What can I say? I’m a glutton for punishment. I asked for it. I knew it was going to be pretty atrocious but the level inanity here is so incredible it whittles your IQ down to a single figure. However, you know you’re in dangerous territory when the film doesn’t even meet your already low expectations.
Himalaya Singh doesn’t quite achieve the beautiful and lofty heights of the Himalayas in its title. Nowhere near, unfortunately. If I’m being harsh, then it’s because I’ve been let down too many times by sub-standard HK comedies. From Fantasia, I get the feeling that I’m watching badly strung together and incomprehensible ‘compilations’ of jokes that barely passed the grade in the schoolyard. Now unleashed upon the cinema going masses, the latest offering is by far the worst and beyond painful. This is evident on faces of the audience who came away from the session either grinding their teeth or wearing a pained, constipated frown.
Some, like my cousin, looked remarkably refreshed but that was only because he slept until the credits rolled.
Whatever subtext or subtle nuances that the filmakers have attempted to instill in this film, [Brahma creationism philosophy, a comment on British colonialism perhaps], is rapidly bulldozed to pieces with lashings of bad CGI effects [no, not obvious, just bad] and an incredibly banal script.
There are some good distractions, certainly – the gorgeous location and costumes does give your senses a rest from the half-baked shenanigans. Additionally, you can take heart in the talent of the cast. Lau Ching Wan mimics Mr. Bean, Francis Ng impersonates Beat Takeshi or watch Cecilia Cheung… oh nevermind. Who am I kidding? This just adds salt to wounds, to know the entire cast is wasted on such poor material. Sigh.
Unfortunately for Himalaya Singh and thus for the audience, there is no Hui Bros nostalgia to fall back on this time and try as they might, no amount of zesty hamminess from the cast can get lift this sludge from the bottom. Let’s hope the next one is much better.