Review: Over My Dead Body

Directed by Ho Cheuk-Tin and written by Amy Chin Siu-Wai and Kong Hiu-yan, a group of residents experience a night of chaos and comedy after the nude body of a man appears and threatens to cause scandal and plunging property values. Starring: Teresa Mo, Ronald Cheng, Wong You-nam, Jennifer Yu, Edan Lui, Yeung Wai-lun, Lau Kong, Bonnie Wong, Jer Lau and Hanna Chan.

In many films, melodrama is not a good thing but in Over My Dead Body, it certainly is. Right from the start the film is delightfully over the top, it’s hyperactive and bubbly. It’s a quality that sticks with it all the way through to the end and it’s not an easy thing to keep going. It paces itself well, it’s continually adding to the story, deepening its misadventure. Amy Chin Siu-Wai and Kong Hiu-yan create a great bunch of characters, who all have that relentless energy in common, making them a tumultuous ragtag bunch but not enough that they begin to blend into one another. Although it can feel like it’s losing its way towards the end, pushing outside of its enclosed setting lessens the intrigue and it makes a few choices that feel odd, in the wrong way.

Ho Cheuk-Tin’s direction does a brilliant job of matching that effervescent energy, it’s vibrant and creative. It’s a shame that it’s occasional detour into loving homages to classic film aren’t more frequent, with there only being a few they can feel random rather than fully a part of the film. Outside of that, the film has a great feel of being contained, you can feel how trapped they are which helps to add a real suspense on top of all the hilarity and hijinks.

A huge part of its charm is the terrific cast that they’ve put together to embody such fun, entertaining and extra characters. They’re a strong ensemble and continue that feel through the entire film, each actor gets their moment to shine but none of them outshine each other. Teresa Mo kicks everything off with her fierce protective instincts, over the value of their home. She’s a veteran of this type of film and effortlessly gives a brilliant, funny and forthright performance. Lau Kong and Bonnie Wong also make a superb couple, initially making you feel like they’re the typical elderly couple but slowly revealing that they have so much more to offer. You could name something fun and charming about every single member of this cast, even the dog.

Over My Dead Body is fun, entertaining and absolutely bursting with energy and colour. It may not be able to keep its firm grasp on that energy right till the very end but it’s imaginative, enjoyable and perfectly over the top throughout. It’s filled with an excellent cast, it has a strong pacing and it inventively finds ways to cause even further troubles for its characters. It also throws in a few lovely nods to iconic cinema, it’s an easy watch and great mood booster.

Verdict: ✯✯✯½ | 7/10

In UK cinemas from 21 April

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