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By Han Wei Chou | Posted: 02 August 2010 1235 hrs

SINGAPORE: “Ocean Heaven” is action superstar Jet Li’s first film without a single fight scene.

Indeed, the only thing Li’s character Sam Wong does battle with in this film is liver cancer.

Set against the backdrop of a marine park, Li plays Wong, a terminally ill father who desperately tries to find a place where his 22-year-old autistic son David (Wen Zhang) will be taken care of after he succumbs to the disease.

While working as a handyman at the marine park, Wang teaches Dafu basic skills like cooking and riding the bus in preparation for a life without him.

“Ocean Heaven” is actually more of a ‘statement’ than ‘entertainment’. Wong’s fruitless journey to several special needs schools hoping for a place for his son highlighted the plight of the autistic in China and tries to shed light on the welfare situation in the country.

Li told the media he worked on this film pro bono because he was impressed by how it raised awareness about autism, even though the film’s entire production budget did not even amount to his usual acting fees.

However, being more a ‘statement’ also means that “Ocean Heaven” is not very fun to watch.

The film’s storyline is very bland. The 102-minute film just droned along, engineering situations to exhibit the challenges faced by the autistic, while leaving the truly emotional moments right at the end.

The storyline could do with some tweaking but the acting is really not bad.

Li turns in a reasonable performance as a man struggling to forge a future for his son and acted well in some scenes, such as one where he reluctantly turns down an admirer because he did not want to burden her with his autistic sun.

Read in Full:  http://www.channelnewsasia.com/stories/reviews/view/1072807/1/.html

Related Article

Hong Kong: Ocean Heaven – Li Hopes Autism Film Alternative To Blockbusters

Tuesday, 8 June 2010 9:35 P GMT
  By MIN LEE AP Entertainment Writer HONG KONG June 7, 2010 (AP) Jet Li says he hopes that his new movie about autism offers a refreshing alternative to the historical and kung fu epics that dominate the Chinese industry.

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