Nasi Lemak 2.0 (MY) | Movie review

Nasi Lemak 2.0 wide movie poster

Chinese title: 辣死你媽!

Rated: U
Language: Several Chinese dialects, Malay, Manglish, Tamil
Genre: Comedy
Running Time: 1 Hour 48 Minutes
Director: Namewee
Cast: Namewee, Adibah Noor, Karen Kong, Afdlin Shauki, Dato’ David Arumugam, Reshmonu, Kenny and Chee, Nadine Ann Thomas, Nur Fathia, Dennis Lau, Dian Sharlin, Pete Teo, Ho Yuhang, Felixia Yeap

Synopsis: “Young Chef Huang (Namewee) struggles to get his restaurant business going because he cannot adapt to the ‘localized’ cooking his patrons are looking for. However, contradict to his unpopular cuisine, he is also well-known as ‘Hero Huang’ in the local neighborhood where he carries out good deed in helping the community until he met Xiao K (Karen Kong) who got him into deep trouble. In order to get his life and the restaurant business back on track, Chef Huang must now seek help from a mysterious hawker stall lady (Adibah Noor), who summons him to embark on the extraordinary journey of his life. During this self-enlightening experience, he will also meet many ‘local heroes’ each lending their support to help him re-discover his roots and the real hidden message of ‘Nasi Lemak” (Primeworks Studios).

Verdict: If it weren’t for the unoriginal plot and poor ending, it could have been a Malaysian masterpiece film. Despite the lack of budget for production, Nasi Lemak 2.0 is very well done. Convincing acting performance, good local sense of humour, and commendable attempt on educating viewers about multi-racial unity non-politically. Not to mention that it’s Namewee’s first time acting and directing a film. From watching Nasi Lemak 2.0, I could see that Namewee’s very Stephen Chow-influenced. Too much, however, to the point that the plot is very similar to Chow’s God of Cookery. The other downside of the movie is that it’s more of a local Chinese film more than anything else, which defeats its 1Malaysia purpose. Very pleased to see old timers like Kenny Chan (from the 90s sitcom “Baba dan Nyonya”) featured but surprised that local musician/actor Ah Niu wasn’t involved at all.

Negative Malaysian norms explored: Well these are all that I managed to spot; [SPOILER] Malay road bullies, stubborn traditional mindset of Chinese citizens, sudden electricity and water cuts, slow internet connection, most citizens lack of courage to help those in need hence minding their own business, slow services of restaurants, bright non-Muslim students unable to enroll into universities, authorities bias in favour of Malays, Chinese educated citizens speak poor English, typical Chinese disco goers, low salary, immigrants issues, Hang Tuah’s unsolved identity mystery, try-hard Japanese Malaysians, English educated Chinese (“bananas”) lack of confidence in speaking Chinese language, Kuala Lumpur a busy and unsettling city, some non-Chinese could speak better Chinese, how obsessed Malaysians are with online social media. [SPOILER ENDS]

Most significant and convincing message: Malaysian Chinese are Malaysians, not China-Chinese. So be a Malaysian.

Good concept but… it seems as though in the movie that only the Chinese are stubborn to make peace with other ethnics.

Fred Chong… is the co-producer, co-executive producer, co-score composer and co-writer of Nasi Lemak 2.0 and therefore worthy to be specially mentioned here.

Annoying theme song “Rasa Sayang 2.0”: Why did they have to make an annoying music out of a Malay folk song? Not to mention that it’s in Mandarin.

Rating: 3.5 / 5

Second opinion: “Loved it. Would be hilarious if you could understand all the languages and dialects in the movie” (Iris Loong).

(Namewee and Iris at the Gala Premiere of Nasi Lemak 2.0)

The invitation to the red carpet Gala Premiere and screening of the film was courtesy of Henry Lee. To read about the Gala Premiere event of Nasi Lemak 2.0, please click here.

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  1. BenjaminVai

    Just to let u noe, the song although its annoying, the lyrics means a lot. i like where they say there must be a reason why foreigners are coming to stay, in mandarin it sounds better though. cause its from an old chinese idiom where people always say the moon from another country is always brighter and rounder den our own.

  2. BenjaminVai

    But all in all, good review, its about right how i thought of it as well. Its very difficult to say out all the issues and things mentioned cause really there are a lot. and to add on, there is also the bini-bini issue.

  3. Anonymous

    For a first time movie maker and actor, Namewee is incredibly good! It is very funny and makes you appreciate our own Malaysian humor more. Any one reading this, please go and watch it. You will appreciate this movie more than the Holywood formulaic boxoffice blockbuster.

  4. Edwin

    honestly, im not a big fan of namewee, he is kinda snobbish. Although it's a copycat of my fav stephen chow movie of all time – God of cookery, i still wanna watch this movie, probably in other medium than cinema.

  5. roger

    fak the chinese ppl. they all should die. fak the indians. they, like all niggers should be exterminated. fak malays cos the govt suck ass big time. ALL HAIL ISRAEL!!

  6. Anonymous

    The Objective of this movie is to show the real issues in our country. if anyone can't take that? that's your problem. I personally think this movie means a lot to us Malaysian. and it's a break through for all in terms of freedom to express ourselves. Like Singapore. movies shows the weakness and the voices of the people. if this movie were to be banned. then Malaysia government truly shows their true colour… Unable to take criticism. or worse… they don't care about you at all.. Peace..

  7. Anonymous

    I do agree that the ending wasn't very good, but I enjoyed laughing too much until I didn't really give much attention to how they wrap up the competition. (The competition was really short IMO) I do think some of the actors are a bit rigid. But I love to comment that Adibah Noor makes a very good actress. Namewee is hilarious in his weird expressions, although he seems to be frowning the whole movie, I'm surprised he could smile that much at the ending song.

    The storyline is biased to the Chinese ethnicity, but Chinese producers knows best of the Chinese culture in Malaysia. What I am impressed of is that there is a huge involvement of different races, the Malays do play a big role in this film, Indians not as much, but I laughed the most (till I cried) in the curry/rendang learning scenes. Even Nepalese played a role. It feels very Malaysian, very patriotic, and makes me proud to be a Malaysian.

    It's a pity that a lot of puns are in Chinese dialects, not everyone can understand the jokes. It'll be best if you are able to bring along someone who can "translate" the puns to you, and it will still be a very memorable localized movie to watch.

  8. Anonymous

    Very funny Malaysian movie. Enjoyable. Shows that one does not really need to know all the languages or dialects to enjoy a Malaysian-themed movie. Could be considered a groundbreaking movie that shows what can be done beyond Petronas TV adverts. Producers, film writers and financiars may wish to reconsider their ideas about financial viability of films of these type.

  9. Anonymous

    tis movie for caines only mah. namawee go shit on other race before, now want make profit and try politic like 1 malaysia. namawee can sell his azz. fak him

  10. Anonymous

    Learn to forgive. What have been done cannot be undone right. Whether we like it or not, we are still like nasi lemak in malaysia with so many ethnic. Its hard because there are so many barrier between ethnic. You got only two choice, living in hatred or peacefull. Dont make 1 malaysia is just an ideology. Forgiveness is the key.

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