Comedy troupe Kaixin Mahua return with a body-swap boxing comedy sure to tickle mainstream funny bones

It’s the age-old tale: boy meets girl, boy swaps bodies with girl, boy quarrels with girl, one of them enters a mixed martial arts competition. In the meantime, each makes a fool of themselves dealing with their new gender, before ending up falling in love—just in time for them to be returned to their own bodies. The narrative may have the hallmarks of cliché, but novelty is hardly the reason why people go to the cinema.

In the case of Never Say Die, the third film from comedy troupe Kaixin Mahua, the bizarre plot only promises to entertain with its tale of star reporter Ma Xiao (Ma Li) and underdog MMA fighter Aidisheng (Allen Ai). The boxer has been accused of bribing his opponent in a previous match, but switches bodies with the reporter after being struck by lightning. Despite starting out as sworn enemies, the two decide to work together to win the championship. Along the way, the audience is treated to some surprisingly good fighting sequences (the Chinese title translates to “The Shy Iron Fist”), nonstop jokes, romance, and a feel-good story.

The film is the third highest-grossing film of the year, with more than 2 billion RMB currently in box office, but when it comes to mass market comedy on the Chinese mainland, few are more experienced than Kaixin Mahua.

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Never Say Die is a story from our issue, “Cloud Country.” To read the entire issue, become a subscriber and receive the full magazine. Alternatively, you can purchase the digital version from the App Store.


author Liu Jue

Liu Jue is the co-managing editor of The World of Chinese Magazine. She has a Master of Arts in Communication from Middle Tennessee State University, and a Bachelor of Arts from Minzu University. She has been working for TWOC since 2012. She is interested in covering history, traditional culture, and Chinese language.

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