A comedy about a poor laborer father (Stephen Chow) and his young son. When a fascinating and strange new pet enters their lives, they learn a poignant lesson about the true nature of family and the things money can't buy.
Although Stephen Chow received top billing for CJ7, the real stars of CJ7 were actually the youngster Xu Jiao and the computer generated alien dog CJ7. While these two “actual stars” were impressive enough to carry this film, a good plotline, barrel of laughs and Stephen Chow presence was sorely missed. Fans of Stephen Chow should also take note that this family orientated movie banks highly on the cutesy factor (the ooohs & ahhhs) and run low on the side splitting jokes that were a common affair on his previous two films.
"CJ7" is another animal entirely, a kid comedy by way of a knockabout "E.T." spoof, featuring a chirpy little Furby from outer space with a squishy green doll body apparently made of Flubber. Chow plays an overworked single dad who lives in an abandoned hovel furnished with castoffs scavenged from the local dump, which is where he digs up the alien. He thinks it's just a toy. His spirited young son, Dicky (Jiao Xu), discovers otherwise.
Chow's comedy jerks through some rather extreme shifts in tone. At its best, the cartoonish action is wacky and absurd -- as in Dicky's fantasy adventures with his magical alien buddy or the epic martial-arts showdowns of adolescent giants (were they raised on a diet of human growth hormones?) between classes. At other times, it's downright off-key: Father and son play Whack-A-Mole with the cockroaches skittering across the slum walls, and then swap insect guts in spirited high-fives. Ain't poverty grand?
When Dicky's good nature turns sour, he takes out his frustrations on his pliable little pet like it's a punching bag. Is it because Dad tends to discipline Dicky with a smack now and then? The slapstick battering brings a bad taste to the otherwise resilient physical humor and Chow's third act drops a harrowing trauma into the mix, fantasizing its way back out without blinking an eye.