starring Tsai Chin, Corey Ha, Michael Tow, Woody Fu
written by Angela Cheng & Sasie Sealy
directed by Sasie Sealy
by Walter Chaw There's no arguing with the craft of Sasie Sealey's Lucky Grandma, nor are there any aspersions to cast on the diversity of its crew and the inspiration of its funding as the million-dollar winner of an AT&T- and Tribeca-sponsored screenplay contest. But its backstory is ultimately more interesting than the film itself. In the end, it feels like a support system for the star-making performance of its octogenarian lead, Tsai Chin (The Joy Luck Club); it's not serious enough to make much of an emotional impact, was never meant to be an action film, and is just amusing enough to force comparisons with Stephen Chow's depictions of bad-ass grandmothers. In other words, Lucky Grandma sort of trundles along for a while and then stops. Along the way, however, there's that central performance, married to a few fine supporting turns (especially ex-basketballer Corey Ha as a gentle-souled bodyguard) and an end product that looks like it had a budget many times its actual budget. There's promise here as a feature debut.