The New King of Comedy 新喜劇之王 (2019) - China / Hong Kong
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
In a crowded lunar Chinese New Year market, Stephen Chow directed and scripted “TheNew King of Comedy” rises to the occasion in delivering a great example of how to make a highly engaging, filled with laughter and tears type of required comedy for the holiday masses. Chow wins again in reminiscing his former glories, simpler rags to riches story of hope, dreams and persistent all within Chow’s formula that made his films so successful for so long. To call this a return to form will be an understatement as this is easily Chow most enjoyable film in years.
E Jingwen stars as the Cecilia Cheung’s clone of the original is absolutely spot on casting as the originally village girl with big dreams of becoming an actresses against all odds. It’s the same story and there is the predictability elements throughout, but the characters, the dialogue and everything from start to finish manages to engage the audience in the manner that only Stephen Chow can do. Jingwen’s parents are wonderful as the rough yet supportive parents. Wang Baoqiang is excellent as the has-been fading actor that comes back to life through a “virtual” incident. It is ultimately E Jingwen that truly engages with the audience as we laugh, cry and embraces with her enduring display.
All in all, “The New King of Comedy” is easily Chow’s best effort in years as he goes the simpler route that made his 90s films such a crowd pleasing experience. Despite the Mainland production tag, the Hong Kong release works extremely well as the Cantonese dubbing cast does a wonderful job in bringing the wordplay and entertainment across. Despite no longer making Hong Kong cinema, Chow is still have a lot of tricks in the bag and it’s undoubtedly that his talent translate through every crucial moment. As for the winner of the 2019 lunar new year film crown, it’s a easy victory.
I rated it 9/10