|François||4||The new maturity of Hong Kong cinema|
When you watch Chinese Odyssey 2002, you are in front of the new generation of Hong-Kong movie. If you remember the typical Jeff Lau comedies, you know it's usually very fast paced, with crazy comedy, some moving and romantic moments, a low budget and a nice cast. With this movie, which has nothing to do with the two Chinese Odyssey movies starring Stephen Chow, he shows that Hong Kong cinema is evolving and that we probably won't see an Eagle Shooting Heroes anymore.
What has changed exactly ? Not really so many things, but the quantities have been slightly modified. First, no more crazy rythm during all the movie, the story is less crazy but more coherent. The production value is on the contrary much higher. The movie doesn't look cheap at all, and can even look beautiful from time to time. The directing from Jeff Lau is also better than usually, sometimes making fun of the style of his friend, Wong Kar-Wai. The comedy is less silly than usually, even if it's still typical cantonese humor. But it's better organized around the story, instead of unrelated laughs going in all the directions at the same time. Then there is this change of mood during the movie, changing from a silly comedy to a love story. The comedy part is still better than the romance, but both them are interesting.
The cast is also satisfiying, with a mix of cantonese and mandarin speakers, Faye and Tony from Hong-Kong, Vicky and Zhen from China. All of them are providing nice performances, and there are also some funny cameos. Last but not least, the music is one of the best for years in Hong Kong.
So overall, the movie is lacking the crazyness of the 90's, but has some new qualities: better plot, better production values, more serious story after two thirds of comedy. Recommended.