A new movie directed by and starring Jay Chou is a major event. A hitmaker, singer, actor, director, actor, and producer, Chou has sold more than 30 million albums across Asia and won over 350 awards for his work, but he’s best known in the West for co-starring with Seth Rogen in Michel Gondry’s THE GREEN HORNET (2011). But the reason we’re showing his new movie isn’t because it’s a Jay Chou movie. We’re showing THE ROOFTOP because it’s an all-singing, all-dancing, musical martial arts movie with technicoloured production numbers and massive kung fu fight scenes. Put on your goggles, folks. This one’s an eyeball exploder!
Shot in Taiwan, Beijing, and Shanghai, Chou’s second movie is a romance/action/musical extravaganza starring Jay Chou himself, Eric Tsang (IP MAN: THE FINAL FIGHT), Wang Xueqi (REIGN OF ASSASSINS, BODYGUARDS & ASSASSINS, IRON MAN 3), and Alan Ko (DIN TAO: LEADER OF THE PARADE). Set in a brightly coloured, super-stylized fantasy world, THE ROOFTOP is about two communities: one lives on the rooftops and are poor, but they spend all their time singing and dancing in tightly choreographed numbers. The other group lives down below, less happy but far richer and more powerful. With a ’50s fabulous production design featuring switchblade knives, greaser pompadours, glitzy bowling alleys, and glittering night markets, as well as dancing chorus lines of wheelchair-bound men and their nurses, giant gangster rumbles, and massive production numbers, this is the kind of flick that combines ENTER THE DRAGON and WEST SIDE STORY into a glittering confection of candy-colored pop power.
Chou says that his movie is “a musical action movie, (where) love is the main axis, combining fantasy, romance, dancing, action, special effects and many other elements,” and he wrote the ten songs on the soundtrack. But we think it sounds better when he says, “It’s not easy fighting and singing at the same time.”
— New York Asian Film Festival