Ella Chen's big bad letdown
Barry C Chung
Ella Chen Chia-hwa of Taiwanese pop trio S.H.E. (the 'E' being Ella) has carved out a successful career as much for her music as her fiery personality. Bad Girls is Ella's first leading role, and it does little more than ride the wave of her off-screen fame.
The opening scene is creative, stylish and fun, with a tracking shot of teen A-Dan (Ella) mowing down a pile of baddies. That's just what she and her Bad Girls crew do. They defend the weak from low-life creeps who always happen to be guys. But after the opener, it's all down hill.
So once you know A-Dan hates all guys (except for her father), you pretty much know what's going to happen: girl meets boy, girl falls for boy, girl gets heart broken by boy, girl fixes things to reunite with boy.
The boy in question is Justin (Mike He), Asia's biggest star. One day he shows up at A-Dan's school to shoot a film. A-Dan lands a role and, of course, she's at first reluctant to accept. But she does and ... you know the rest.
Nothing develops properly, from the relationship between A-Dan and Justin, to her desire to study baking in France. (Imagine the Biebs giving up the stage to study carpentry in Europe. Like that's going to ever happen.) The characters' motivations are illogical and everything is overly contrived. Avoid this, and wait for Giddens Ko's next release. Even S.H.E. fans may have to agree.