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Should you watch 'Crazy Rich Asians'? The first verdicts are out

Should you watch 'Crazy Rich Asians'? The first verdicts are out

Rom-com of the summer

Text: Su Fen Tan


Image: Crazy Rich Asians

Before ‘Crazy Rich Asians’ hits our shores, see what the first viewers have to say about the most talked about movie of the summer

Come 22 August, we predict that cinemas will be swarmed by moviegoers as the film adaptation of Kevin Kwan's bestselling Crazy Rich Asians novel finally premieres here. Will it live up to the hype? Well, we suppose that is subjective, and is really up to us to decide when we watch it for ourselves—TBH, we'll watch it for Michelle Yeoh alone. But what did Hollywood film critics think of this landmark (in terms of casting, at the least) film? Read on to find out:

 

Warner Bros. delivers a fresh twist on the princess-movie formula

"Don't worry: Crazy Rich Asians won't bomb, and while it won't beat Black Panther either, the film is every bit as exciting in the way it takes an ethnic group that is seldom given more than one or two supporting roles per movie and populates an entire blockbuster with memorable, multidimensional Asian characters." - Peter Debruge, Variety

 

A flawed but vital milestone, 'Crazy Rich Asians' pays exuberant tribute to Singapore's 1%

"Images and ideas matter; so do sounds and smells, textures and politics. I can't remember the last time Hollywood produced a Cinderella fantasy with a mouth-watering foodie montage at an open-air hawker market, or a makeover sequence scored to a Cantopop cover of 'Material Girl.' These may be incidental pleasures, but they're no less significant than the movie's distinct emphasis on family, as we see when the Youngs gather to make dumplings together, in a scene that brings the central dramatic tension painfully to the fore." - Justin Chang, LA Times

 

'Crazy Rich Asians' serve up auspicious mix of romance, laughs

"Crazy Rich Asians understandably feels like an occasion - a big, colorful coming-out party for Asian (and especially Asian-American) talent. Set aside the cultural significance, though, and director Jon M. Chu has delivered a highly satisfying, decidedly old-fashioned romantic comedy, garnished with soapy elements and enough mouth-watering shots of food to inspire a big meal before or after." - Brian Lowry, CNN

 

'Crazy Rich Asians' is a joyful rom-com involving cultural identity and the power of love

"Along the way, the movie has a few things to say about cultural identity, the bonds of family and the power of love. Is it as good as the book? No. Did it make me happy? Though it loses some of the novel's satirical bite in its move to the big screen, Crazy Rich Asians - the movie - is a reminder of what a gift a joyful rom-com can be." - Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times

 

'Crazy Rich Asians' isn't quite crazy enough

"Jon M. Chu's film certainly delivers on the lavish trappings of the former interpretation, but if the latter is meant to be the mood of the film, it falls a little short. I wanted things to be a little crazier, I guess, wild high-society intrigue staged with the satisfying bite of mean, wicked satire." - Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

 

Deluxe confectionary that's sweet, not sticky

"Chu has put together a slick, highly entertaining package. Crazy Rich Asians is energised by infectious use of Brian Tyler's big, bouncy score and some terrific song choices, notably fun Cantopop versions of 'Material Girl' and 'Money (That's What I Want).' What makes it so genuinely uplifting, however, is the establishment of the central relationship as a union between partners determined to remain on equal footing, far more concerned with each other's mutual happiness than with all the wealth and luxury that stands between them." - David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter

 

'Crazy Rich Asians' is a joyful, vibrant and predictable comedy

"So is Crazy Rich Asians, the much-anticipated adaptation of Kevin Kwan's novel, worth its weight in gold? That's a yes on the opulent surface. The joyful confection is coated in a sparkly gloss, bright enough to gleam from the darkest, most cynical corner. Every decadent film frame deserves to be Instagrammed for posterity. But there's one 10-karat problem: The thinly drawn couple at the heart of this rom-com is economy class." - Mara Reinstein, US Magazine

 

Jon M. Chu's groundbreaking rom-com is a lush, loving, wildly entertaining ride

"Fans of Kwan's books will not be disappointed by Chu's adaptation, as Crazy Rich Asians lovingly brings to life some of the novel's standout scenes, even as Chiarelli and Lim's screenplay snips away subplots that detract from Rachel's journey. Some of those subplots are missed, including a deeper focus on Henry's cousin Astrid (Gemma Chan) and her own complex love life, along with the comedic relief provided by her brother Edison's (Ronny Chieng) obsession with money. And yet other standouts emerge, including the antics of Rachel's old friend Peik Lin (an always-uproarious Awkwafina) and her wild family (including Ken Jeong as her nutty dad)." - Kate Erbland, IndieWire

 

'Crazy Rich Asians' premieres in local cinemas on 22 August 2018.

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