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Master Q 2001
Chinese: 老夫子
Potato and Master Q comin' at ya!
Year: 2001
Director: Herman Yau Lai-To
Producer: Tsui Hark
Cast: Nicholas Tse Ting-Fung, Cecilia Cheung Pak-Chi, Helena Law Lan, Michael Chan Wai-Man, Alfred Cheung Kin-Ting, Wong Chak, Hui Siu-Hung, Tats Lau Yi-Tat, Ng Chi-Hung, Law Koon-Lan, Shut Mei-Yee, Emily Kwan Bo-Wai, Joe Junior, Samuel Leung Cheuk-Moon, Lai Yiu-Cheung, Lam Suet, Lam Chi-Sin, Joe Lee Yiu-Ming, Candy Hau Woon-Ling
The Skinny: Impressive computer animation aside, this hybrid live-action/animated comedy isn't much to write home about. It might be more fun for long-time fans of the comic strip Lo Fu Ji.
by Kozo:

The long in-production film version of the classic comic strip Lo Fu Ji finally arrives with all the pomp and circumstance of your usual Tsui Hark mega blockbuster. The big selling point here is not the pairing of white hot "It" kids Nicholas Tse and Cecilia Cheung, but the nifty computer animation used to bring Lo Fu Ji (or Master Q) and buddy Potato to life. The results are admirable. The computer models of Master Q, Potato and Mr. Chun look terrific and blend with the live-action footage decently. The whole thing isn't as polished as an American production, but that's to be expected with the obvious budget differences. Like the animated version of Chinese Ghost Story, what Tsui Hark and company have done here is impressive stuff.

If only the movie matched up. It modernizes the Master Q formula by making the characters out of work, like old actors in need of new jobs. Then we get an out-of-nowhere plot about Fung (Nicholas Tse) and Miss Cheung (Cecilia Cheung), two young lovers who lose their memories thanks to Master Q and fumble around for ninety minutes until they get back together. Meanwhile, gangster Kam (Chan Wai-Man) tries to get on Fung's good side because he believes Fung will one day be Chief of Police. Miss Cheung hangs with Potato and Master Q until all the plot threads come together, which involves chases and musical numbers in a high school.

What all this means is anybody's guess. The name cast and animated characters enliven the proceedings, but the loose, uninteresting plot only serves to distract. It'd be great if everything funneled towards a definite point, but as it is the movie just plods along expecting us to be entertained and enchanted by animated toons in a live-action world. That proves okay - for a while. Once that novelty wears off, there really isn't anything left to hold our interest. Director Herman Yau has assembled a fine body of work, but Master Q 2001 doesn't play to his strengths as a director. He works better with more subtle, edgier material and guiding Master Q and Potato through their numerous pratfalls doesn't really qualify. (Kozo 2001)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
image courtesy of Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen