Director: Alan Mak, Felix Chong
Starring: Leon Lai, Chapman To, Yang Gwei-Mei,
RunTime: 1 hr 35 mins
Released By: Shaw
Opening Day: 5 January 2006
Intellectually impaired he might be, JUN (starring Leon Lai)
is only dumb but not silly. Abandoned by his family on a trip
to Tokyo with only a few notes in his pocket, he thinks he
has found his guardian angel when he bumps into a former classmate,
HOI (starring Chapman To). But Hoi is no angel at all. He
is just a grafter on the run from Yakuza loan sharks.
YAN (starring Yang Gwei-Mei), the owner of an escort service,
is convinced the ingenuous Jun will make a perfect gigolo.
Hoi decides to transform his pal into Tokyo’s most sought-after
Lothario in order to eke out a living and to pay his debts.
Together the odd couple thus embark on a hilarious adventure,
or misadventure so to speak, worming their way into the hearts
of desperate housewives and office ladies in Japan.
Hoi constantly takes advantage of Jun in every possible way.
Jun’s generosity and unquestionable trust gradually
changes his cynical view of life. A magical bond soon develops
between them, sealing their destiny on the most mysterious
This movie has many selling points. It is directed and produced
by the team behind the Infernal Affairs trilogy. It is shot
entirely in Tokyo, Japan. Its cast includes the always reliable
Chapman To and Yang Kuei-Mei. Its male lead is Leon Lai, who
plays a dumb male prostitute. Okay, this last selling point
may not exactly be everyone’s cup of tea.
this mish-mash of factors in place, does it warranty a trip
to the theatres to catch this flick? Only if you are looking
for an average cinematic experience, we’d say.
be fair, there is some potential for great drama in its story.
Abandoned by his family in Tokyo, the intellectually impaired
Jun (yes, it has to be Lai playing this role) chances upon
his ex-classmate Hoi (To in another customized role).
looks up to Hoi and thinks the latter can help him. Alas,
Hoi is in trouble with the local loan sharks and plans to
make use of Jun to help him make money as a gigolo. And as
you would have guessed by now, a series of misadventures follows.
offence to die-hard fans of Lai here, but acting dumb isn’t
exactly going to add acting credibility to the Heavenly King’s
here. The Best Actor at the 2002 Golden Horse Award was doing
fine in films like Three (2002), Golden Chicken 2 (2003) and
Leaving Me, Loving You (2004). But watching him in his latest
work may be irking to some because he does not have the endearing
there is To who effortlessly carries off the role of the good-for-nothing
“friend” with an ulterior motive. Also, there
is award-winning Yang in the role of an owner of a local escort
service. Despite her limited screen time, she is a joy to
watch; especially when her original voice is heard (the other
cast members’ original Cantonese voices are dubbed over
in awkward Mandarin).
mentioned earlier, the plot does show some promise for development
between the two male leads. However, it seems to be more interested
in creating slapstick moments along the way and the humour
level can only sustain itself for so long. Eventually, it
becomes a tiresome watch.
bond between Jun and Hoi may not come through nicely as planned,
but the relationship between Hoi and his wife is worth looking
out for. In her big screen debut, Michelle Yeh plays Hoi’s
ex-wife who left him because of his tardiness.
plays her role with such tenderness and sensitivity that given
their relationship’s small part in the entire movie;
it stands out as the best segment in the 95 minutes. Look
out for the touching scene at the carnival, where emotions
are felt without the use of dialogue.
the movie reaches its last 20-odd minutes, it suddenly shifts
gear into a murder mystery and takes a melodramatic turn.
Given its entirely different feel before that, this concluding
chapter seems rather out of place, though it can be felt that
there is some decent effort in moving the audience.
the entire movie was shot on location in Tokyo, one can expect
dazzling lights and visually pleasing displays throughout
the movie. Unfortunately, these brilliant lights in Tokyo
are not enough to cover up for the slipshod storytelling and
Lai’s jarring performance.
average Hong Kong production which you may watch, laugh and
by John Li