"PCK Private Ltd! Best in Singapore and JB, and some say Batam!"Phua Chu Kang
This is not a review.
I did not plan to write again until this weekend because I've still got a tonne of shit to do, but my commitment to the good of humanity necessitates that I relegate my more mundane chores to afterward. Word needs to get out and quick. Phua Chu Kang: The Movie is the worst, most soul-suckingly joyless piece of excrement I have ever seen in my entire life. It is made out of anti-entertainment, a substance new to science discovered by director Boris Boo, and it is an amalgam of orphan tears, terminal cancer and the still screaming souls of Hiroshima and Nagasaki.
It all started during a student presentation on orthopaedic short topics in campus today when Shaki leaned over and asked me if I wanted to catch a movie before dinner. Sure thing, I said, and we perused the movie schedule using his phone. We shortlisted Friedberg and Seltzer's Vampires Suck, that new Adam Sandler bromance comedy Grown Ups and Step Up 3D, a dance flick in genuine stereoscopic 3D! That exclamation mark was warranted, by the way. Then, because the stars were aligned in an apocalyptic constellation or something, I saw something else in the listing and went, "Hey, the Phua Chu Kang movie's out!"
And Shaki was like, let's totally check this out, can we make it in time? I was like, sure, sure, I'll drive real fast. I am shaking my head at that two guys now. If I have a time machine, I'd travel right back to that moment, look me in the eyes and knee myself in the balls hard several times.
We both remembered the sitcom to be actually kind of funny back when I still watch television (haven't done so in more than 5 years). Sure, it had brows lower than the hadopelagic zone but comedy about class clashes and racial sterotypes was still something of a novelty here in the Southeast Asian region when Phua Chu Kang Pte Ltd first aired (then, our favourite curly haired, yellow-booted Singaporean contractor and his wife moved to Malaysia in the spin-off series Phua Chu Kang Sdn Bhd but I have yet to see a single episode of that). The Movie is set in Kuala Lumpur, devoid of half the original core Singaporean cast. The Movie is also the Child of Satan.
About 5 minutes in, Shaki and I started talking about the movie between us because we can only go without entertainment for so long, and the only source of it available was ourselves. Don't worry because we saw it in the biggest theatre of the Malaccan GSC and the closest anyone else sat to us was like a bajillion seats away - there were 20 people max by my reckoning. So, why the fuck did this cheap small production affront to human dignity get to be shown on the biggest screen when what is essentially the best blockbuster of the year in both scale and creative talent, Inception, was projected on a tiny ass bed linen?! I knew the guy who ran the Malaccan GSC was an idiot even back when I worked part-time under him but c'mon, have some fucking business sense!
"Do you know that in the US, you can walk out of a movie and get a full refund if you do so in the first 15 minutes?" I told Shaki because I was seriously considering to do that. Let me put this in perspective: I watch about 2 to 3 films in the cinema per week and I've done so for years now - and never once, in all my life, have I ever hated a movie enough to want to leave it midway. Shaki and I would preferentially watch movies that we think are going to be crazy awesome or hilariously awful. Yes, we are two guys who would spend good money to watch bad movies because we are
"I can't believe I'm saying this but I wish we're watching a 3D dance flick right now," I said and we both laughed like jackasses in that very empty theatre, the first audible peals since the movie started. No one found it funny, not even our dependable Malaysian philistines who ensured that a Senario film gets made like every year since 1999.
When I say that I have seen high school skits better than Phua Chu Kang: The Movie, that's honestly not a hyperbole. There are slapstick gags and physical comedy moments that would appear lame in a kid's cartoon, I shit you not. Obnoxious musical cues pervade every scene. Something shocking about to happen? Scare chord! Wait-a-minute moments were punctuated by the sound of record needle scratches. The quote unquote touching parts had the most typical vanilla uplifting soundtrack to go with them. I was surprised there was not a laugh track to tell us when we are suppose to laugh because I sure as heck couldn't tell. The director also kept pulling amateur camera tricks as if he learned all he knew about film-making from watching bad YouTube videos. There were ridiculous sped-up chase scenes where the camera focuses on a single setpiece and people kept doing off-screen teleportation and popping out of ridiculous places - and at one point, it became all muddled and the pursuers became the ones being chased. Haha, hila-fucking-rious.
And dialogues? Let me give you a sampler. There's an exchange between two characters, the first calling the second a cheater and the second calling the first a thief. It got repeated ad nauseam till they got confused and the first one started calling the second a thief, and the second calling the first a cheater. That's it. That's the joke. It was funnier when Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck did it in 1950. They actually had a punchline then.
Was this film shot over a weekend? I can actually believe that because I don't remember hearing anything about it prior to a fortnight ago. It's apparent to me that Boris Boo doesn't watch movies at all because there's no fucking way anyone can be this clueless about what constitutes entertainment. There was an undisguised, non-satirical advertisement for Nippon Paint grafted right into the middle of the film, and the parts of the movie before and after that felt like they were made as an afterthought. You can cut that bit out and play it on television during ad-time and no one would be able to tell that it came from a movie.
Boris Boo is the Antichrist. I just feel like throwing that out there.
"I can make a better film," I said without irony as we exited our torture chamber. Shaki agreed, also unironically. We also discussed idly if we should find out where Boris Boo lives, sneak a decapitated pig's head into his bed and shit on his lawn. Because there should be such things as justice in this world.
Caught AIDS by watching this movie,
k0k s3n w4i