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I Not Stupid Too

Singaporean writer-director-thesp Jack Neo capitalizes on the success of his 2002 laffer with "I Not Stupid Too" an overdue -- and overlong -- sequel. Proselytizing pic favors child protags over insular and stubborn adults, but loses its comedic rhythm as it rams each lesson home. Pic did terrific local biz when released in January.

With:
With: Jack Neo, Xiang Yun, Shawn Lee, Ashley Leong, Huang Yi-liang, Joshua Ang.

Singaporean writer-director-thesp Jack Neo capitalizes on the success of his 2002 laffer, and its spin-off tube series, with “I Not Stupid Too” an overdue — and overlong — sequel. Proselytizing pic favors child protags over insular and stubborn adults, but loses its comedic rhythm as it rams each lesson home. Like its predecessor, pic did terrific local biz when released in January. The first entry had some charm that seduced other territories, but sequel’s overwhelming preachiness will hinder its ability to prevail elsewhere.

Unrelated to previous yarn except thematically, sequel introduces Jerry (newcomer Ashley Leong), an 8-year-old whose learning difficulties partially stem from his inability to get the attention of his middle-class parents (Neo, Xiang Yun). While Jerry struggles to invite his bickering mom and dad to his school play, working-class teen Cheng Cai (Joshua Ang, one of several child thesps from “I Not Stupid”) falls in with a street gang after experiencing more violent parental difficulties. Ongoing hectoring about loving children is well-intentioned, but a push toward serious drama is unconvincing. Perfs have an endearing quality and tech credits do the job.

I Not Stupid Too

Singapore

Production: A MediaCorp Raintree Pictures presentation, in association with Scorpio East Pictures, Celestial Pictures, J Team production. (International sales: MediaCorp Raintree Pictures, Singapore.) Produced by Chan Pui-yin, Seah Saw-yam. Executive producer, Daniel Yun. Directed by Jack Neo. Screenplay, Neo, Rebecca Leow.

Crew: Camera (color), Andy Lam; editor, Jordan Kay; music, Li Yi, Redwan Ali, Mo Ju-li; art director, Ringo Fung. Reviewed at Hong Kong Film Festival, April 8, 2006. Mandarin, Singlish dialogue. Running time: 129 MIN.

With: With: Jack Neo, Xiang Yun, Shawn Lee, Ashley Leong, Huang Yi-liang, Joshua Ang.

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