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CJ7

From crude to cute
By PETER KEOUGH  |  March 19, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars
CJ7_2_inside
NO E.T. But cute.

Since the ’80s and E.T. and the Gremlins, gross-out humor, special effects, and sentimentality have combined to seduce younger audiences. Stephen Chow, who showed genuine originality in Kung Fu Hustle (2004), makes a clumsy botch of that formula here. Chow plays a poor laborer who sacrifices all to put his son Dicky (Xu Jiao — a girl) through a private school. Dicky’s not so bright, however, and he’s a target for bullies, so he demands that dad get him an expensive gizmo with which to impress his tormentors. Dad instead gives him a dingy ball he found in the trash — and that turns out to be a space dog lost by a passing UFO, a kind of alien Hello Kitty. Dicky dreams that his new pal will grant his wish for retribution and unearned success. Instead, he has to settle for a fusillade of poops and a lesson in self-sacrifice. Chow lurches from crude to cute with mixed success, never fulfilling the film’s moments of genuine feeling or madcap absurdity. Mandarin | 86 minutes | Kendall Square
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