Hollywood Adventures full movie review - Surprisingly Fun and Funny!
This might be the model of things to come, where co-productions between China and the USA become more common in the years ahead. With no signs of slowing down, the China movie market is becoming a gold mine with investments soaring and talents merging.
As someone who speaks both English and Mandarin, I am surprised how tightly scripted the film was. The movie focused on the three leads and their banter is mostly in Mandarin but their interactions with people in LA were realistically done in doses of Mandarin and English. The plot is reasonable enough, and the subtle aspects of the three characters' lives do come into play with the plot as the film progresses. It is believable enough if one pays attention to what is revealed about the characters. For example, it's not hard to believe a car salesman can handle a car pretty well. The characters are revealed bit by bit as the plot progresses and though some parts are tongue-in-cheek, overall it still makes sense. Justin Lin's plot and pacing sensibilities are evident here, which is no surprise considering how he managed to take the Fast and Furious franchise into blockbuster status.
This film is just plain fun. Even if you don't speak Mandarin, just by glancing at the subtitles and watching the characters, it is easy to relate to their predicament. The film is light-hearted, and yet carries an emotional underpinning because the lead character's reason for his journey to the USA is to win back his girlfriend. There are numerous moments of movie references and it has bits of meta-humour, where the the characters in this film are referring to other characters as characters from other movies. Those bits are funny and not overdone. I won't spoil any of it here; you'd have to watch it to find out and it's really kinda funny.
This film really has action, comedy and romance combined. I don't agree with any critics who say the film doesn't blend those elements well together. Taken as a whole, the elements are accentuated in various points throughout the plot, but overall held together nicely because we recognize the sensibilities of what a movie is. And thus, in the ending narration, the line between film and real life seem to cheekily blur with some heartfelt emotion.
Highly recommended, especially if you get the chance to watch it. Currently no word on distribution in the USA. It was #1 at the box-office when it opened in China. With Justin Lin as producer and an all-American crew supporting the 3 famous Chinese actors, this film comes across with polish and panache.