|Directed by||Stephen Chow|
|Produced by||Stephen Chow
|Written by||Stephen Chow
Sandy Shaw Lai-King
|Music by||Raymond Wong Ying-Wah|
|Edited by||Angie Lam, Kendall Murillo Montoya|
|Beijing Film Studio
China Film Group
|Distributed by||Columbia Pictures
Sony Pictures Classics
|Running time||88 minutes|
CJ7 (Chinese: 長江七號; Cantonese Yale: Cheung gong chat hou) is a 2008 Hong Kong-Chinese science fiction film co-written, co-produced, starring, and directed by Stephen Chow. It was released on 31 January 2008 in Hong Kong. It was also released on 14 March 2008 in the United States.
In August 2007 the film was given the title CJ7, a play on China's successful Shenzhou manned space missions—Shenzhou 5 and Shenzhou 6. It was previously known by a series of working titles—Alien, Yangtze River VII, Long River 7 and most notably, A Hope.
Chow Ti is a poor construction worker working on construction sites. He lives in a partially demolished house with his nine-year old son, Dicky. Chow is eager to save money so he can continue sending his son to private school. However, Dicky is often bullied by other children and his teacher at school, and he usually finds comfort with a young educator, Ms. Yuen. Dicky sometimes get into a fight at school and they were about to take a look at CJ7 at school.
One day, while at a department store, Dicky begs his father to buy him a popular robotic toy called CJ1. Chow cannot afford it, and the situation ends badly when Chow spanks the stubborn Dicky in front of other customers. Again, Dicky finds comfort in Ms. Yuen, who is passing by. That night, Chow visits the junkyard where he often picks up home appliances and clothes for Dicky. He finds a strange green orb and takes it home, telling Dicky that it is a new toy. Hesitant at first, Dicky agrees to keep it. The following evening, the green orb transforms into a cuddly alien creature that befriends Dicky. After playing with the alien, he names the alien "CJ7", and then falls asleep. He dreams that the alien will help him gain popularity and good grades at school. Dicky got stains on his school shirt and himself as CJ7 farted to him. The next day, the cleaners washed Dicky while his friends were having physical education. Dicky got a flying shoes which makes him go to the outer space. However his teacher, Ms. Yuen scolded Dicky for wearing his flying shoes to school. Later, Dicky put CJ7 into the dustbin and left school alone. Everyone went home after school except for Dicky. Dicky went back to school and found where is CJ7. Dicky ran on the road and he missed the school bus, the school bus left and Dicky was running on the road alone as CJ7 was gone. Later, while Dicky got back home, he discovered that CJ7 was gone and he was crying nonstop. However, when his father discovers that CJ7 has disappeared, Chow told him to keep quiet but he is crying nonstop. Later, while CJ7 returns, Dicky and his father played with CJ7 that evening. Chow hit CJ7 with the pan hardly until CJ7 became flat, then Dicky and his father were playing with CJ7. Dicky and his father fell asleep and CJ7 was turning on the fan. CJ7 turned on the fan and the fan blew at Dicky and his father until the next morning. The next morning, Dicky took his exam paper and showed his father his exam result. Dicky was ready for school and he took CJ7 to school. Dicky saw his friends and they were about to play with CJ7 and bully him. Dicky got into a fight at school because his friends were about to play with CJ7 and try to let CJ7 go. They were fighting until the teacher breaks up the fight. Dicky takes CJ7 to school, but he receives a zero on his exam and is humiliated during physical education. Frustrated, Dicky tries to dispose of the CJ7, but realises his mistake and later reconciles with it. The next day, because of his alien pet, Dicky begins to make new friends at school. Dicky has got a zero for his exam result, but he changed it into a hundred, then his father scolded him for lying about his bad exam result. Later, Dicky argued with Chow and he wants CJ7 to be inside his school bag to bring it to school. After Dicky argued with Chow, he refuses to talk to his father. However, when his father discovers that he lied about his bad exam result, Chow confiscates CJ7. The father and son fall out, so Dicky sticks close to Ms. Yuen, who promises she will look after him. This cheers Chow up somewhat, who fears he might lose his son's love. Dicky manages to pass another test with aid of Ms. Yuen, and is excited to show his father about this.
