Rated PG 2008

Hong Kong funnyman Stephen Chow skates into dangerous territory -– a fantasy moral parable for kids -– and emerges more or less unscathed, with his sweet story of a shy, threadbare schoolboy named Dicky (played by eight-year-old girl Xu Jiao) and the furry outer-space puppy who gives him self-esteem in a furiously capitalistic big city somewhere in China. The comic fight scenes are up to Chow standards (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer) and CJ7’s tricks are appropriately funny, but the best moments belong to Dicky and his day-laborer father (Chow), bonding in poor-but-honest glory in their hovel, like Charlie Chaplin crossed with Steven Spielberg. Could have been much worse. Chow directed and wrote, with five helpers (88 min.).



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