ReviewWriter: Elaine EweWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“Shaolin Soccer” and “Kung Fu Hustle”
When there are scenes like protagonist Shi Duyao (Mark Lee) claiming that Petaling Street does not sell pirated goods, it pretty much sums up "Petaling Street Warriors". It is a movie where its strength lies in its ability to humour, rather than the plot.
If you are not a fan of sitcom comedies, chances are you would not enjoy "Petaling Street Warriors". The movie plays out like a long sitcom, with a bunch of characters going through different consecutive narratives. This is the sitcom for people who love sitcoms and wish that they were longer.
First, there is Shi Duyao, who lives an oppressed life with his wife, Zhung Lichun (Yeo Yann Yann) in Petaling Street. The colonial British government is not doing anything to help them while Chinese gangsters demand protection money at every turn. In addition, Duyao is not allowed to consummate his relationship with his wife although they have been married for two years.
Next, when Duyao decides to fight back against the Chinese gangsters, he meets a beautiful but mysterious kung-fu expert, Xiaoju (Chris Tong). She soon reveals that Duyao is a descendant of the missing Emperor Jianwen of the Ming Dynasty. Duyao is more than happy that such a beautiful woman is eager to be serving him, which prompts his wife's jealousy.
It is not long before the real villains arrive, and Duyao is forced to give up a treasure map even he is not aware he possesses in order to rescue his wife, who has been taken hostage. Lichun's cousin, Liu Kun (Namewee) and Wilson Ng (Sunny Pang) are there to help him, but against Ma Fuyi's (Frederick Lee) kung-fu skills, will they be enough?
When Malaysia tackles action films, the results usually turn out less than desirable, however, directors James Lee and Sampson Yuen have done a great job with "Petaling Street Warriors". The action scenes are fast-paced and slick, while seamlessly weaved in to the plot. There are definitely a few kinks here and there that jar the viewing experience, as well as plot holes as big as pot holes on Malaysian roads, but bear in mind that, this is a local movie after all.
As said earlier, Lee and Yuen's movie will get you, not by the beautifully choreographed scenes, the subpar soundtrack or the CGI, but by the well-timed jokes. Although the humour may be off-putting to some as it relies a lot on audiences knowing the cliches and current trends in Malaysia, such as the infamous Petaling Street, and there are moments when it descended into slapstick, but it is never redundant or rehashed.
Mark Lee is perfectly cast as the lead for he has a knack for delivering line after line of humour with the right expressions. However, it cannot yet be said about his capacity as an actor as a whole because he is often type-casted in movies, including "Petaling Street Warriors". The rest of the cast are also well-casted, such as Yeo Yann Yann who really showed her potential for drama and comedy here, but it is Namewee who shone as the misunderstood cousin. I found his acting to be believable and his character relatable.
On the whole, "Petaling Street Warriors" is definitely one of the better local movies out there. Yes, there are no real lessons to be learnt or themes to be considered here, but the entertainment value more than makes up for it.Cinema Online, 01 December 2011