Jeffrey Lau’s robotic love story, Metallic Attraction: Kung Fu Cyborg, is soon to be released in China. Begun as an oriental answer to the success of Michael Bay’s Transformers, it in fact appears to share only some moments of transformational CGI hustle, while exploring the line between biological humanity and artificial life, which may be crossed by love.
Earlier articles on the film can be read here.
Lau is renown for his ability to mix profound metaphysical and philosophical issues with the most bizarrely comedic strain of Chinese filmmaking — which gets pretty bizarre. At any rate, this film’s mix of giant robots, cyborgs, exaggerated comedy, full-on CGI action and sci-fi kung fu, all in a context that questions issues of identity and the nature of life — promises to be unique at the very least. After all, this is a film that can be promoted with a wide divergence of posters that range from the giant robot threat of the one at the beginning of this article to the comedy, romance and action-hero imagery of those following:
You can see more posters in the Gallery at the end of this article and here.
Synopsis (courtesy of TarsTarkas.net):
God created Man in his own image; Man creates robot in his own image. Just as man doubts God, does robot not doubt man?
In 2046, technological advancements keep improving human lives, as well as renewing their desires. So, robots, created to serve man, are born. The first generation AI android, K-1 (Alex Fong), has just been invented secretly at Tian An Science Lab, with the aim of carrying out dangerous tasks for the police, to safeguard the human law enforcers against injuries and deaths. To test its functionality, commissioner Lin Xiang stations him at a remote town for on job training, putting him under the charge of the local sheriff Xu Da Chun (Hu Jun), with his actual identity a closely guarded secret.
K-1 joins the police force under the assumed name De Ming, immediately cracking various cases effortlessly. With perfect socialising routines, De Ming becomes idolised by the townsfolk in no time, while female cop Su Mei (Sun Li) falls head over heels for him.
De Ming and Xu Da Chun are assigned to apprehend a runaway robot K-88 (Wu Jing), which is suspected to have errant AI. After a mind-blowing hi-tech battle involving aerial, underground chases and exchanges, as well as 72 transformations, the invincible K-88 explains his reason for escaping, “For freedom, not wanting to be a mere robot forever.” He even admonishes De Ming for being an electronic slave.
Meanwhile, assassination robots, under order to terminate any defectors, are arriving in the town…
So far a number of trailers for Metallic Attraction: Kung Fu Cyborg have appeared, each emphasising different aspects of the production (drama, sci-fi, comedy…). The latest gives a good idea of the eccentric CGI spectacle we can expect to see.
And then there’s the giant robots, which seem to be based on an aesthetic taken from ancient Chinese art and lore:
You can check out conceptual art for the various robots included in the film (such as those above) in the Gallery below.