A Stephen Chow movie can never be identified as anything else but a Stephen Chow movie—and if that sentiment makes you grin rather than roll your eyes, you’re probably the target audience for The Mermaid. Chow serves up a typically wild fantasy: A mermaid named Shan (Yun Lin) takes to dry land to facilitate the killing of Liu Xuan (Chao Deng), the billionaire real-estate mogul whose planned development could destroy the mermaids’ world—except she then falls in love with him. The manic Looney Tunes energy characteristic of Chow’s Shaolin Soccer and Kung Fu Hustle are in shorter supply here, as Chow makes a genuine attempt to establish a relationship between Liu and Shan—which ain’t exactly his forte as a filmmaker. He’s on much more comfortable ground with the slapstick delights of Shan’s initial efforts to assassinate Liu with sea urchins, or an octopus-man trying to keep a straight face while his tentacles are turned into teppanyaki. It’s weird and uneven and at times surprisingly violent, but the world of movies is almost always a little more interesting for having a new Stephen Chow movie in it.
Director: Stephen Chow
Producer: Stephen Chow
Cast: Deng Chao, Jelly Lin, Kitty Zhang, Tsui Hark, Kris Wu, Wen Zhang, Zhang Mei'e and Yang Neng