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Chinese language cinema

Film review: Kidnap Ding Ding Don - racist, sexist rubbish from Wilson Chin

Appalling script, shameful sexual dynamics, an actress playing a foreign domestic helper in blackface - this latest in a long line of moronic Hong Kong comedies is an indictment of its director’s lack of judgment

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 21 June, 2016, 6:39pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 21 June, 2016, 6:39pm

1/5 stars

Since Stephen Chow Sing-chi stopped dishing out his mo lei tau wisdom to cinema audiences, Hong Kong comedies mistaking moronic behaviour for humour have been a dime a dozen. Kidnap Ding Ding Don is just that kind of film, a travesty which numbs the brain with its inane jokes and shameful sexual dynamics (women should watch soccer with their boyfriends, the heroine learns in one scene).

The film is directed by Wilson Chin Kwok-wai, known for the softcore rom-com Lan Kwai Fong trilogy (2011-13) and its Taiwan-set variation, One Night in Taipei (2015), but not for any sophisticated taste. While the former TVB producer may be commended for his new film’s positive message – to treasure one’s family members despite their flaws – he’s doing it with an appallingly inept script.

When Alex Fong Lik-sun’s gullible character wakes up in a Sai Kung house with a bad head injury, a faulty memory and a quirky young woman, Ding Ding (Ivana Wong Yuen-chi), tied to a chair next to him, he not only believes her when she says he kidnapped her, but agrees to become her minion for an indefinite period in a childish blackmailing plot to gain her estranged father’s attention.

Alongside the central romance, the film struggles to make a party of their intrusive neighbours, among them two housewives drooling over Fong’s abs, a flight attendant all too eager to seduce him, and an Indonesian maid played in “blackface” make-up by Emily Kwan Bo-wai. That Chin can get away with such casual racism is an indictment of his lack of judgment – and of anyone who indulges him by watching this film.

Kidnap Ding Ding Don opens on June 23

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