In the words of the vacuous mumbling hopeless hip-hop lyrics in the background “O.M.G., you’re so pre-t-ty” and frankly, if this sentence grabs or moves you in any positive way you should buy ten copies of this ‘film.’ For anyone else expect 90 minutes of unpleasant pointless inane half-assed sexiness confined to the prison of a mediocre nightclub and the lives of some truly awful douchebags, hardly a recommendation, but you are probably having fun regarding my snarky tone that you should probably read on.
The events, because story is too generous and plot is out of the question are as such. Three girls and three guys frequent the popular nightclub district in Hong Kong known as Lan Kwai Fong; the area itself is not the issue and it is a popular scene for part of the vibrant nightlife, but its depiction in this can hardly be warranted as a positive endorsement, despite the popular drink brands lining up to brand every party scene. Anyway, the protagonist of the male group Steven meets the protagonist of the female group Jennifer and they get together, but it is complicated and time passes and her friends get with his friends and before you can say ‘passable entertainment’ no story thread goes anywhere and no eye brows are raised as there is a criminal lack of sex, hedonism or anything of interest on display.
Stepping back for a second, who the hell is this film targeted to? It has limited appeal to say the least, in fact there is simply no level of escapism. It is a sad thought to consider you are watching this for entertainment when you could, at any moment in the night, at any modern city anywhere in this world be out somewhere enjoying an overpriced night at any club yourself! 0.5 seconds into the film and you immediately know it is going to be bad. In fact watch the first two minutes as it covers the hedonism in a handy musical montage of sluts, flirting, getting to second base barely, and various sexualities including (gasp) homosexuals, violence, drinking, vomiting, splurging and dodgy westerner extras trying hard to hold a bottle or fake fight a bouncer. The wondering camera that could never be compared to an epic long take the likes of the Copacabana in Goodfellas eventually settles in club Billions, a place you should get used to as we go here a lot in the film, to, I swear the same table and bar background. We then witness more vignettes of dancing, people meeting people and men playing iPhone games; riveting.
Lan Kwai Fong celebrates sloppy mediocrity as it continues this schtick of models trying to act and men being boys for the rest of the films running length. In fact almost every scene is lazy exposition as the chatty effeminate men explain the life stories of every other character who range from sluts, sorry ‘man-eaters’ to comic relief. The random montages and film effects permeate the film and it is something I am thankful for as the dual image of a wine bottle so strikingly coming into view to the tune of questionable rap music with bright shiny lights was the only thing that kept me awake.
I could forgive the lack of story and the awful characters if the film managed to stay focused on something, but unfortunately it meanders about remaining PG considering expectations and the bevvy of orgy-tastic women lying on top of one another on the front cover. It never goes to any sort of full way into hedonism, there is no excess or sex at all, but clothed dry-humping sure is an entertaining thing to watch right?
Oh right Jennifer and Steven sort of love each other, what do these people do anyway? They have jobs but it is never really clear, nor is there an explainable intention for drinking their life away every night. There are some emotional highpoints in their rocky relationship as 90 days pass and things get ‘real’ when Jennifer’s honor is defended by Steven and he gets a terribly choreographed beat-down and there are some ‘real’ moments of introspective soul searching and a brief suicide subplot because hey why not, it’s ‘real man, don’t judge. These emotional moments are so laughable however as you feel nothing for these shrill vapid tongue sucking caricature morons. Given the liberating insane category three super naked and shameless films coming from Hong Kong recently you would expect Lan Kwai Fong to be sexy and racy, but if this is what you fancy a parent-locked Google search of model ‘Shiga Lin’ will suffice in comparison. Ughhhhhh…
Kwenton Bellette - follow Kwenton Twitter here: @Kwenton
Lan Kwai Fong is out now on DVD from Madman Entertainment
Kwenton Bellette is extremely passionate about Asian film and the resurgence of new waves taking place in Korea, Japan and China in the last 10 years. He joined the global site Twitchfilm in 2009, is the artistic director of the Fantastic Asia Film Festival is Melbourne and currently studies a film masters degree at Melbourne University. He is very excited to raise further awareness of the what he thinks is the most exciting film industry in the world.