Pat Coston Movie Reviews

Friday, January 05, 2007

Cicak Man. This is a Malaysian Movie about a super hero who reminds me of Spiderman. He does not shoot a web but he can climb walls like a Gecko (small lizard) which is what Cicak translates to.

If you're from the US you're probably thinking Cicak is pronounced Kikak but this is Malaysia pronunciation and they say chee-chu. The letter C in Malaysian is pronounced Ch, the letter i is pronounced "ee" and if the word ends in K the K is often silent except in a word like Klinik.

The plot involves cloning and there are some jokes about DVD piracy (so I've read, cuz they spoke Malay and I only speak English) which makes this YouTube clip funny cuz someone recorded the TV commercial by filming their TV and uploaded it to YouTube ... more cloning/piracy. Gotta love Malaysia!

I read on Wikipedia that this movie is the first Malaysian big budget comedy-superhero movie and features almost 40% CGI footage. I didn't realize they used so much CGI until the credits when they showed how they did some of the scenes. I was really fooled and thought the backgrounds were real.

This background is CGI. The actors walked down the street which merely a blue screen.

Speaking of the credits, here they were showing how they did the cool special F/X and everyone in the theater walked out! I suspect it was because it was a theater full of 12 to 13 year old Malaysian boys with their mothers and the mom's had no interest. What a shame because I'm sitting their alone as the ushers are cleaning up around me watching the tricks to each scene. They saved a TON of money using CGI obviously.

Here in Malaysia, Geckos are everywhere! They are in people's homes crawling around and people don't care. If you saw a Gecko climbing up your wall in the US you'd freak! But homes in Malaysia are more open to nature so they live with bugs and animals in the house like its no big deal.

I remember when I first stepped off the plane in Malaysia they took me to a Thai restaurant and as I'm eating my spicy yet delicious Tom Yam for the first time I noticed a Gecko climbing on the wall. Thinking I had spotted something really interesting I got all excited and pointed at the moment it crawled behind a picture frame. I'm sitting at the table with Kelly, a few of her sisters and her mom and I'm pretty sure they all thought I was crazy for seeing things that weren't there. Nobody spoke good English and I was calling it a lizard and since their English was limited they had no idea what I was talking about.

I went to see this movie with Kelly but it had no sub-titles and was in Malay so neither of us understood what anyone was saying which is a shame because the audience broke out laughing a lot so I didn't get 90% of the jokes. Kelly eventually got bored and fell asleep. I let her sleep and when she woke up I told her it's OK if she wants to leave and go shopping and I'd meet her later so she left and hooked up with some friends.

The way our hero gets his super powers is that he works in this lab and their doing experiments with Geckos and one of them escapes and falls into his coffee which he proceeds to drink even though it tastes funky. I wondered how drinking Gecko flavored coffee would give you super powers but what I didn't know is that the Gecko was infected with some new experimental virus.

The Gecko the climbed atop his coffee cup and fell in was CGI. That was semi-obvious to me at least. The fake part was when the Gecko fell in. A Gecko would never fall in. Those things can run across ceilings upside down. First of all a Gecko wouldn't climb atop a coffee cup because it would be too hot but even if it did, there's no way a Gecko can lose its balance and just fall into coffee. Apparently the Gecko vaporized when he hit the coffee since a cloud of steam arose from the cup and he drank all of his coffee and there was no Gecko.

I was not the only one who thought the dissolving Gecko was rather odd. Check out this web site where he criticizes the science in the movie. This movie was targeted for a wide audience and it succeeded which is one of the reasons it broke records on opening day but its main audience is boys ages 10 to 15 who wouldn't have a problem with the science because they don't yet understand about the difference between a light microscope and an electron microscope. Adults would react "what the hell!" but kids would react "cool!" and this movie is really for kids so leave your brain at the door.

Unlike Spiderman this superhero is a total goof-ball. His costume reminded me of Daredevil's costume. I'm not sure what the plot was but it had something to do with cloning. They would capture important people and clone them with people they could control. But the copies had problems. They were not perfect copies.

I suspect the twin gangsters was a single man who was cloned.

Our hero lives in Metrofulus which is obviously a rip-off of Superman's Metropolis. This movie did steal from Batman, Daredevil, Spiderman, Superman and probably a dozen other superheroes so there's not much originality here besides the fact that he has Gecko-Power.

Strangely enough I could not find Cicak Man in I would think this movie deserves to be listed since it is a landmark film.

Malay-wood is improving but still has a long way before it can compete with Hollywood, Bollywood and Hong Kong movies.


Anonymous Frances said...

Wow, so Malaysia now has a Spiderman of their own. They could probably toss off their Spider-man costumes now to be replaced with Cicac costumes instead.

12:52 AM  

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