Wei-Hao Cheng’s newest movie is unlike any of the usual movies that have made their way to Netflix lately. Marry My Dead Body, starring Greg Han-Hsu and Po-Hung Lin, among others, is a movie about a young cop who accidentally participates in the Chinese ghost marriage tradition. Hilarity ensues when the ghost of the deceased Mao comes to live with Wu as his husband, making the cop change his outlook on the world. Here’s a detailed recap and review of the newest movie on Netflix.
What Happens In The Film?
Wu Ming-Han is a cop in a reputed police precinct and is performing well in his career, but the issue with him is his extreme homophobia, which causes him to heavy-handle a homosexual suspect. In his workplace, his boss, Yung-Kang, chides him for his prejudice, as does his partner, the beautiful Tzu-Shing. Wu is adamant about the fact that he won’t change his worldview, which earns him a lot of rebukes in the precinct. To prove that he’s still an efficient cop despite his prejudice, he goes on a high-speed car chase of an outlaw while Tzu-Shing rides shotgun with him. The outlaw makes a lot of cops crash their cars, but Wu keeps on the chase until his car is slammed to the side, and Tzu-Shing has to chase the suspect on foot. She tackles him, while Wu ends up picking up a red envelope from the streets as he’s collecting the evidence dumped by the suspect. Immediately, some old women surround Wu and congratulate him for selecting one of the women’s grandsons, Mao, for “Ghost Marriage.” For those unaware, this is a peculiar Chinese ritual where a deceased person’s spirit is married to a living person so that the spirit can rest easy, having fulfilled its wishes. However, Wu is vehemently opposed to this weird concept, all the more so because he’s picked a gay man’s envelope while he’s a raging homophobe. Wu refuses to accept the responsibility and storms off, as the old women remind him that misfortune will chase him until he says yes.
Like clockwork, horrible things start happening to Wu, from being hit by a truck to being demoted to a small station to having a gun go off dangerously close to his crotch. He realizes there’s no other option but to agree to this strange tradition. Wu forces himself to accept the ceremony, and during this ‘marriage’ with a doll, Mao’s father walks in, and it’s clear he doesn’t approve. Back in his house, Wu starts seeing Mao, who’s materialized but only for him to see, and it takes Mao possessing Wu to get him to stop calling the spirit a homophobic slur. However, too much possession drains Mao’s energy, and it’ll have to be brought back by burning incense. Mao tells Wu to fulfill his dying wishes; this is the only way Mao’s spirit can rest, and Wu has to make a subscription for a donation to help polar bears and adopt Mao’s dog, Junior Mao. Thirdly, Wu heads to Mao’s boyfriend Chia-Hao’s place because Mao wants to see him again but is shocked to find Chia-Hao already with another man. Outside, Wu spots Mao’s father, who tells his ‘son-in-law’ that he’s trying to look for clues about the car that ran over Mao. The video footage had been removed, according to the police, and Wu decided to look into the matter.
Thus started, the cop and ghost team up to search for clues, which leads to multiple hilarious situations, including Wu having to approach a suspect at a gay bar and being laid flat on his back. Coincidentally, this suspect, who’d witnessed the hit-and-run of Mao, was an underling of Lin Hsiao-Yuan, a drug lord, who was being investigated by Wu’s old precinct. When Yung-Kang brought in an entire force to apprehend Hsiao-Yuan, Tzu-Shing went in first to distract the guard, and Mao flew inside to notice that the thugs were dumping evidence. Wu rushed in, thinking Tzu-Shing had been made, and the cops had to intervene, only to find nothing incriminating in the warehouse. However, Mao had grabbed the camera from the witness’s dashboard, and in the video, they saw that it was none other than Hsiao-Yuan who’d run over Mao. Trying to do the right thing, Wu handed the evidence to Tzu-Shing, and very quickly, Yung-Kang called Wu to join him in raiding the drug lord’s mansion. The chief questioned Wu about his informant who’d handed over the evidence, and Wu just said he was dead, but when Hsiao-Yuan wasn’t at the mansion, Yung-Kang suspected Wu of being the mole and suspended him.
Wu and Mao had a fight, but they made up near a river, and Mao found acceptance, so he ascended into heaven. However, the same night, Mao returned to inform him that he’d learned the mole was none other than Yung-Kang from a telephone conversation he’d overheard with the chief and that Hsiao-Yuan was escaping to Macau that night. Wu rushed over to the scene to find a gunfight was on and spotted Hsiao-Yuan escaping and Yung-Kang going after him. Wu apprehended his chief and accused him of being the mole, only to learn that Tzu-Shing had called him and told him of the drug lord’s escape. Worse still, the mole was none other than Tzu-Shing, who handcuffed both Wu and the chief and went in with Hsiao-Yuan, but she had other plans. Not only did she stab both his hands with knives, but she also stole all his money as revenge for giving her mother the drugs that she overdosed on when Tzu-Shing was a child. Meanwhile, thanks to Mao’s help, Wu and Yung-Kang were freed, and a fight broke out, but Wu got shot in the chest by Hsiao-Yuan.
Wu had to be hospitalized, but there was a massive traffic jam in the streets, so Mao faced the ultimate task of possessing every driver and making clear the path for his husband to be driven to the hospital. The next morning, Wu woke up and started looking for Mao, only to realize he’d started disintegrating because of the enormous toll the multiple possessions had taken on his spirit. Mao’s father came to thank Wu for apprehending his son’s killer, and Wu told him to say whatever he wanted to his son because Mao was there. Mr. Mao finally confessed that he’d accepted his son’s lifestyle and had gone to meet Mao’s boyfriend, but Chia-Hao was already with another man. Unable to tell his son the truth, Mao’s father forbade his son to marry his boyfriend because he wanted to protect him. Having finally learned the truth that his father had loved him unconditionally after all, Mao’s spirit finally rested easy, and Wu was accepted into the Mao family as the beloved son-in-law.
Marry My Dead Body is one of the very few movies that doesn’t make you go, “Oh, I’ve seen so many like this one,” because the concept is so fresh and yet so peculiar to the rest of the world that you can’t help staying glued to the movie. Based on a strange Chinese custom, the movie is one that acts as the perfect amalgamation of the past and the present while beseeching the audience to treat people with respect and love. The main message is simple: someone’s sexual preferences shouldn’t be a deterrent to treating them with kindness because it costs nothing to be kind. Both the protagonists have sufficient chemistry between them to keep the audience entertained in this fun-filled supernatural comedy, although in no way is it a scary one. You might find yourself chuckling in some scenes and laughing out loud in some other bizarre ones, but make sure to keep children away from the screens for this one, as this is chiefly meant for adults.
Speaking of the technical aspects, we can’t help mentioning some amazing driving skills exhibited early on, which could be a close competition to some of the Fast and Furious films. Moreover, the fight scenes are so perfectly crafted that they don’t feel hackneyed in the slightest, and one can actually understand that the actors put in work trying to perfect the moves. The winner is, of course, the script, because without a good script, no matter how good the actors are, a movie is set to bomb.
Marry My Dead Body awes the audience with a fun script that introduces some interesting characters while making the two protagonists experience a lot of emotions, ultimately ending in adoration and respect for one another. Greg Han-Tsu and Po-Hung Lin put in some amazing work, making almost everyone shed a tear in the final scene, and that’s probably the greatest adulation the cast could ask for. However, the runtime of the movie does feel rather drawn out, and it wouldn’t hurt if some of the plotlines could’ve been removed. It could’ve possibly been wrapped up in an hour and 30 minutes, but the end result is enjoyable all the same. You should totally give this one a try.