ENTERTAINMENT / Review

Crazy Stone makes audiences laugh, Hollywood cry
By Vivien Wang (chinadaily.com.cn)
Updated: 2006-07-26 16:05

In the desert of big-budget Hollywood flicks that feature flying superheroes, Crazy Stone is an oasis.

Few of the actors are famous in this new movie, which surprisingly dominated the box office, including the 28-year-old director, Ning Hao. This low budget comedy beats most blockbusters - and other homemade films in fact - in terms of entertainment and intelligence. It's also pretty funny.

The film is co-produced by Warner China Film HG, Beijing-based Concord Creation International, and Hong Kong pop star Andy Lau's Focus Films.

Crazy Stone tells a story about a bunch of bumbling thieves who have their eyes set on stealing a precious Jade stone. But the mob and a zealous security guard hamper their plan.

The story itself can easily make you laugh by countless coincidences and an array of local dialects. One can feel dizzy following Superman rocketing around skyscrapers. Besides, it is hard to connect with a perfect specimen who isn't grounded in reality - or grounded in general. But audience members can chuckle and relax watching these three stooges mistakenly return the genuine jade and try all methods to steal the fake one.

All the jokes are subtle and perfectly crafted. This flick is enough to show that the director can entertain the masses, which can be rare in most mainland movies.

Reality sells here, but what really soars here is the use of dialects.

The actors in the movie use several different ones from Chongqing, Qingdao, and Hong Kong. This creates some of big laughs and a mix of local phrases: "I bump your lungs." "BMW means Bie Mo Wo ["don't touch me" in Chinese]." "You insulted my IQ."
The director also clones many classical scenes from other movies, which adds some inside jokes for movie buffs. The scene that includes the Hong Kong thief stealing the jade from the ceiling while he wears a tight black outfit will remind one of Tom Cruise in Mission: Impossible I. There is also some homage paid to Andy Lau's Run Out of Time.

With a good plot, fresh actors, subtle coincidences and classical scenes, Crazy Stone adds up to an enjoyable surprise this summer - heck, some movies don't even posses one. No wonder Crazy Stone laughed all the way to the top of the box office.