Jump Ashin! / 翻滾吧! 阿信 [2011]

Posted by :: sixtwentyseven :: | Posted in , | Posted on Friday, December 02, 2011

Due to my recent craze with Apple of my Eye and taiwan cinema in general, I've decided to catch a few movies based on the nominations at the recent 48th Golden Horse Awards. One of the movies that caught my eye was Jump Ashin!, where Eddie Peng (彭于晏) was nominated for best actor and the movie's theme song was nominated for best soundtrack.

Jump Ashin! is based on a true story of a gymnast called Lin Yu-hsin (林育信). Coming from a single parent family with his dad dying young, Yu-hsin or Ah Shin as he's commonly known, lives with his brother and mother. Born with a natural agile body, Ah Shin chanced upon the school gym one day and decides he wants to join the gymnastics team. He soon turned out to be a natural and Ah Shin loves gymnastics as well. However as he grew older, his mother disapproves him continuing gymnastics and wants him to help her with her fruit business. To rebel against his mother, Ah Shin became a street punk. Due to an incident with his good friend Pickle (Lawrence Ko, 柯宇綸) and his drug addiction, Ah Shin was forced to flee his hometown and flee to Taipei. To survive, both Ah Shin and Pickle joined a street gang. However, all that changed when Pickle was killed in a gang fight. Devastated with the loss of his friend, Ah Shin decided to head back to his hometown and resume his training in gymnastics.

Right from the start of the movie to the end, you could see why Eddie Peng was being nominated for best actor. Make no mistakes, Eddie was very dedicated in this movie with his body trained to be as strong and agile as a professional gymnast. Also, his facial expressions in various scenes makes the character believable, which is a marked improvement since I last saw him in Hear Me (聽說). Lawrence Ko, as his good friend Pickle, chips in with the good acting as well. I was especially impressed with the scenes where his addiction kicks in as well as silently feeling sorry to Ah Shin because of the trouble that he has created.

With all the acting kudos given, the only part i was disappointed in was the later parts that showed the determination of Ah Shin trying to become the best gymnast again. This is especially so when the director tried to tease the crowd at the beginning and seriously shortchanged the viewers when he replayed that scene later in the movie. I was waiting for something more and yet he just skipped to the next scene. I do not know if I call this bad editing or a serious lapse in the storyline.

As for the nod for best soundtrack, I do have to say the lyrics of the song is very apt for the movie, in the sense that it sang about the struggles of Ah Shin. Okay, this may be due to my bias in "Apple of my Eye" but I wonder is that enough to win the award. Probably the judges heard something that I missed out.

I would give a good to very good ratings for this movie, since I did shed a few tears, but I still feel I was seriously shortchanged at the back for its rushed ending. It could have been better and I do think an additional 15 minutes worth of footage would not kill the movie.