Stefan Says So: Phua Chu Kang The Movie
It’s been a couple of years since we last saw Phua Chu Kang and his zany family on Singapore television, since he has since plied his trade up north in Malaysia with the television sitcom PCK Sdn Bhd.
Given that the production has significant Malaysian involvement, it’s no wonder that this film is set in Malaysia, so that the likes of his Singapore based brother Chu Beng and his family can be omitted from the storyline, with Ah Ma (Neo Swee Lin) travelling to KL instead to meet up with PCK (Gurmit Singh) and Rosie (Irene Ang) for more madcap adventures set in an old folks home where PCK’s Ah Gong (Singh again) is staying.
While a distinctly Malaysian-Singaporean production with the context of jokes that will amuse only 12 year olds and cannot travel outside of this region, there’s no denying the attempts that director Boris Boo had tried in adopting the Hong Kong comedic flavour of Mo Lei Tau here, although the deployment of tired jokes seen from other productions just seemed like a desperate homage.
The narrative flows skit-like, and also the influence of Jack Neo’s style of filmmaking – blatantly obvious product placement, the use of Hokkien swear words and almost always ending with “the moral of the story is…”, does make this film seem like another shot in the dark at trying to replicate what is deemed as box office success within these parts.
PCK The Movie may appeal to local audiences just because of his absence from the local telly, but this absence certainly doesn’t make the heart grow fonder, especially when it’s only mildly funny (thanks to the Ah Kong character) and relies on many juvenile jokes that tried too hard to elicit laughter. There’s seriously no brains in this one as it’s filled with only play-play material, so save your money rather than to plonk it down as an excuse for the fervour of National Day to watch something local.
You can read my review of Phua Chu Kang The Movie at movieXclusive.com.