TAIWANESE movie Bad Girls paints a picture-perfect story of ordinary girl falling in love with Prince Charming. But it turns out to be a drama with mediocre acting and cheesy lines directed by first-time director Seven Wong.
(His next movie, Turtle Men, is about a deep-sea diving coach, who puts his love for marine biology above everything else.)
Bad Girls is about A-Dan (Ella Chen), an expert in martial arts. She and her girlfriends have vowed to put an end to all injustice.
When a film crew from Taipei arrives at her high school for a shoot, she meets the arrogant actor and teen idol, Justin (Mike He). Through a series of coincidences, she finds herself in the limelight, playing the female lead opposite Justin.
Shot in Taiwan’s Pingxi district with its famous Pingxi railway line and attractive landscape as backdrop, the movie scores high marks for its beautiful locations.
Then there’s Taiwan’s famous baker, Wu Pao-chun, who has won a host of prestigious international baking awards. He also makes a cameo appearance in the movie, playing himself.
Cheesy lines and dull acting aside, Bad Girls is saved by Chen’s performance, who single-handedly keeps the movie afloat.
She is a natural at portraying the bubbly but stubborn A-Dan but lacks chemistry with He. I had hoped for an electrifying, finger-snapping instant chemistry (like He and Hebe Tian of S.H.E. in the 2007 Taiwanese drama, Bull Fighting) but there was not even a spark between them.
One can’t help but wonder if Chen’s engagement to her then Malaysian boyfriend Alvin Lai (they are now married) created an invisible barrier between the actors.
Bad Girls is for fans of Chen and He. It is a feel-good movie with some good laughs and a happy ending.
BAD GIRLS (MANDARIN)
Directed by Seven Wong
Starring Ella Chen, Mike He, Jack Kao, Fang Zhiyou
Duration: 85 minutes