By Lim Yian Lu
Length: 102 minutes
Directors: Kevin Ko, Peter Tsi
Cast: Kai Ko, Ariel Lin, Wang Ta-lu, Vanness Wu
3.5 out of 5 stars
A Choo illustrates the love story between EJ (Kai Ko) and Hsin-Hsin (Ariel Lin). Set in a world with superheroes, many children became orphans when a fight between Flash (guest appearance by Louis Koo) and Dr Cube (Vanness Wu) went awry. EJ and Hsin-hsin, together with Yeh Chien-han (Ta-lu Wang), are among the children who end up in an orphanage.
Being the star of the orphanage, Hsin-hsin is popular among the kids. Hsin-hsin sneezes whenever she thinks of EJ – perhaps it is her “superpower”. Having grown up together through thick and thin, EJ and Chien-han are like family to Hsin-hsin. However, EJ fell in love with Hsin-hsin one fateful summer, and she then becomes his single most cherished soul in the world.
It all began when young Hsin-hsin told young EJ that she likes brave guys, generalising that “every girl likes brave guys.” In order to earn her love, EJ swore to be “the bravest guy” and devoted himself to become a boxer. With the help from the initially unwilling Flash, EJ went through hardship to develop his “superpower” — becoming “the man who could not be knocked out” in the boxing ring. However, as Dr Cube begins to threaten the life of Hsin-hsin, EJ will soon come to realise where his true superpower lies.
A Choo is not only written and produced by Giddens Ko — better known as Jiubadao, but also based on the novel of the same name by Jiubadao. Even if you have not heard of Jiubadao, you would have at least known these popular Taiwanese movies, also based on his novels: the 2011 award-winning You Are The Apple Of My Eye and 2014 rom-com Cafe. Waiting. Love.
In addition, A Choo boasts an attractive cast with Ariel Lin, best known for her role in 2005 Taiwanese drama It Started With A Kiss; Kai Ko, who won Best New Performer in the 48th Golden Horse Awards for his performance in You Are The Apple Of My Eye; and Wang Ta-lu, who rose to fame after starring in 2015 Taiwanese romance film Our Times. Taking on the role of the antagonist is Vanness Wu, who was a member of Taiwanese boyband F4 and has since found success in his solo career. To top it off, A Choo also has guest appearances by famous Hong Kong actor Louis Koo and the iconic Taiwanese TV host Hsu Nai-lin.
Although the film may seem cliched with its superhero theme, the idea of being impossible to be knocked out is thought-provoking. At one point, EJ was seen enduring hits through nine boxing rounds, not admitting defeat. In a way, to win is not to be the strongest, but to keep going on and climbing back up even after you have fallen down, which EJ is the epitome of.
With local theatres resuming operations, A Choo may not be the most anticipated film, but it is still entertaining to watch. Fans of Jiubadao should not miss this!
A Choo opens in cinemas on 23 July 2020 (Singapore).