Monday, May 7, 2012

“GHOST BUDDIES” 《老友開心鬼》 Movie Review. This Crazy Pandemic Gathering of Absurd Souls.


Watch this film with an open mind.

You may either nod with agreement, or shake your head in disbelief.

It’s one of those “goosey goosey gander” times when the tiresome actor MARK LEE drags us into yet another of his mindless dark comedy.

You’ve heard that familiarity breeds contempt, and he’s now weaning himself thin with the extreme overexposure derived from his myriad of screen roles, television appearances and what have  you.

MARK LEE films can’t fail with his generous doses of his trademark grins and smirks, always ready to delve overboard to rib you with his goofy persona.

But you are lucky if you choose to get tickled pink by this one called “GHOST BUDDIES”.

Whatever the case, the overconfident Singapore actor MARK LEE has his coffers brimming with lucky cash and gleefully laughing his way to the bank. Let’s say that his mentor JACK NEO’s infamous downfall is MARK’s gain. He is taking over the throne as the King of meaningless slapsticks.

“GHOST BUDDIES” demonstrates what can really happen when your tap of creative ideas just runneth dry.

It extols one crazy yarn. You’ll have to suspend your disbelief to embark on this ride.

We need to thank Hong Kong film director SIMON SEK who directed this ridiculous mayhem. But he’s nowhere to be found during the press conference.

It’s an absurd much-ado-about-nothing tale about a crazy pandemonium of absurd souls.

Blame it on the bland script which tries hard to achieve cohesively, the most bizarre splatterings of Hokkien, Cantonese and Mandarin.

The end results is devoutly unfunny.

You don’t blame the pool of interesting talent played by the industry’s veterans such as LENNY OOI, WEE KHENG MING, LIM CHING MIAO, VIVIAN TOK, CHOW KEE MOO and KELVIN LEONG.

Singapore actor YAO WEN LONG joins in the riot to “fuel” the excitement.

Hong Kong’s TVB actress MAGGIE SHIU is roped in to dress this film with a regional appeal.

But unlike YEO YANN YANN who partnered MARK LEE successfully in a recent film “PETALING STREET WARRIORS”, there’s hardly any amiable chemistry between MAGGIE SHIU and dear MARK this time around.

With such an able cast, the cinematic treatment rendered by Hong Kong director SIMON PEK leaves much to be desired.

Let’s look at the synopsis:

Pearl (MAGGIE SHIU) and Ah Hui (MARK LEE) both work at a depressing funeral palour.

They are an unlikely couple.

She has a roving eye for handsome hunks whilst he is a simple nerd who holds a torch for her.

Then Ah Hui discovers that he has an uncanny ability to communicate with the dead through a couple of strange encounters.

Four ghosts suddenly appear to seek his help to fulfill their last wishes.

Ah Hui ropes in Pearl and together they go through various challenges to help the ghosts.

In doing so, a ghost-and-human friendship begins for the merry team.

Of course “GHOST BUDDIES” will worm  its way into the hearts and minds of  the silly Jacks and Jills who will trade guffaws and squeals at anything remotely funny. Not forgetting the kampungites.

“One man’s meat is another’s poison” is the rule here.

Go watch it if you are an avid fan of MARK LEE.


(Pictures kind courtesy of LOO YEW CHUNG)

Here’s LOOKING at YOU, folks.

“WE have a BETTER off-screen CHEMISTRY than ONSCREEN.”

“I am MARK LEE …… I am. So HEAR me ROAR!”

“GHOST BUDDIES” Movie Trailer


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