In 'Cyborg,' robots fight right

Film used 30% of its budget on motion capture and CGI

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HONG KONG -- Director Jeff Lau ("A Chinese Odyssey") is transforming Chinese superheroes with his 100 million yuan ($14.6 million) sci-fi romantic comedy "Kung Fu Cyborg."

Lau’s inspiration for "Kung Fu Cyborg" came from the flood of superhero movies that has come out of Hollywood since the early 2000s. “When I saw ‘Spider-Man,’ ‘Superman’ and ‘Batman,’ I wondered why we don’t have similar superheroes in China,” Lau asked.

For him, “Transformers” was the final trigger. “I burst out laughing when watching ‘Transformers,’ ” he said. “The effects were amazing but the robots didn’t know how to fight. So I decided our Chinese superheroes should be kung fu experts.”

“Kung Fu Cyborg” used 30% of its budget on motion capture and CGI to create gigantic mechanical robots transformed from normal-sized humanoid automatons. One was designed based on Bruce Lee, with fiery wheels for legs; another is a huge robotic version of “Mr. Vampire,” the character made famous in the 1985 horror comedy hit that also found a following in Japan.

“Kung Fu Cyborg,” starring Hu Jun, Wu Jing, Alex Fong, Sun Li and Ronald Cheng, will be released in July by Mei Ah in Hong Kong.