I am not a fan of foreign movies. It isn’t because I don’t think they are as good as American movies, it’s because I think their pacing, comedy and drama is so different than American movies that I have to suspend disbelief twice. I especially avoid Asian movies for the same reason, but a friend, and fellow filmmaker, GARO NIGGHOSIAN, introduced me to the work of STEPHEN CHOW. So when CHOW came up with “The Mermaid (2016)” I thought I would give it a look. After all, my daughter’s favorite movie, when she was a child, was “The Little Mermaid”.
What a pleasant surprise. It was billed as a comedy, and yes, there were plenty of comic elements, but there was also a very serious message and the climax will have you at the edge of your seats gripping the armrests in sheer suspense.
The story concerns a rich industrialist, Liu Xuan, who wants to develop an island paradise, which also happens to be the refuge of the last merpeople on Earth. The merpeople, led by a humanoid octopus, Show Lo, send a mermaid, Shan, to assassinate Xuan. Instead of ending Xuan’s life, she falls in love with him and he with her. But his partner, the beautiful Li Ruoclan, will not allow the development stopped and sends her soldiers to wipe out all of the merpeople. The confrontation is shattering.
The special effects, concerning the merpeople, are flawless. I cannot recommend this movie enough, fun, exciting and very poignant. It is the highest grossing movie in China and the second highest grossing movie on the international market, second only to “Deadpool”.