Stephen Chow, noted comedian/director whose filmography includes Shaolin Soccer (2001), Kung fu Hustle (2004), and now CJ7 gives us a futuristic ET-like film which is suitable for the whole family. As with the previous films, CGI is not spared but not overdone. With the star of the film being completely CGI generated, the cuteness factor depends upon how likeable and loveable CJ7 is. Very energetic, reminiscent of a Saturday morning cartoon, CJ7 begins with Stephen Chow and his young son, Dicky (played by a girl, Jiao Xu).
As a family, they are a poor family and mom has since passed away, as a father, Ti must impart fatherly advice so that his son may grow up with integrity, and honor. Ti sacrifices meals and tolerates the diatribes from his demeaning boss (Chi Chung Lam) at the construction site. Ti does this, in order to have his son gain opportunities he didn’t have growing up and works himself to death.
Back in school, young Dicky is teased by his peers in the private school his father is paying an exorbitant amount of money for. Even his teachers are disgusted by his outward appearance: sneakers found in a dump, his grimy and disheveled appearance. But, inside Dicky exudes a kindhearted demeanor that has won the favor of another girl subject to ridicule.
When students in class have to reveal what they’d like to be when they get older, Dicky remarks that he’s like to be a poor person because of one’s integrity. When the coolest, hotshot kid in class shows off his new toy, CJ1, a small robot dog, he is the envy of everyone in class and Dicky begs to own the toy to no avail.
Dicky is then taken under the wing by another teacher, the caring Miss Yuen (Kitty Zhang Yugi) who wants to keep him on the straight and narrow. As the story progresses, UFO reports pop up around the area, not causing much of a stir as far as the locals ar concerned. One night while Ti is rummaging through the junk yard trying to locate Dicky new sneakers for class, he discovers greenish glowing ball. He takes the ball to his son and proclaims it’s better than CJ1.
As it happens, the alien comes to life and appearing to Dicky more like a dog, he dubs his new toy- CJ7. Dicky becomes a new sensation in class and his present circumstances turn around for the time being. CJ7 may not be ET, maybe “Mac and Me”, but has some humorous heartwarming moments which eventually warm you up to the picture. Hats off to newcomer Jiao Xu who plays Dicky, Jiao is adorably irresistible amongst the cast of characters Unfortunately, it’s too late. Not as slick styled as its predecessors, and only minutely moving, CJ7 only begins to emotionally involve you towards the closing credits.
Weak: 1 Star Average: 2 Stars Good: 3 Stars Very Good: 4 Stars Excellent: 5 Stars