Friday, 23 February 2018

“Never Say Die”, a Chinese movie replete with Pinoy sensibilities

By Archie Liao

A lot of films have already been made on “body swap”.

Actually, it has become a popular theme in comedy, fantasy and science fiction films. 

Most of them are fun to watch while some offer deeper metaphysical insights. 

In this formula, an adult suddenly finds himself trading places with a child or a virile macho unwittingly switching bodies with a voluptuous woman by a curse, a wish or an unexplained phenomenon, of course, with endless comic possibilities. 

But what makes the Chinese movie “Never Say Die” different from other ‘body swap’ movies done is that it is replete with Pinoy sensibilities. 

Viewers can gain a lot of perspective by walking in someone else’s shoes and hence develop a more profound empathy and understanding of human nature. 

“Never Say Die,” the body-swapping sports comedy film that has broken box-office records in China, is set to conquer the Philippines this February. 

Topbilled by Chinese superstars Ai Lun and Ma Li and directed by Song Yang and Zhang Chiyu, the movie is adapted from a popular stage comedy of the same title. 

During its release in China last year, it became the highest-grossing single-market comedy according to The Hollywood Reporter, beating comedy blockbusters “Meet The Fockers”, “Hangover”, “Night at the Museum” and “Kung Fu Yoga”, among others. It tells the story of Ai Disheng (Ai Lun), a mixed-martial arts fighter and Ma Xiao (Ma Li), a high-profile female journalist, who mysteriously switch bodies after an accidental kiss charged with electricity by the strike of a lightning. 

How they manage to cope with the complications is worth the watch. “Never Say Die” is acquired by businessman Walter Co, who brought the film versions of hit anime series “Ghost Fighter” and “Dragon Ball Z” to the Philippines. He has also brought hit Asian films such as “Lover’s Concerto,” “Initial D,” and “The Banquet” to the country. 

The laugh-out loud comedy roars in cinemas nationwide on February 28.

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