Review: BEACH SPIKE 熱浪球愛戰 (2011) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 25 September 2011

Review: BEACH SPIKE 熱浪球愛戰 (2011)

Review: BEACH SPIKE 熱浪球愛戰 (2011)

BEACH SPIKE tells the story of two carefree and fun-going sexy cousins Sharon (Chrissie Chau) and Rachel (Theresa Fu) who likes to play beach volleyball in their spare time. But their childhood home at Pui Long Bay is about to suffer a major threat when their neighbourhood's wealthy family, Mrs Brewster (Candace Yu) and her three children Natalie (Jessica C), Natasha (Phoenix Valen) and Tim (Him Law), are about to redevelop the quiet beach community entirely. The Pui Long Bay residents are naturally very upset with the sudden decision, and it's up to Sharon and Rachel to stop them at all cost. When the girls lose a beach volleyball game miserably to Natalie and Natasha, they demand a rematch. But instead of just a mere game, both teams will enter a local volleyball tournament, in which the winners will determine the fate of the beach. Complicating the matters is Tim, who is unlike his ruthless sisters Natalie and Natasha, he has a soft tendency of sympathising the local residents at the Pui Long Bay. What's more, he also falls in love with Sharon when he first saved her from drowning at the sea. That anger both Natalie and Natasha, but Tim remains supportive for Sharon until he is willing to abandon his family for the sake of her. In the meantime, Sharon and Rachel have learned that they are no match for their better opponents of Natalie and Natasha. However, thanks to the help of their local martial art masters, Mr and Mrs To (Lo Meng, Sharon Yeung Pan-Pan), they soon mastered their beach volleyball-playing technique spiked with extraordinary kung fu skills to boost their credibility more than ever.

REVIEW: Beach, babes, bikinis and balls (I mean, volleyballs), BEACH SPIKE has it all. Rounding up is Chrissie Chau front and centre. So basically you will expect this sports movie is a fun, guilty-pleasure time killer. Unfortunately, this heavily-marketed Hong Kong movie is a huge disappointment, as BEACH SPIKE tries too hard to be everything at once but ultimately ends up short of expectations.

BEACH SPIKE is a movie with tonnes of problem all over the place. It tries hard to be SHAOLIN SOCCER of sorts where the action mixes beach volleyball with kung fu; a cute love story between Sharon and Tim; and a guilty-pleasure movie that focuses on Chrissie Chau, Jessica C and among other young girls (hence all the close-up shots of bums and cleavages). None of these elements actually works well against one and another.

Among the biggest problem is the underdeveloped, draggy and inconsistent screenplay written by Leong Monk Fung, Felix Chan and Tony Tang. For a movie that supposes to concentrate on the beach volleyball sports, director Tony Tang, an animator who made his first live-action feature, has little idea to make the genre as interesting as possible. Instead, everything here is annoyingly repetitive. The beach volleyball action sequences are nothing more than a series of slow-motion shots of balls pounding violently into girls' faces and other body parts as if the filmmakers want us to enjoy watching these beautiful girls being tortured. I admit it's fun to watch at first, but it gets tired after a while. Tang isn't much of an accomplished visual stylist, as the action offers little tension and lack of energetic moments needed for this kind of genre. Even worse, the supposedly obligatory training montage is sadly reduced to a bare minimum, although we do get to see Sharon and Rachel lion dancing in a paddy field and dragging heavy metal chains across the ocean floor (I kid you not), but it hardly matters anyway since those brief sequences are more of an afterthought.

Cast-wise, all the actors aren't much of a stretch. Despite the appearance of Chrissie Chau front and centre, she is disappointingly bland the way she acts her role, although you have to admit she comes up rather convincing as a carefree beach girl. The rest of the supporting actors, mainly on those cast of models and other pretty young things, are basically nothing more than promoting their good looks and sexy figures rather than showcasing their talents. As for the veteran actors, Lam Suet, Candace Yu, Lo Meng and Sharon Yeung Pan-Pan does offer some likeable supports, which is one of the movie's least saving graces.

Despite the sexy presence of Chrissie Chau and a potentially exciting premise about volleyball, BEACH SPIKE is sadly an underdeveloped sports comedy that can't even qualify as a guilty-pleasure entertainment.

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