Let's Sing Along
I woke up feeling like a minivan had been practicing
parallel parking over my body while I slept - achy all over with a headache
that thudded like a bad Wong Jing joke. It was either the beginning of
the flu or because the night before I had finished watching Let’s Sing
Along. Not that I had really wanted to. I had begun it the previous day
and after 30 minutes I shut it down like a nuclear power plant on the verge
of going into meltdown, but picked it up again later out of some sort of
perverse curiosity. Could any film continue at that level of total irritation?
Would I begin twitching again? Would I break into hives on my legs again?
Amazingly, this film never let down – right to the end it was all I could
do to stop from throwing my shoes at the TV set.
To think that Milkyway has come from the near
poetic Zen like style of The Mission in which motion or the lack of motion
took on meaning to this film in which Dayo Wong screams “Whaaaats Up” like
a braying mule throughout and never stops acting the idiot. It almost reduces
me to tears to see how this film company has lowered its artistic standards
in a matter of a few years to gain more commercial success. I can almost
deal with the switch of focus from their sleek cinematic noir filled treats
to a more romantic comedy thrust - but Dayo Wong? Watching him hog the
screen is pure water torture – drip, drip drip until you want to stick
pins in your eyeballs for relief. He is like a rabid dog that needs to
be put to sleep. I know he has his fans, but my guess is that these same
people are on the far side of S&M relationships. A skin rash should
be named after him. Or a mental condition – as he has gone Dayo – meaning
he thinks he is really funny but he is only highly annoying.
So why did I watch this you might ask? Well first
of all I thought that was Jordan Chan underneath the afro on the cover
of the DVD and secondly it is about singing and also stars Anita Mui –
one of my favorite Hong Kong vocalists. Thus I expected to get at a minimum
a number of songs from Anita. Instead what we are subjected to is a vocal
warbling attack on the synapses from Dayo and only a small amount of singing
from Anita. In fact I was overall quite disappointed with the role assigned
to Anita – she basically plays a wallflower – inhibited, invisible – and
you keep waiting for Wonder Woman to make her appearance but it never really
Dayo thinks of himself as the King of Karaoke
while Anita is unable to sing in front of others to the point of puking
out her guts. They both work in the same office and she persuades Dayo
to take her on as his student so that she can enter a Karaoke contest to
show her ex-boyfriend (Chin Kar-lok) and to win some self-esteem. Dayo
has her walking through the streets of Hong Kong giving everyone a menacing
look and other training methods – such as putting on dark makeup and pretending
to be Thai. None of this struck me as the least bit amusing and on the
few occasions where it seemed it might be headed towards something resembling
comedy Dayo would unleash his lack of talent and the scene would be ruined.
When they begin developing feelings for one another I wanted to call up
the Consumer Complaint Hotline for fraud. This is a dreadful film and the
fact that it comes from Milkyway makes it feel like a hit and run accident.
Making appearances in this are also Hui Siu-hung
as their boss and Wong Yat Fei as a rival karaoke singer.
My rating for this film: 2.0
Reviewed by YTSL
Although I am not a particularly big fan of
Dayo Wong, I think it safe for me to vouchsafe that I am likely to be much
less negatively affected by the screen appearances of the main man of this
Matt Chow directed, produced and co-scripted (along with Lau Ho Leung)
work than Brian. Hence it being so that I actually enjoyed my viewing
of LET’S SING ALONG (as well as do think more highly of “Love Among the
Ruins” plus “Walk In” than brns.com’s webmaster). Similarly, while
I am not going to argue that this star powered fun diversion is the best
Milkyway Image movie out there, here’s also suggesting that neither is
it the worst offering of a company that many of its overseas fans can seem
to begrudge for having elected to produce their share of comedies as well
as crime dramas.
Additionally, instead of going along and naming
those that are my least favorite of this film making group’s works, here’s
more positively stating that LET’S SING ALONG is one of a trio of 2001
Milkyway Image movies -- along with “Wu Yen” and “Dance of a Dream” --
that makes me inclined to feel that this Johnnie To headed company’s first
choice leading lady ought to be Anita Mui (rather than Sammi Cheng).
In light of the older singer-actress being a lesser box office draw these
days than her “Wu Yen” co-star, however, this appears to be extremely unlikely.
After seeing how good the famously extroverted individual was at playing
a timid, “against type”, “Office Lady” role (plus milking laughs out of
such simple and/or silly situations as one that had Anita Mui being commanded
by Dayo Wong to stare down random as well as not so random passers-by out
on the street or those others that had her wallflower character exhibiting
major pre-singing-in-public jitters), more than a few folks might well
be inclined to agree with me that this state of affairs is one that is
quite unfortunate indeed.
My rating for this film: 6.