The hype around Crazy Rich Asians has been nothing short of, well, crazy. It wasn’t just for the fact that this was an all Asian cast but also that it was a good film. Now that the hype has subsided somewhat, OC Movie Reviews takes a look.
John M Chu is better known as the director of sequels, having been behind the camera for GI Joe Retaliation and both Step Up 2 and Now You See Me 2, to say Crazy Rich Asians is different than what he’s done before is an understatement.
Taking the script penned by Peter Chiarelli (“Now You See Me 2”, “The Proposal”) and Adele Lim (“Lethal Weapon (TV)”, “Life On Mars (TV)”), who in turn based it on the book by Kevin Kwan, Chu throws us into a riot of colour, brashness and stern motherhood.
Crazy Rich Asians is an absolute joy to behold, it zings and pops from the screen, there are characters galore, none of whom feel shoehorned in or misplaced, you watch with a smile on your face and a tear in your eye when the romance hits. It is, in short, glorious.
Constance Wu (“Fresh Off The Boat (TV)”, “The Lego Ninjago Movie“) is Rachel, living a happy life in USA with her handsome boyfriend Nick, Henry Golding (“A Simple Favour”, “Monsoon”), who decides to invite her back to his home country of Singapore to attend his best friends wedding, and meet the family.
What Rachel doesn’t know however, is that Nick is a Young, he is the handsome, bachelor and next in line to take over the Young family dynasty which involves hotels, land, property and anything else you care to shake a Gucci stick at.
Rachel has no idea what she’s getting into as the women queue up to put her down and Nick’s mom Eleanor, Michelle Yeoh (“Star Trek: Discovery (TV)”, “Guardians Of The Galaxy Vol. 2“), is determined her son will not continue his relationship with this girl.
So far, so romantic movie, right? But Crazy Rich Asians brings so much more bling to the table. There’s a whole story involving Nicks sister Astrid, Gemma Chan (“Stratton“, “Humans (TV)”), and her husband, Rachel’s old school friend Peik, the very funny Awkwafina (“Ocean’s 8”, “Storks”), Ken Jeong (“The Hangover”, “Despicable Me 2”) as Peik’s father, Jimmy O. Yang (“Patriots Day”, “Silicon Valley (TV)”) as the loud, obnoxious friend, Ronny Chieng (“The Daily Show (TV)”, “Legally Brown (TV)”) as another loud, obnoxious family member and not forgetting Nico Santos (“Superstore (TV)”, “Nobody Walks In L.A.”) as the delightful man who can get anything and enjoys a good makeover.
There are plenty of stories to follow, plenty of back stories that get explored, characters have depth, have humour and are crazy.
Chu evens manages to find a way to make text messaging more exciting than the usual close-up of a screen or balloon that pops up, as he fills the early scenes with graphics, avatars, icons, memes and more to tell the story.
Sure, at its core Crazy Rich Asians is a love story with two people from different backgrounds overcoming adversity and winning, but it’s an absolute delight and it revels in telling this story whilst intertwining with this crazy, mixed up world.
14th September 2018
Jon M. Chu
THE QUICK SELL
This contemporary romantic comedy, based on a global bestseller, follows native New Yorker Rachel Chu to Singapore to meet her boyfriend's family.