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Cicak Man (Review)

Cicak Man

Directed by Yusry Kru

Cicak Man is Malaysia’s first super-hero film and was the first Malaysian film I saw. It is not a straight film, but instead a comedy, something I was not aware of when I watched it. In viewing many films from around the world, one thing you notice is some comedy translates well, and some comedy dies a horrible death under your sink. Usually, the more talky comedy is the hardest to translate, but there is another type that is hard to pass, and that is the comedy of body language. Many comedians throughout the world have their own body language types, and it is often interesting to seen what different people see as goofy comedy. Saiful Apek is a popular comedian in Malaysian and does what I am guessing is his signature goofy style, but to many outside observers I can see how it would translate poorly into some annoying guy with spastic convulsions. I am going to admit it took me a while to get used to how he acted, especially since I thought he was just the wacky sidekick character as Yusry Kru plays the confident ladies man part really well. But Saiful Apek’s Hairi Yatim ends up getting the genetic alterations that turn him into Cicak Man (Gecko Man) and inherits all the problems that entails. And he did eventually grow on me, but this is not a film that will have wide crossover appeal or show the world the wonders of Malaysian cinema.

Super hero comedies are not a new thing in Southeast Asia, the Philippines puts out dozens of such films and Thailand has their own brand of goofy films. Cicak Man tried to be a bit more ambitious than the usual “some comedian gets wacky super powers” route and went for creating a distinct universe for Cicak Man to take place in. The setting is the city of Metrofulus, which looks to be a cross of Chicago and Metropolis, with some San Francisco thrown in for kicks. The weather is snowy, nothing like the tropical climate of Malaysia. The money there is called fulus. There is also taxes on everything. Nothing is free in Metrofulus, from riding the bus to walking on the sidewalk. It is some sort of Libertopia, except Libertopia is threatened (besides from the fact that Libertarianism is stupid) by an evil professor looking to make money off of the cures for diseases he also designs himself. Hey, it’s a free market, baby! Thus, Cicak Man must stop him before it is too late.

Hairi Yatim (Saiful Apek) – A jumpy guy, he likes Tania but is too nervous. He sort of acts like a Wayans brother. Afraid of rubber. Saiful Apek was born Mohd Saifulazam Mohamed Yusoff and is a famous comedian in Malaysia
Cicak Man (Saiful Apek) – Part man, part cicak, all cop. Or not. Cicak Man has the powers of a gecko, which means he can climb on walls and promotes Geico.”Down, Down and Away!” is a catchphrase.
Dannial Johan (Yusry Kru) – confident ladies man and Hairi’s best friend. Works in the lab with Hairi Yusry Kru is called KRU member Yusry in his director’s credit. His real name is Yusry Abd Halim, and he not only wrote and directed this film, but the sequel as well. He gets all the credit, and the blame.
Professor Klon (Aznil Nawawi) – Professor Klon speaks in third person and is doing a Jim Carrey Riddler impression. He has the satan’s horns hairstyle down pat. Professor Klon invents viruses and their cures, then releases the viruses on the city and makes money off of his patented cures. Then he is ready to take over the country by replacing ministers with his evil replicants.
Tania Ashraf (Fasha Sandha) – Klon’s secretary and object of Hairi’s desires. Fasha Sandha is a model and actress, as well as a best-selling novelist. The best part about looking up photos of her online was running across fundamentalist Islamic websites showing pictures of her in a tank top as proof of the moral rot destroying Malaysia. If that is the case, then destroy away! According to the scandal blogs, she is a homewrecker and got her current man Rizal Ashram Ramli after she stole him from his pregnant wife. Check out this gallery of her pictures!
Ginger 1 (Adlin Aman Ramlie) – The Gingers are mute, reddish versions of those albino rasta twins from The Matrix Reloaded. They are Professor Klon’s enforcers and thus enemies of Cicak Man.
Ginger 2 (AC Mizal) – Ginger 2 is just like Ginger 1, except he collects stamps. Important difference.
Evil Cicak Man (???) – All heroes need evil duplicates of themselves, it’s the law. Evil Cicak Man has a black costume, which you can probably thank Spiderman for.

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1 comment - What do you think?
Posted by Tars Tarkas - May 27, 2009 at 11:59 am

Categories: Movie Reviews, Ugly   Tags: , , , , , , , ,