Review: Fantasia (2004)

Directed by:
Cast: , , , , , , ,

Not available in Australia on DVD (to our knowledge)

Yeah! Chinese New Year! Fireworks, Lion Dancing, Dragonboating, the colour, the energy, the food… and of course the mandatory CNY films out of Hong Kong to give us a kickstart into the new year of the Monkey.

And yes, Fantasia is one of those films that gives us a kick. Unfortunately not exactly the kind of kick you want to start the new year with (unless of course you LIKE rolling around the floor in pain – but who am I to judge?).

Fantasia is basically a farce that ‘borrows’ elements from a number of Hollywood blockbusters, primarily the Harry Potter films with the occasional reference to others like Jurassic Park. In typical Hong Kong style, it is completely over the top with enough ham and insanity to feed an asylum for the criminal and burly lupine – aka Big Bad Wolves. Get it? No? Well good because it was a stupid joke and of the caliber that Fantasia is littered with. So many punchlines just fell dead that you just had to cringe and wish they would stop.

Alas stop it would not. That’s not to say the occasional joke hit it’s mark but so much of the movie was simply puerile and pointless. In fact the funniest part of the movie may very well have been trying to watch Gillian Chung (one of the Twins) contorting her fact trying to look evil. Unfortunately the rest of the cast plod on through their scenes showing little beyond their schticks, on a script that goes absolutely nowhere. The costumes are quite cool in their retro-ness with Afro’s aplenty and the one major musical number wasn’t too bad with Louis Koo at the mike though the one brief impromptu musical number from our favourite Canto-pop stars of the moment, the Twins, was just inane and will leave you stunned.

All up Fantasia is a pretty unfulfilling experience with plots that go nowhere and jokes that leave you cringing. Like an experienced drunken tightrope walker, it tries to balance the fine line between bad and silly, too often stumbling over the side of bad but never quite enough for us to see the spectacle of him falling to his death.

4 Cameos from the Rest of the HK Community out of 10.
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