Not content with just being a chop-socky princess, Ziyi Zhang has also tackled producing and playing a rom-com sweetheart. Her "Sophie's Revenge," which saw a limited U.S. run in 2009, proved such a box-office and critical hit in China that it has now spawned a new installment: "My Lucky Star," which finds Zhang reprising the Amélie Poulain-esque comic artist Sophie, who channels romantic longings through her very vivid imagination.
She wins a trip to Singapore, where she meets the secret agent of her dreams and comic panels, David (Wang Leehom). With this international man of mystery naturally comes a covert operation, but the love-struck Sophie constantly threatens to blow their cover.
It's tempting to characterize "My Lucky Star" as the Chinese knockoff of a high-concept Hollywood rom-com, one that could pass for the real thing if it weren't for the shoddy construction. Ironically, an American — Dennie Gordon of "Joe Dirt" and "What a Girl Wants" — was at the helm. (She didn't direct "Sophie's Revenge.")
The outrageous story is engaging, even if some of its hilarity is lost in subtitular translation. While the film does not lack production values and panache, Gordon's direction often seems thoughtless. Wang, the Taiwanese American pop singer who starred in Ang Lee's "Lust, Caution" and will make his Hollywood debut in Michael Mann's "Cyber," is about as uncharismatic as Keanu Reeves. Mercifully, Zhang is at her spunky best, even when playing the damsel in distress.
"My Lucky Star." No MPAA rating. Running time: 1 hour, 53 minutes. At AMC Atlantic Times Square 14, Monterey Park; AMC Puente Hills 20, City of Industry.
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