Chow was working on a skyscraper, his foot got entangled in a rope, so the other men helped to save him. When Ms. Yuen goes to Dicky's school, she saw the teacher and Chow got into an accident at work. After school, Ms. Yuen was talking to the principal and the supervisor in the general office while Dicky was looking at his exam paper. When Dicky and Ms. Yuen got back home, Dicky removed his school shoes. Ms. Yuen told Dicky the incident that Chow got into an accident at work. Dicky begin to cry as his father got into an accident at work. He was out of control as Ms. Yuen chased Dicky into his room and he was tired and he slept when crying. At 11 o clock in the night, the paramedics came to rescue Chow. The paramedics put him on a stretcher and then they put him on the stretcher in the ambulance. The ambulance took Chow to the nearest hospital. At midnight when Chow was at the hospital, he died in the hospital. At 3 o clock in the morning, CJ7 then sacrifices his life to revive Chow. Chow got back home from the hospital. Chow was sleeping with Dicky at 7 o clock in the morning.The next morning at forty-five minutes past 7, Dicky promises his father he will never give up school and fail his exams. Before Dicky got ready for his field trip, he was in school clothes and he was looking at his exam results. On the last day of school, the kids' field trip into a park where Dicky sees a UFO land nearby, from which run five hundred green and red aliens and the sacrificed CJ7. There were more green aliens than red aliens coming out of the UFO and the sacrificed CJ7 played with the five hundred aliens. The green aliens and red aliens were running around and catching the sacrificed CJ7. Dicky and his friends were playing at the playground at the park on the field trip while their teacher told them to stop playing in the playground as there were young children at the playground as they might get their school clothes with sand and mud. Chow and Ms. Yuen were at the park as they want to see Dicky playing in the playground with his friends as there were young children at the playground. After the kids' field trip. Chow, Ms. Yuen and Dicky left the park as they want to go home after the kids' field trip. They do not want to go back to school because they will go home immediately after the kids' field trip.
- Stephen Chow as Chow Ti
- Xu Jiao as Dicky Chow
- Kitty Zhang Yuqi as Ms. Yuen
- Lam Chi Chung as The Boss
- Lee Sheung Ching as Mr. Cao
- Huang Lei as Johnny
- Min Hun Fung as P.E. Teacher
As with the title CJ7, the earlier working titles, A Hope, Yangtze River VII, and Long River 7, referred to the Chinese manned space program. The mission of Shenzhou 6 was completed in 2006 and the real Shenzhou 7 successfully launched in September 2008. The film had a budget of US$20 million, and heavily uses CG effects. Xu Jiao, the child who plays Dicky, is in fact female. She had to cross-dress to be in the film.
References to Chow's other films are made during some scenes, particularly during Dicky's dream sequence. These references include Dicky using his super sneakers to kick a soccer ball into the goal, which subsequently collapses (referencing Shaolin Soccer) and Dicky flying into the sky with his sneakers, jumping from the head of an eagle, seeing CJ7's shape as a cloud and using the Buddha's Palm, (referencing Kung Fu Hustle). The scene where Johnny uses his ruler to catch a fly to break his teacher's spectacles and the girl uses her pencil case to break her teacher's spectacles. The scene where Dicky tosses away his glasses while they self-destruct is a reference to John Woo's Mission Impossible II and Dicky tosses away his glasses to break his teacher's new spectacles. On one of the DVD featurettes, Chow cites E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial and Doraemon as an influence on the film.
During its North American limited release, CJ7 received mixed reviews from critics. The review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reported that 51% of critics gave the film positive reviews, based on 73 reviews, much lower than Stephen Chow's previous films Shaolin Soccer (91%) and Kung Fu Hustle (90%). Metacritic reported the film had an average score of 46 out of 100, based on 18 reviews.
The film fared no better with local Hong Kong critics. Perry Lam of Muse gave a decidedly negative review of the film: 'We go to see a Stephen Chow movie for its great entertainment value and, occasionally, its terrific cinematic panache. We don't need to be told that we are morally superior because we don't have much money.'
Awards and nominations
- Won: Best New Performer (Xu Jiao)
- Nominated: Best Film
- Nominated: Best Supporting Actor (Stephen Chow)
- Nominated: Best Visual Effects (Eddy Wong, Victor Wong & Ken Law)
- "CJ7 (PG)". British Board of Film Classification. 30 May 2008. Retrieved 24 September 2012.
- "Cheung Gong 7 Hou". BFI Film & TV Database. London: =British Film Institute. Retrieved 11 January 2013.
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- CJ7 at Box Office Mojo
- "Stephen Chow's Movie 'A Hope' Changes Title". Asian Popcorn. 17 August 2007. Retrieved 31 August 2007.
- "Chow has "Hope" and plans to dance". Variety Asia Online. 11 January 2007. Retrieved 10 August 2007.
- Newsday article
- "CJ7 – Movie Reviews, Trailers, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on 16 June 2008. Retrieved 24 August 2008.
- "Shaolin Soccer Review – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 March 2008.
- "Kung Fu Hustle – Movie Reviews, Trailers, Pictures – Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved 7 March 2008.
- "CJ7 (2008): Reviews". Metacritic. Retrieved 14 March 2008.
- Lam, Perry (March 2008). "Stephen Chow's moment of truth". Muse Magazine (14): 102.
- Official Sony Pictures international site
- CJ7 at the Internet Movie Database
- CJ7 at AllMovie
- CJ7 at Box Office Mojo
- CJ7 at Rotten Tomatoes
- CJ7 at Metacritic
- Twitchfilm.net – A Hope
- CJ7 Review, Poster and Trailer