Royal Tramp

Dir: Wong Jing
Star: Stephen Chow Sing-Chi, Cheung Man, Chingmy Yau, Sandra Ng

Let's be charitable and say a lot appears lost in tranlation here, perhaps down to dubious subtitles that frequently refer to the main bad guy as O'Brain. I think it should be O'Brian, but that poses more questions than it solves, since he's not remotely Irish. And why is the first thing in the closing credit a promo for Pepsi? It's not as if there can have been any product placement. If I seem to be digressing, it's in an effort to avoid talking about the plot, which largely revolves around Chow being mistaken for a eunuch in the Forbidden City. I'd like to say "hilarity ensues", except it doesn't, particularly in the first hour in which he gets deeply involved in uninteresting palace politics, with various sects struggling for control. Things perk up a bit later on, assisted by O'Brian/O'Brain (Elvis Tsui), who's a fabulous character and provokes the great line, "Shit! O'Brain is invincible. He knows how to shrink his penis", as well as things like Chow's bodyguards, two separated Siamese twins who reminded me of the girls from Mothra. Sadly, it's too little, too late, and my interest was on life-support by this point.


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