Movies

Movie reviews: Champion, My Perfect You

CHAMPION (PG)

Rating: 3 stars

With the cliched storyline of an underdog-turned-winner, the winning ingredient of this Korean sports comedy is definitely its star Don Lee aka Ma Dong Seok .

Lee plays Mark, a disgraced arm wrestler who fights for the title of a national arm-wrestling tournament in Korea to redeem himself.

The physically imposing man, who grew up as an adoptee in America, is accompanied by his shady hustler friend (Kwon Yul) who reunites him with his biological family.

Lee, who starred in popular films such as 2016's Train To Busan, skilfully switches between rugged hooligan and gentle giant with a soft heart.

His compelling performance is enhanced by the chemistry he shares with child actors Choi Seung Hoon and Ok Ye Rin , who do a superb job at tugging heartstrings with their innocence and unwavering support of Mark.

However, the arm-wrestling sequences and training montages are fleeting, predictable and barely add depth to the film. The plot progression and scene transitions also feel abrupt at the end. - ANG TIAN TIAN

MY PERFECT YOU (PG)

Rating: 2 stars

My Perfect You is, ironically, rather imperfect, especially with its unnecessary twists and problematic relationships.

The Philippines rom-com sees a graphic designer (Gerald Anderson) leaving his hometown in a fury after a failed wedding proposal.

He crashes his car in the middle of nowhere and meets a resort owner (Miss Universe 2015 Pia Wurtzbach) who tries to heal his heartbreak and pain.

The main plot twist is bold, unconventional and even admirable, where veteran rom-com director Cathy Garcia-Molina tries to tackle very real problems.

But it also feels like a cop-out, making whatever brewing romance between the central couple inappropriate and hollow.

Shoehorning such an important topic into something as wacky as My Perfect You also seems like an odd decision that just does not stick.

Aesthetically, everything looks amazing, but even that feels out of place once the movie takes a more serious turn.

At the heart of it, My Perfect You has the potential to be an appealing and inspiring tale about second chances, but its twist replaces its charm with confusion. - RY-ANNE LIM

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