HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Boss Level
My Heart Can't Beat Unless You Tell It To
Edge of the World
PTU
Superdeep
Insignificance
Treasure City
Piccadilly
Parallel
Invasión
Shiva Baby
Flowers of Shanghai
War and Peace
Agony
Merrily We Go to Hell
Ellie & Abbie (& Ellie's Dead Aunt)
Amusement Park, The
Lemebel
Hands of Orlac, The
Cats
Death has Blue Eyes
Caveat
Kala Azar
Duplicate
Flashback
Gunda
After Love
Earwig and the Witch
Zebra Girl
Skull: The Mask
Vanquish
Bank Job
Drunk Bus
Homewrecker
State Funeral
Army of the Dead
Initiation
Redoubt
Dinner in America
Death Will Come and Shall Have Your Eyes
   
 
Newest Articles
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
Hong Kong Dreamin': World of Wong Kar Wai on Blu-ray
Buckle Your Swash: The Devil-Ship Pirates on Blu-ray
Way of the Exploding Fist: One Armed Boxer on Blu-ray
A Lot of Growing Up to Do: Fast Times at Ridgemont High on Blu-ray
Oh My Godard: Masculin Feminin on Blu-ray
Let Us Play: Play for Today Volume 2 on Blu-ray
Before The Matrix, There was Johnny Mnemonic: on Digital
More Than Mad Science: Karloff at Columbia on Blu-ray
Indian Summer: The Darjeeling Limited on Blu-ray
3 from 1950s Hollyweird: Dr. T, Mankind and Plan 9
Meiko Kaji's Girl Gangs: Stray Cat Rock on Arrow
Having a Wild Weekend: Catch Us If You Can on Blu-ray
The Drifters: Star Lucie Bourdeu Interview
Meiko Kaji Behind Bars: Female Prisoner Scorpion on Arrow
The Horror of the Soviets: Viy on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Tarka the Otter and The Belstone Fox
Network Double Bills: All Night Long and Ballad in Blue
Chew Him Up and Spit Him Out: Romeo is Bleeding on Blu-ray
British Body Snatchers: They Came from Beyond Space on Blu-ray
Bzzzt: Pulse on Blu-ray
The Tombs Will Be Their Cities: Demons and Demons 2 on Arrow
Somebody Killed Her Husband: Charade on Blu-ray
Network Double Bills: Maroc 7 and Invasion
   
 
  Adventurous Treasure Island Fat brat in Neverland
Year: 1996
Director: Herman Yau, Ha Sau-Hin
Stars: Kok Siu-Man, Sik Siu-Lung, Ng Man Tat, Ng Ga-Lok, Vivian Hsu, Jackson Lau Hok-Yin, Fang Fang, Wong Yat Fei, Emily Kwan, Shing Fui-On
Genre: Comedy, Martial Arts, Fantasy, AdventureBuy from Amazon
Rating:  3 (from 1 vote)
Review: Obnoxious fat brat Chu Si Ting (Kok Siu-Man) is so hyperactive and annoying even his family can't stand him, although the plot implies his gambling addict mom (Fang Fang) and dad (Ng Man Tat) should be nicer. He is also bullied at school both by his peers and his long-suffering teacher (Emily Kwan), though that might be because he accused her of fellating the principal. Ting seeks solace from his troubles by playing video-games at which he is quite adept. One night he discovers a strange glowing game cartridge floating in Hong Kong harbour. As soon as Ting plugs the game into his console water bursts forth from his TV set before he and his science geek older brother Si Man (Ng Ga-Lok) are sucked into a madcap multicoloured fantasy island. Beautiful beach babe Siu Sin (Vivian Hsu) saves Man from drowning while Ting bounces into Siu-Lone (Sik Siu-Lung), a flying boy with supernatural kung fu skills locked in battle with dastardly pirate Captain Hook (Jackson Lau Hok-Yin).

Chubby child actor Kok Siu-Man, martial arts prodigy Sik Siu-Lung and teen idol Vivian Hsu found stardom with Shaolin Popeye (1994), Taiwanese schlockmeister Chu Yen Ping's kung fu kiddie comedy which was a smash hit across Asia spawning several sequels and imitators. Seeking to get in on the children's film market, cinematographer turned Category III sleaze-meister Herman Yau reunited the Popeye gang for this silly, slapdash juvenile adventure. Adventurous Treasure Island proved the first of several family friendly outings that gradually drew the director of dubious fare like Ebola Syndrome (1995) and The Untold Story (1993) down the path towards mainstream respectability with a run of dramas, romantic comedies and acclaimed period films such as The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake (2011). Everyone knows Hong Kong cinema is pretty shameless when it comes to recycling Hollywood hits – though in recent years, that trend has reversed – but often those influences manifest in eccentric ways. Hence, Adventurous Treasure Island lifts its title from a certain Robert Louis Stevenson novel, steals a set-up from Tron (1982) but co-opts plot motifs from Hook (1991). In fact Yau goes so far as to re-stage several key scenes from the Steven Spielberg film with Si Man costumed to resemble Robin Williams' hapless Peter Banning and Siu-Lone an obvious, albeit charmless, stand-in for J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan. And Captain Hook is of course, Captain Hook.

As happens in Hook the plot centres on a neglected child who ends up with a band of fun-loving pirates as a foster family, unaware he is being duped. Captain Hook has little trouble in convincing dim little Ting he is the good guy in this scenario. Whereupon the portly tyke ends up using his frankly ill-defined videogame talents to give Hook the upper hand in his war against Siu-Lone. The film's chief liability is the shrill performance of Kok Siu-Man who renders Ting an uncommonly unsympathetic victim of bullying and neglect. Whether siding with the pirates or belatedly allying with the good guys, he shrieks, whines and generally enjoys bossing everyone around. Eventually the entire Chu family end up imprisoned in the game but Ting's parents' tearful apologies soon lapse into an argument over who behaved worse as the brat goads mom and dad into beating each other up. On the opposite end of the spectrum, Sik Siu-Lung is a remarkably gifted martial artist but no great shakes as an actor. His glowering, one-note character proves no more engaging. Only Vivian Hsu emerges a fairly sweet, likeable character though even she gets bogged down in a shrill romance with the annoying Si Man.

Co-directing with Ha Sau-Hin, who made the women-in-a-haunted prison trash favourite Jail House Eros (1991), Yau gives the film a lively, engaging colour palette with ingenious set design and lighting making the most out of the low budget. However the film is swamped in a sickly selection of saccharine Cantopop tunes that play non-stop throughout and often drown out the admittedly inane dialogue. Yuen Bun choreographed the wire fu action which although regrettably sparse is fairly decent particularly towards the chaotic climax. The film also sets some kind of perverse record for most gratuitous use of the word “bastard” in a kids' movie.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 3506 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Enoch Sneed
  Desbris M
Andrew Pragasam
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
  Sdfadf Rtfgsdf
   

 

Last Updated: