Magic Boy

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 08 November, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 08 November, 2007, 12:00am

Starring: Chui Tin-you, Kate Yeung Kei, Anjo Leung Hiu-fung

Director: Adam Wong Sau-ping

Category: I (Cantonese)

Magic Boy's credits reveal that the film's producers hired acclaimed local magician Harry Wong as a consultant (who has a small part in the movie). However, audiences will probably curse director Adam Wong Sau-ping and his mentor, producer Eric Tsang Chi-wai, for not signing up a reality consultant as well. While the film is loaded with fancy imagery, it proves to be a distraction.

The film starts on a whimsical note when Magic Boy's major protagonist, Leggo (newcomer Anjo Leung), finds himself besotted with Wing (Kate Yeung) who he meets during a street concert performed by Hei (Chui Tin-you, formerly of pop duo Shine). However, the 21st-century material girl feels that boys these days 'are either puerile or perverts'. And rather than engaging in an exciting battle of the sexes with Hei and Leggo, she, too, swiftly becomes enamoured with one of the boys and strikes up a warm friendship with the other. A bizarre love triangle ensues.

Adam Wong's previous (debut) film, When Beckham Met Owen, contains as much visual gimmickry as Magic Boy, but what it possesses, and Magic Boy doesn't, is real and grounded characters. One could feel the joys and doubts of his prior film's two young, lovelorn footballers but, unfortunately, lying beneath Magic Boy's dreamy, glittering sheen is a gaping emotional void. In addition, the cast are left with the onerous job of coming up with solid performances despite being placed in the most contrived situations and given a weak script. Chui and Leung can only offer superficial caricatures of the serious, uppity artist and the bumbling fool they are asked to play, while Yeung - despite her best efforts - is unable to make her character credible, let alone likeable. At the end of the day, this is an extremely shallow movie devoid of any magic.

Magic Boy opens today