A typical, and not unentertaining contemporary Chinese comedy of upwardly-mobile, city-dwelling, professional-class Chinese boy-men, dumbstruck by hot young women who are not their wives, with an unsubtle moral tacked on the end.
Surrounded by a crew played by so-called Little Fresh Meat actors along with his 34-year-old son, Jaycee, Chan winningly reprises the loose-limbed, high-spirited vibe of the Hong Kong "Lucky Stars" comedies of the ‘80s with charm if not a memorably balletic central performance.
Pretty people and prettier pictures are among the laudable assets in the pedigree and filigree of this gangster story set in Shanghai.
"Old Stone" (Lao Shi/老石), the debut feature by Chinese-Canadian director Johnny Ma, makes a kind of hybrid neorealist noir, something akin to the rising, ultra-unreal (chaohuan) sensibility, through the story of a hapless taxi driver, the titular Lao Shi, whose desire to act morally is at every turn thwarted by an inhuman system.
“This divisive film certainly falls into a similar Chinese New Wave groove thanks to its maddeningly riddle-like nature and strongly ambiguous atmosphere.”