I Ain’t ‘Fraid Of No…:Our Review of ‘Goldbuster’

Posted in Movies, VOD/iTunes/DigitalDownload by - April 03, 2018
I Ain’t ‘Fraid Of No…:Our Review of ‘Goldbuster’

Sandra Ng stars in her directorial debut Goldbuster as Ling, a woman defending a ragtag group of squatters from ghosts. She makes a unique character for herself, pushing the Chinese auntie archetype to its more colourful potential. Some of the rent free tenants have their fresh twists. One example is the cam girl (Jiao Junyan). She becomes a viral sensation because of her reaction towards the ghost. She’s one of the last few holdovers who live in her apartment complex. The movie sets it up beautifully, showing her building as newer ones surround it. Her building is itself a ghost that the modern greedy world is trying to exorcise. A literal exorcism is more like it. Too bad that what follows it is a cheap comedy involving characters going through contrivances that stretch plausibility.

The movie requires either a lot of suspension of disbelief or a self-awareness that most of it is fake. However, it doesn’t pull off either conceit. Ng and her writers also take too long to set up jokes and draw them out way too long. There are a lot of Yakety Sax-like chase scenes through the tenants’ apartment complex. Some characters include the inventors (Papi and Pan Binlong) who are a married version of Walter and Jesse. The movie also explores the characters’ back stories, breathing moments between gags. The rest of the iconography, however, seems too familiar for me to take it seriously. The ghost’s first apparition reminds me of the Lights Out short. The father and doctor (Zhang Yi) who thinks that the ghost is his wife is straight of out Nolan.

Ng tackles ghosts and zombies here. In doing so she is probably one of ten women of colour to touch horror. This counts, even if it’s a horror comedy. There’s also allegoric potential here as it shows said ghosts targeting citizens precariously living almost off-grid. Or exactly, it’s goons working for greedy real estate flippers who pretend to be ghosts targeting these characters. Sadly there’s no specific perspective here, as she also chooses to direct her actors to have loud performances. It’s hard to commend the commitment that the actors have in their roles. That’s all because of how they come across. I am considering that there’s a specific Chinese sub genre of comedy that goes for broke. This might not be the good entry point for neophytes to elicit interest for more.

  • Release Date: 4/03/2018
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While Paolo Kagaoan is not taking long walks in shrubbed areas, he occasionally watches movies and write about them. His credentials are as follows: he has a double major in English and Art History. This means that, for example, he will gush at the art direction in the Amityville house and will want to live there, which is a terrible idea because that house has ghosts. Follow him @paolokagaoan on Instagram but not while you're working.
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