Friday, July 27, 2012
The Gods Must Be Crazy 5: The Gods Must Be Funny in China (1994)
The movie starts off in China with a group (four guys and a gal, who they call 'aunt') of people jogging, and who else would jog ahead of them other than a certain native with a giant coke bottle on his back! The group is jogging as practice for a marathon competition to run all the way from the Great Wall of China to 'Si Chuan' (and the movie's subtitles say 'there're'. I feel so happy knowing that the person who wrote my only understanding of this movie barely knows English!). Along the route is a wildlife preserve, that has pandas (CUTEPANDASCUTE!!).
A competition thing starts off (no, I don't have a clear idea of what's happening here either), and Aunt and her group are missing one of the guys, so she goes with them for their act...an act which is a drag scene with the guys singing a song that sounds like they're singing the tune of Jingle Bells over different lyrics! Later, Auntie is walking around the street and sees N!xau, who she calls 'Mr Black'! He's talking to a bunch of kids about a bird (hey, N!xau is subtitled! That's a first) and when he leaves, Auntie goes on a long slapstick chase to catch up with 'Mr. Black', but fails. She later goes to a fairground and sees N!xau there at a presentation of some sort.
She negotiates with the presenter, Fatty, to let her use N!xau for the marathon, and he agrees once she decides to let him have part of the prize money. Later, Auntie introduces N!xau to the guys, in a scene with pretty mean humour.
The next day, the race starts, and up against N!xau and his team are Shaolin warrior guys, among others. After a cramped and cluttered start to the race (in short-exactly what you'd expect to happen if you make a sea of people race each-other in the Great Wall of China!), the race stretches far and wide, all through the countryside (dammit, I rhymed!). N!xau's's team go across a lake, through a forest, encounter wolves in the dead of night, and eventually get to the finish line for this leg of the race first.
Everyone is given day of rest. Later that night, at dinner, there are the shaolin guys fighting over the one morsel of food that their training regiment has allowed them, and they end up destroying a brick wall bare-handed!
Later, the next day, the race starts again, but sabotage is afoot when panda thieves switch some signs around, so no-one stumbles upon them at the nature reserve. The only group to head the direction of the preserve is N!xau and the guys (yeah, their names are never revealed). They stop when they see coffins poking out of the cliff by the side of the walkway on. One explains what they are (something about a village), but one is curious to the point where he rappels down to see what's inside the coffins. He fails and ends up knocking N!xau down.
The guys go to look for him, and N!xau, meanwhile, is safe down below, as he was caught up in some vines. Still tied up in vines, a panda approaches the stuck N!xau. N is scared at first, but instead of attacking N!xau, he busts a move with him! Right after, a local woman, Ginzi comes onto the scene. She's an owner of the panda, as well as several others. She takes N!xau back home with her to help him recuperate, and later find his teammates.
They arrive at Ginzi's panda filled home, and PANDAOPENSDOORWITHSTRRINGAAAAAAAWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!! Meanwhile, back at race headquarters, the police have been contacted via phone by the guys, and send out 'superdogs' to look for N!xau. Back at Ginzi's house, she and N!xau have dinner, and THEPANDASAREATTHEDINNERTABLESOCUTTEEEEEEEEEE!! The next day, the guys are found by N!xau and Ginzi. They rest, then set out for the race.
Ginzi and panda Ling Ling are netted by the panda thieves. Hearing her screams, the guys go back to rescue her. There's a massive fight (which involves a talking turtle!...um, yeah), but everyone is tranqualized and N!xau is incapacitated. Suddenly a talking monkey comes onto the scene, and knows who N!xau is! The monkey wakes N!xau up and explains who he is-the sorcerer Tai Shan in the body of a monkey N!xau encountered at some point before (or it is the fellow monkey, rather than a sorcerer-it's not clear). HUH?! And no, this isn't the wizard (Taoist monk actually, but he'd might as well be a wizard, with what he does) from TGMBC-3-although that would be an awesome bit of continuity!
After N!xau explains what's happened, the monkey does what Ron Burgundy's dog did at the end of Anchorman! Call dozens of different animals to build an army! Tigers, elephants and bears beat the hell out of the villains. And one guy screams 'indecent assault' as his clothes are shredded by one animal! All the bad guys are eventually taken down-the last few by the monkey, using kung fu while the theme to Once Upon a Time in China plays!
The film cuts to Auntie and Fatty (that's all they're ever called!), who are eating, then they start laughing, and the film trips out. They start laughing insanely, and the camera goes right up close to their faces, as they make crazy looks! Stop tripping acid, movie! The movie takes back normality, and the two trek on, until they encounter a group of 'natives' (the film calls them that, and they are, but you wouldn't know it from seeing what they wear!) and are kidnapped and put in boiling pots...
Ginzi and the guys arrive, and it turns out that Auntie and Fatty (*sigh* Do some Asian movies just not feel the need to ever name their characters?) ate poisonous fruits, and the natives are helping them.
and the chase is one to save the Ling Ling the panda from crazy-panda-guy...
The Gods Must Be Crazy 5 is a lot of fun! And it's different from the two movies that preceded it! If there's one thing the GMBC HK trio can claim, it's that they were all different! This particular entry is different in a very unexpected way! N!xau the naive, simple bushman actually understands everything now! He understands the city, he knows what cars are, he has a job, and he's back in China again!
That does lead to the movie's biggest problem. Does N!xau speak Chinese in this film? The film is inconsistent on whether people can understand N!xau. Sometimes it's because they know his !!! language, and others don't know what he's saying, and other times, everyone can understand him! Maybe it's a Cousin Itt deal...
Sure, the whole point of N!xau's character is that he's a simple bushman, but after four movies of the like, a change was welcome (not that I would have minded if he was still a simple bushman though).
Unlike GMBC-4, which was horrible dubbed, 5 is subtitled! But unfortunately, the subtitles came with the 1994 movie print! So that means that if there's a bright or white background at the bottom of the screen, the subtitles are unreadable!
Just like TGMBC-3, there's plenty of Engrish!: "Don't murmur even muscle cramped"-"What's the different?"-"What scare you?"-"We'll send whoever there to hell"-"Your wound is alright, but you've bleed a lot"-"Why don't you response?"-and there are a few misspellings here and there, like 'there're', and 'moom'.
The film's characters are fun, the villains stupid, and the main baddie is completely off his fucking rocker! Like in the scene at the end where he's on a motorcycle, dragging the panda (which is in the broken off cariage of another motorbike) behind him, through a crowd of joggers, screaming 'I like the panda! I like the panda!'!
As for the villain's defeat and capture...: Lesson learned-Do NOT steal a panda from China! The military will aim at least ten rifles at your face, with intent to blow you into tiny panda-thief chunks!
The film's best part is definitely the adorable pandas! PANDAS!
To conclude, the Hong Kong The Gods Must Be Crazy 'trilogy' are all lots of fun, and very varied! I do recommend them for fans of the first two, and everyone else too! These movies are very entertaining!