Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Jump (跳出去 / Tiao Chu Qu)

Dog at Lamp Post Stance

Kitty Zhang is a star in the making, and Jump reaffirms that she's more than capable in handling drama, madcap comedy, and in this dance flick, passes off convincingly as a dancer with innate talent. Her role as Phoenix the country bumpkin who seeks a new dancing adventure in the big city of Shanghai, resembles very much a role that Stephen Chow would play in his heydays. Now producing and coming up with the story, one can see tremendous influences from Chow's personal past works from his filmography, so much so that the film would work if Chow had cast himself in the lead role, rather than the gender reversal and getting his CJ7 muse to marquee it.

For a dance flick, this film unfortunately only had a limited number of dance sequences, opting instead for multiple training montages, and a self-respecting dance-off finale done hip hop free style. Romance takes up a huge chunk of the narrative though, and co-star Leon Jay Williams didn't have much to do or emote no thanks to a very deadpan, inexperienced performance as a rich playboy who finds romantic enlightenment from hanging out with the penniless Phoenix, who have to work two jobs in order to survive and secretly learn dance.

Pretty much everything breezes by, with subplots (like adversaries in the dance school, or the instructor) being super-compressed, or having a number of side show characters just show up for their one-dimensional function (such as the dance agent/tout). But the best parts here are the comedy, which can strike you from the blind side, and allow you to reminisce about the time when Chow was resident expert in making such mo-lei-tau comedies that were the rage in those days. While one can deem this film as making fun of the country folks or amplifying a number of our misconceptions, it is precisely this guilty pleasure that brought out much of the enjoyment of our ignorance for the simpler, and perhaps happier lifestyle,

You can read my review of Jump at by clicking on the logo below.


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