A war between vampire-like demons against sorcerers who try to prevent these evils from entering the human world sounds like a fantastic topic for today’s young audience. However, “Metaphors in the City” might not be every youngster’s cup of tea, as it balances between mediocre and disaster.
The main protagonist (for the cast name see info below) is an orphan with no home, no car, no education, and no job. Most importantly, he is a pervert virgin guy who buys a magic bottle in which the God of Fire lives – or as he calls it ”Old Fart”. The God of Fire is as perverted as its owner. It’s a match. Accidentally, the main protagonist encounters “Double Ds Lin,” a sorceress trying to prevent demons from crossing into the human world and destroying it. Together, but with different purposes, they fight against these demons.
The film combines different styles, from animations that reveal the backstory, to special effects that entertain and make the film bearable. Having said this, the special effects are satisfactory and sustain the entire film, with the exception of the English title’s font and the ‘evil’ voice of the anti-hero (at least in the dubbed version). If it was not for these effects, the film would have been a complete disaster, as it lacks in multiple aspects. One of these aspects is the plot. The central problem occurs quickly, which makes unclear how the main protagonist is related to what is happening. The lack of character development feels as an appetizer that is supposed to be the main plate without any notice. The characters are there but they lack depth in order to fully understand and empathize with them. This void is slightly filled by the hilarious incompetence and lust of the main protagonist.
Unfortunately, the fighting/action scenes are quite disappointing, as the choreography is done too carefully, which creates an artificial look to it. Furthermore, when watching the film’s dubbed version, the voice-actors do not match the emphasis of the aimed acting. The laughs are fake and the energy that the main protagonist has is not reflected in his dubbed voice. If the voice-over would match, it would make his performance more amusing.
Besides the hilarious scenes and suitable acting, the pace of the film is not disturbing until the end. The film finishes suddenly and without warning, making a new opening for a sequel, which, based on the ending, seems to be the intention. On the technical part, such as editing and cinematography, the film does not jump to life, instead, it remains mediocre. However, the background music is the element that brings everything together and adds humour to the banal scenes.
“Metaphors in the City’’ can be interpreted as a mix of “American Pie’s” not so innocent sexual jokes with a touch of a B category “Blade” remixed with “Journey to the West: Conquering the Demons”. This sci-fi comedy is entertaining throughout its entire 1h16min.
Genres: Action, Horror, Science Fiction
Director: Feng Yulan
Starring: Wang Xiaodai, Xiao Ling, Yan Sheng