NYAFF 2021: Our Review Of ‘Zero To Hero’

NYAFF 2021: Our Review Of ‘Zero To Hero’

Biopics can be tricky to make, in part because finding the right tone of the film can be difficult. Zero To Hero doesn’t have that problem however, even though it settles somewhere between comedy, family drama and underdog sports flick.

You are probably from Hong Kong, or are a big fan of the paralympics. So you haven’t heard of So Wa Wai (played here by Leung Chung-Hang). But first-time solo director Chi-Man Wan is out to change that. Zero to Hero takes you on a journey from So’s diagnosis of cerebral palsy as a baby, to how he learned how to stand up and walk for the first time when he was four-years old to discovering that he has the potential to be a world class runner when he was 13, to winning Hong Kong’s first ever gold medal at the paralympics and beyond. It’s not all fun and games for So though. And life frequently gets in his way, even after he’s become a hero in Hong Kong.

When it’s at its best, Zero to Hero tackles the difficulties some athletes around the world face. So’s family isn’t wealthy, and he has work when he’s not training for his next competition or filming commercials. While Wan shows these difficulties and hardships, he doesn’t let them bring the over all inspirational tone of the film down.

There is no doubt that Zero to Hero is an entertaining piece of work, but to make it truly spectacular it needs to settle on a genre, and weave the other elements in instead of trying to be everything to everyone all at once. Still, like any good biopic it makes you look up the subject afterwards to find out more about him. This means it’s succeeded in introducing you to someone special.

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While Roderick has only been writing movie reviews for a relatively short time, he's been a fan of film for as long as he can remember. It's a love affair that started when he saw Star Wars at a drive-in theatre in Kitchener when he was four years old. In the past decade he's fulfilled his dream of interviewing celebrities, attending red carpets events at festivals such as TIFF and writing reviews for outlets such as Realstylenetwork.com. He's always on the hunt for the next big thing to hit the screen.
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