Crazy Rich Asians – A DJ Mo Movie Review
Tuesday, August 14th, 2018
The following is my own personal opinion about “Crazy Rich Asians“, & does not represent the views & expressions of any other person.
Thankfully, I was able to get pre-screening tickets & saw this movie about a week before it’s scheduled to release. I have made this review as general as possible to possibly avoid spoiling the movie for others who have not seen it yet, but I wanted to write it, because I want people to go out & see this movie.
So proceed at your own risk by scrolling down below the image.
This review may contain spoilers!
“‘Crazy Rich Asians’ is keen & culturally legit.” – DJ Mo
The beginning scene sets the audience up perfectly for the rest of the movie & takes us back to the times when being Asian was looked down upon from the white folks. The outcome of this particular scene had the audience clapping in victory when the tables have turned in an unexpected manner. It was brilliant!
Constance Wu delivers her role well being Rachel Chu, the girlfriend of an unknowingly rich & famous star in Singapore, Nick Young, played by Henry Golding, who is also one of the obvious eye candies for the ladies in this romantic comedy. There is perception that the most unattractive race as a man is Asian, but “Crazy Rich Asians” shows otherwise.
There is truth in representation that Asians need in popular American media today that they’ve never really had since “Joy Luck Club“, which was about 25 years ago. Being an Asian-American man, I have questioned why there aren’t many movies like this that doesn’t show an Asian performing any martial arts or working at an Asian restaurant. This movie breaks this perception fairly well, as it is culturally legit in how many Asian families behave toward each other, whether they are filthy rich, Asian, or neither.
It is true that we Asians have pretty strict parents who ultimately wants the best for us & to keep the Asian culture alive for generations to come. There is definitely pressure from our parents to marry and/or date “the right person”, whether you are of Asian decent or not. This particular movie only portrays Asians who have almost unlimited wealth, which is not so believable, but entertaining to see how Rachel adjusts to a lifestyle that everyone always have goals to achieve & dream about. Gold diggers beware. Most Asians aren’t really this rich.
It is a positive thing that this is an all-Asian cast. However, I do believe that there should be a portrayal of Asians in American culture about the trials & tribulations of daily life that is somewhat portrayed in “Fresh Off The Boat“, an ABC sitcom about a Chinese family adjusting to American life in Orlando, FL. “Crazy Rich Asians” takes us outside of that & portrays Asians having to deal with the same drama & romance as Americans, but the addition of Asian heritage, atmosphere, & beliefs is what makes it unique from the rest. Although it is not directly spoken, it is definitely implied. So if you see this movie & don’t understand why there is drama in certain situations, I suggest that you study a little about Asian culture before you make any judgement at all.
The character who really shines in this movie is the awkward best friend of Rachel’s, Goh, played by YouTube star Awkwafina. She delivers in-your-face & off-the-wall comedy & keeps it pretty real throughout the movie. There is a light-hearted atmosphere in this particular movie that “Joy Luck Club” did not have 25 years ago, which was one of the many things that I liked about this movie. I’m a sucker for rom-coms, so this movie definitely impressed me. Another recognizable actor in this movie is Ken Jeong (star of “Dr. Ken“) who plays the father of the wacky Goh family.
There is a lot of mixture in Chinese dialects within “Crazy Rich Asians“. I recognized that both Mandarin & Cantonese is spoken & not always provided with English translation or captions, so those who don’t understand either language might have a difficult time understanding some of the little things that happen throughout the movie, especially in the background. Once the movie comes out on digital, Bluray, or DVD, closed captioning can help the non-Chinese language viewer understand a little more of the many things that happen around the central point of some scenes.
The most critical scene would probably have to be the one where Rachel plays mahjong with the mother-in-law. Every single move they both make with their mahjong tiles matches with their dialogue. If you know how to play mahjong, this will probably be the next most brilliant scene for you in the entire movie, besides the opening scene.
The soundtrack is definitely to be admired. There are a few classic Chinese gems that I know that my parents will recognize. One song that I immediately recognized from my childhood was Sally Yeh’s “200 Du“, a Cantonese pop cover of Madonna’s “Material Girl” circa 1985. If the opening scene did not win me over, this addition to genuine Chinese pop music that Americans don’t usually hear is a delight to my eardrums. Time will tell whether the next legit Asian-American blockbuster movie will contain George Lam’s “Y.M.C.A.” or even Sam Hui’s interpretation of rock & roll oldies classics. It would be a great introduction to the old school Cantopop scene!
I’m not sure if the giant bold letters showing where the setting takes place in different scenes was necessary. The same font is used in the logo. Many other movies, if any, does not have such a large font to represent where the next scene will take place. I found this to be out of the ordinary, but this is me being a little nitpicky. Besides this, the colorful representation of every city in this movie is breathtaking, especially Singapore!
Overall, the movie was very enjoyable, entertaining, laughable, relatable, & well respected due to the representation & cultural display that is not seen anywhere else to the American (and possibly worldwide) audience. It was very keen & culturally legit. My girlfriend says this movie is the “Black Panther” for Asian people. I hope you enjoyed this cringeworthy review of “Crazy Rich Asians“. I also hope you check this movie out in anticipation, because I believe that this movie will probably be one of the best movies released in 2018!
DJ Mo’s Movie Rating: 9.0 / 10.0
“Crazy Rich Asians” opens this Friday, August 17th, 2018.