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Kill Mobile

Opening Date
10 Jan 2019
PG13 Some Sexual References
Mandarin with English & Chinese subtitles
Yu Miao
David Tong, Tian Yu, Ma Li, Huo Siyan, Qiao Shan, Dai LeLe, Ming Xi
Seven friends get together for dinner, and decided to play a game where they must share all messages and calls of their cell phones.Throughout the evening, chat messages, phone calls and APP notifications are coming out continuously. Hilarity and drama ensue together as everyone's secrets are unveiled and the seven friends find themselves more like strangers to each other.
By Say Peng  09 Jan 2019
An uninspired remake of the massively successful Italian comedy Perfect Strangers.
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The fourth remake of the popular 2016 Italian comedy ‘Perfect Strangers’, Kill Mobile’s premise remains the same: seven friends play a game where they must share all their incoming text messages and phone calls. The first remake, the Korean film ‘Intimate Strangers’, structures and stylised the film as a thriller. In this Chinese remake, the directorial debut of Yu Miao (writer of ‘Meteor Shower’), the film returns to its dramedy roots.

The film boasts a star-studded cast comprising Tong Dawei (‘American Dreams in China’), Ma Li (‘Never Say Die’), Huo Siyan (‘The Wasted Times’), Qiao Shan (‘Wu Kong’), Tian Yu (‘Legend of the Demon Cat’), Dai Lele (‘City of Rock’), and supermodel Ming Xi.

Unlike its predecessors, ‘Kill Mobile’ does not set up the backstories of the characters. Audiences who did not watch the previous two versions will have trouble at first differentiating who’s who. The plot largely follows the same storyline of the original Italian version. What’s different about this version is that the writers have decided to turn the film into a more substantial critique of today’s rampant mobile screen culture.

The performances are functionally decent, nothing to shout about. The script is a bit weak: the structural changes made to the original have not made the film better or more relevant for a Chinese audience. A lot of the film’s comedy fail to land on target, often missing the mark. The film’s direction and style are predominantly televisual; with its jumbled mass of dialogue, it feels like we are watching an episode of a TV series.

With such a great premise with great commercial potential, it is understandable that producers are eager to jump onboard for remake rights. But unless the filmmakers bring something new to the table, as the Koreans did with ‘Intimate Strangers’ in turning it into a thriller, remaking an already great film is a risky and unwise proposition.
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