CJ7

A dirt-poor but decent single father (Stephen Chow) can’t afford the cool new toy coveted by his bratty son (Jiao Xu), so Dad goes rummaging at the town dump for a passable substitute—which turns out to be a computer-generatedly cute little alien from outer space. Mayhem ensues. Directed by Chow, of Kung Fu Hustle fame, and co-written by him and four other perpetrators, CJ7 throws back to vintage sappy Spielberg, but sorely lacks the kid-movie maestro’s story craft. And just when it starts to seem—by virtue of sheer weirdness alone—like an oh-why-not alternative to all the mugging pabulum Hollywood’s been force-feeding our children in more recent years, Chow goes and apes that pabulum with everything he’s got. The result is not easy to forgive.