Screened as part of NZIFF 2008
"This utterly beguiling foray into family comedy from Hong Kong director Stephen Chow (Kung Fu Hustle, Shaolin Soccer) may be the tribute to Spielberg's E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial the gleefully childlike filmmaker has had up his sleeve forever... Chow is goofy and hapless as a construction worker with nothing to his name but his pride, honesty and determination to keep his small son Dicky (played by the appealing 9-year-old actress [yes!] Xu Jiao) in the pricey private school where he's being bullied to death by fascistic little rich thugs with slicked-back hair and access to all the techno-gizmos their rich parents can buy. Ever a champion of the underdog and the handmade, Chow, whose own childhood poverty informs all his movies, conjures a savior out of a junkyard - a strange alien who looks like a newly-hatched chick with huge eyes, a flubbery green body, Charlie Chaplin moves and an unstable relationship to the martial arts. At first CJ7 appears to be the new pet that will establish Dicky as the coolest kid in school, but the bipolar little fellow has other ideas not dissimilar from those of his creator, whose method is (barely) controlled chaos and the sustained subversion of our every assumption... If CJ7 is a slapstick action picture that doffs its cap to children's delight in casual brutality, it's also a sweet-tempered and oddly beautiful piece of schmaltz that sends up its own populist family values without ever betraying them." — Ella Taylor, LA Weekly
Parental warning: when, in a tantrum, little Dicky wishes his father out of his life, fate takes a very dark turn indeed, but lessons are learned, order is restored - by extraterrestrial means.