Andy Lau’s “Switch” Earns 200 Million RMB Despite Poor Reviews

Andy Lau’s (劉德華) new movie, Switch <天机·富春山居图> is a glossy spy thriller featuring the latest special effects. Although Switch generated poor reviews, it has grossed over 200 million RMB in mainland China since its opening on June 9 due to lack of competition at the box office.

Switch centers around the recovery of famous painting, “Dwelling in the Fuchun Mountains”, in which Chinese agents, Japanese triads, and English thieves are after the national treasure. Andy is involved in a love triangle with his wife, played by Zhang Jingchu (张静初) and his Japanese lover, Chiling Lin (林志玲). Putting their love rivalry aside, the two women join forces to save Andy from the clutches of ruthless Japanese triad leader, Tong Dawei (佟大為), who has a sadomasochistic relationship with his triad spy, Chiling.

Pristine Visual Effects

Director Sun Jianjun’s (孫健君) film cost 160 million RMB to make, mobilizing staff from 33 countries in the development and filming process. Switch’s production team includes 3D effects director, Chuck Comisky, who had worked on James Cameron’s Avatar. The movie was filmed in Dubai, Hangzhou, Taipei and Tokyo.

Switch’s visual effects are on par with Hollywood’s films, and some critics said, “Chinese films have never lacked profound cultural elements and delicate emotions, but it is missing courage, especially in keeping pace with market diversification. Switch finally helps Chinese films take a giant step forward, featuring multiple international urban spaces, and two years of special effects preparation. The resulting achievement combines treasure hunting, action, and love into a luxurious experience.”

Illogical Plot Criticized

Although the visuals of Switch were praised, audiences were much harsher towards the film’s plot. Viewers criticized that Andy Lau, Chiling Lin, and Zhang Jingchu’s characters appear randomly onscreen in disjointed scenes. Director Sun Jianjun’s vision for the film was also mocked, in which horrific, comedic, and cartoonish elements were also haphazardly glued together.

Andy’s love triangle with Chiling and Jingchu failed to evoke any empathy, instead making viewers laughed in disappointment. One viewer remarked, “There’s basically no story for the entire movie. Andy Lau only needs to look handsome. Chiling Lin constantly changes her wardrobe and reveals her beautiful legs. Both are big stars; are they that desperate for money?”

Despite the poor reviews, Switch generated strong ticket sales this week due to lack of competition at the mainland box office. Blockbuster films, Peter Chan’s  (陳可辛) American Dreams in China <中国合伙人> and Vicki Zhao’s (趙薇) So Young <致我們終將逝去的青春>, have already been released in theaters for more than three weeks and six weeks respectively.

Sources:; ;


This article is written by Karen for

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  1. Does anyone know how much Andy makes per movie? It seems he makes about 200 movies a year! 😀 … always see him in some kind of a HK movie.

    And he looks handsome in photo stills, but really old in the movies. Bad makeup? Better photoshop?

  2. I want to see this movie to see if it is that bad.

    1. Well you are contributing to the box office.

      So despite a lousy movie, the producers, directors, actors and actresses are still laughing their way to the bank.

      1. Seriously, actors like Andy Lau are only in it for the money at this point.

        Then there are directors who spend a crapload of time to perfect their movie in order to make a long-lasting impression (WKW) and then there are commercial directors and producers who will bring crap out and take your money and laugh at your criticism (Wong Jing).

      2. Artists would’t careless as long as they get their pay cheques..even if crap movies..

      3. Artist is to act and get pay not for them to condemn on the story so they wouldn’t careless…after all.

  3. The plot sounds BB, I mean, Bullet Brainish. I hope I’m wrong.

    1. The bottom line is it’s generating money to the producers directors, actors and actresses.

      To the actors and actresses, their next paycheck will increase / their net worth also increase.

      Remember the saying “A fool and his money are soon parted” when moviegoers continue to rush to cinemas to see how bad is the movie.

      1. There is already media reports that Lin Chiling aka “Flower Pot” endorsement fees has gone up above Faye Wong now.

  4. Unfortunately in China movie goers are not critical enough. They have not much options to spend their time, so they just go to the movies.

    1. Does that even qualify as a valid criticism? Any film goer in the world go to the movies and not many are ever critical at all. Andy has a huge fanbase in China, I am not surprised.

    2. You know what? I absolutely agree.

      China blacklisting movies with themes like corruption or drugs, and not allowing such movies to be made in the mainland means that the amount of movies “critics” can watch are limited.

      Thus, without experiencing a greater range of movies, their views of what makes a good movie and what makes a bad one is limited.

  5. The movie still a blockbuster was due to Andy influence in the China Market.Ive been a big fan of Andy for years and sad to say this is the WORSE film i ever watch in cinema and for the 1st time me and my wife felt wanting to leave in the mid of the movie (and is a andy movie!)This not just leave a bad impression on Andy but for China! it makes me think twice to go for a China made movie in future..bloody louzy!

    1. Sorry mate.

      If you buy a tangible product, there is

      a) a cooling off period and you may get a Refund; and/or

      b) a warranty period for defect.

      In a movie you can’t get any of the above.

      I believe despite your comment on “think twice to watch a China made movie in future” you will most probably be suckered in again.

      As you have mentioned too that despite a horrible movie it is still reaping in cash due to Andy influence in China and you are Andy’s fan.

      So to many moviegoers in China and HK, as long as it’s Andy they will watch his movies. Idol worshiping.

      1. Maybe consumer groups should fight for movies refund like some tangible products (guaranteed refund within certain time frame if not happy).

        If not happy with the movie(s), leave the cinema within 20 minutes (suggestion) and get your refund.

      2. LOL WTF CHINA!!

        This refund BS for movies which you didn’t enjoy is a travesty. Let’s get something straight here: “Switch” made a killing at the box-office despite it being a crappy movie for one reason only — Andy Lau. You went to see Andy Lau, and you got Andy Lau. You DO NOT deserve a refund.

        Goddamn China is some backwards-a55 craphole. I don’t want to come off as a racist or as a person with anti-Chinese sentiment but holy crap are they unreasonable.

  6. I have seen this movie,it s like Indian
    Crap movie. Brilliant performance by Andy Lau
    but crap directorial from the Chinese director .

  7. mainland chinese movie is just crap in general lol

  8. Andy Lau really spoil his good name. I feel like spitting on the movie. stupid movie by stupid director thinking the audiences are stupid too. felt cheated watching illogical stupid and non connecting plot. I give rating of 0/10 and I think I am generous to give that.

    almost wanted to ban his future movie.

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