Wait Till You're Older


There are certain films that simply bring out my inner demons – films so loathsomely banal that I need to rant like a mental patient who forgot his meds. This is such a film. Most postings and reviews that I have come across inexplicably seem to like this movie and I can only put this down to either our complete surrender to the current ineptitude of Hong Kong films resulting in such low expectations that anything that looks even remotely professional gets hurrahs – or the other possibility is that there is a surreptitious alien invasion happening and they are lobotomizing us one Hong Kong film fan at a time. We are like a legion of bleary-eyed Gollum’s croaking “oh my precious” as this film passes before our consciousness - because this is such a precious film – and oh so pretty and oh so brain dead.
It has the cold calculating heart of an adding machine (or even worse – a Republican) as it mixes in body parts of much better films like Tom Hank’s “Big”, “Back to the Future” or the Hong Kong film “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Father” in an attempt to reach into our wallets and take out our money. It retches of false sentimentality and smugness. It professes to teach us lessons in humility, friendship and family but is little more than a 90-minute glistening Hallmark card full of trite homilies sugared over for easy consumption. I am not sure why I felt so insulted by this film – it was like a sucker punch and I could picture the director, writer and producer giggling with one another at how gullible audiences were now – “just feed them treacle sentiment and watch them eat it up”. There is not an honest moment in this film – not an ounce of humanity – not a true emotion - just unadulterated crass commercialism to pull the poor saps in.
Kwong (Howard Sit Lap-yin) is a young extremely irritating boy who states at the beginning of the film that he hates his father (Felix Wong) for causing the death of his mother. So he spends his time torturing his step-mother (Karen Mok), wearing a grumpy expression like an old sock on his face and constantly running away from home. His parents try to be accommodating – as opposed to giving him a swift hard kick in the pants – but his anger can’t be soothed. He wants to become an adult as quickly as possible so that when he runs away they won’t be able to find him. He gets his wish. An old man has created a potion that makes trees grow overnight and Kwong steals it and inadvertently ingests it. The next morning he wakes up to find that he has become Mr. Cool – Andy Lau – a stud muffin in tight jeans – and not only that – but it also seemed to add astonishingly to his vocabulary and maturity – I know some people who could use this stuff – myself included!
Now that he is so smart he takes it upon himself to meddle in the lives of others – his hot teacher Miss Lee (Cherry Ying), his friend Bear and of course his parents. He hands out pieces of sage advice like “It’s not good to be in a love triangle” or “I don’t get adults treating love as a game” like stale fortune cookies and tries to patch up Miss Lee’s love life and Bear’s social standing. Of course, Miss Lee kind of falls for this comforting understanding man but apparently his hormones didn’t keep pace with the rest of his body because he tells her “I just want to chat some more” when she is clearly angling for something a little more physical. Only one problem – his growth spurt isn’t over – he continues to age at an incredible rate – I know the feeling – and he begins to ponder about the meaning of life and learns things about the past that make him rethink his hatred of his parents. It’s enough to give me hope for the whole darn human race. Sniff, sniff.
The cherry on this synthetic cake (other than Cherry Ying of course) is yet to come with an ending that is so absolutely deliriously hypocritical and demented that my mouth is still stuck in the gaping position. It’s an ending so astonishingly badly thought out by the writers that it made me wonder if I had dreamt the entire thing. Yes – it must be aliens. Also daring to show their faces in this tripe were Chapman To and Crystal Tin as the two cops, Gordon Lam as the Vice Principal and Nicola Cheung as the third wheel in that love triangle. Scrooge signing off.

My rating for this film: 5.0 (overly generous because any film with Cherry in it deserves at least some points and it’s almost Christmas!)