GIANT FISH (2020) short review

p2590614329In the fishing town of Guigang (not the real-life Guigang then), Gao (Ti Lung) has become rich by continuously catching highly-prized, very big fish, yet many of his fishing expeditions suffer mysterious human losses. And when a mysterious young woman (Fu Mengni) is found unconscious near the sea shore, dark secrets are about to be uncovered. It’s an intriguing premise, but one that director Yin Yue does very little with. There’s a few shades of Guillermo Del Toro, from the emotional approach to lovecraftian themes to the score aping composer’s Javier Navarrete work for the Mexican visionary. Unfortunately, apart from some beautiful maritime cinematography and a poignant, compelling performance by the great Ti Lung, whose venerable stature deserves so much better, there’s not much here that isn’t either bland (a central love story is so devoid of warmth, chemistry or tension that the young star-crossed lovers look more like distant neighbours) or ridiculous (the finale includes a man tearfully kissing a big fish). *1/2

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