Star Wars Holiday Special, The
Mon Oncle Antoine
Blast of Silence
Blackout, The
Stars in Your Eyes
Alone
Climate of the Hunter
Farewell Amor
Let's Scare Julie
Okko's Inn
Shaolin vs. Wu Tang
Fatman
Butt Boy
   
 
Newest Articles
The Price of Plague: The Masque of the Red Death on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Seance on a Wet Afternoon and Ring of Spies
Chaney Chillers: Inner Sanctum Mysteries - The Complete Film Series on Blu-ray
Adelphi Extras: Stars in Your Eyes on Blu-ray
Toons for the Heads: Fantastic Planet and Adult Animation
Nature Girl: The New World on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Perfect Friday and Robbery
Network Double Bills: The House in Nightmare Park and The Man Who Haunted Himself
Newley Minted: The Strange World of Gurney Slade on Blu-ray
Bad Love: The Night Porter on Blu-ray
Brevity is the Soul of Weird: Short Sharp Shocks on Blu-ray
Get Your Ass to Mars: Total Recall on Blu-ray
Call the Professionals: Le Cercle Rouge on Blu-ray
When There's No More Room in Hell: Dawn of the Dead on Blu-ray
The Butterfly Effect: Mothra on Blu-ray
Living Room Theatre: Play for Today Volume 1 on Blu-ray
Didn't He Do Well: The Bruce Forsyth Show on DVD
Blood Wedding: The Bride with White Hair on Blu-ray
The Inhuman Element: The Ladykillers on 4K UHD
As You Like It, Baby: Breathless on Blu-ray
Stargazing: Light Entertainment Rarities on DVD
Down to the Welles: Orson Welles Great Mysteries Volume 2 on DVD
Herding Cats: Sleepwalkers on Blu-ray
Confessions of a Porn Star: Adult Material on DVD
They're Still Not Sure It is a Baby: Eraserhead on Blu-ray
   
 
  Meow Feline Fine
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 FictionBuy from Amazon
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 594 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 probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Andrew Pragasam
Stately Wayne Manor
Enoch Sneed
  Geraint Morgan
Paul Smith
  Lee Fiveash
   

 

Last Updated: