Stephanie CheLeslie CheungGigi LaiMasaya Kato
Okinawa Rendezvous
Medium: film
Year: 2000
Director: Gordon Chan
Writer: Hing-Ka Chan
Actor: Tony Leung Ka Fai, Leslie Cheung, Faye Wong, Stephanie Che, Asuka Higuchi, Masaya Kato, Vincent Kok, Gigi Lai
Keywords: didn't bother finishing it
Country: Hong Kong
Language: Cantonese, English, Japanese [occasionally]
Format: 100 minutes
Website category: Asian
Review date: 26 March 2013
I was quite enjoying it, but I bailed after 45 minutes anyway.
My huge problem was that I was watching in Chinese, with Chinese subtitles. I don't speak Chinese. In fairness this isn't the first time I've watched movies raw, but on this occasion I eventually started feeling that I was wasting my time. It's attractive and light-hearted. It made me smile. However nothing really happens. It's just coasting on charm and attractive people in a tropical holiday environment. Tony Leung Ka Fai is on holiday with his girlfriend, Gigi Lai, and her bimbo friend Stephanie Che. He's wondering whether or not to dump Lai. Meanwhile another girl (Faye Wong) has decided to dump her gang boss boyfriend (Masaya Kato) and take a little pocket money with her to smooth the transition. She's taken 200,000 dollars. Kato needs this to pay off another criminal, Leslie Cheung, and... oh, what the hell.
I got all that from the internet, not from the movie. What I watched was merely charismatic people (and Tony Leung Ka Fai) being entertaining by the seaside. There's beach volleyball and a failed attempt by Stephanie Che to sleep with Tony Leung. We see fish in a public aquarium. That's about it for a storyline. It's inconsequential fluff, which would have been fine if I'd been able to understand more than 10% of the dialogue. (Sometimes they speak English or Japanese.)
Things I liked included:
(a) Masaya Kato, who's having fun in three languages, and Stephanie Che, who's doing quite well at bringing alive her bimbo role.
(b) Gangsters getting grumpy about the missing 200,000 dollars. This is funny. It's also the nearest thing this film has to a plot spine, so understandably it stands out a bit from the rest of the candyfloss. "Do you accept cheque?" "CASH!" That made me laugh. It's got to be a good sign when a bubbleheaded film manages to entertain you and get laughs even when you can hardly understand what anyone's saying. There will have been jokes in Chinese too, after all.
The multiple languages are fine. I was grateful for them. There's a Japanese actress whose Chinese is so halting that even I could tell, but what the heck.
Okinawa looks great, obviously, although the film's not going so far as to stop and stare at it. It's Hong Kong fluff, not a travel brochure. Nevertheless one day I'll go on holiday there. A Japanese tropical island! Perfect. Otherwise, I can't really say I got much from this film and I've already run out of things to say about it. Obviously my review isn't worth tuppence since I don't speak its main language and I only watched its first half, but I'd stand by what I've been saying about it. Does anything whatsoever about it seem to matter? Nope. Is it harmless fun with an all-star cast? Bingo.
Its director says it was filmed in less than 2 months without a script, which I have no trouble in believing. However considering how that kind of thing tends to turn out, I'd say they did rather well.