Film review: The Gigolo 2 - Hong Kong sex comedy a stilted take on prostitution
Slapdash, nonsensical and implausible, this supposedly erotic comedy is flaccid: the sex scenes are cautious, the humour desperate and obvious, and the romance woefully naive
Hong Kong cinema has long been sympathetic to the plight of the city’s sex workers, but Venus Keung Kwok-man’s slapdash sequel to last year’s The Gigolo, with its nonsensical depiction of modern prostitution, still pushes plausibility and patience to the limit.
Dominic Ho Ho-man reprises his role of Fung, aka “King of the Gigolos”, now ‘retired’ and running a trashy nightspot in Hong Kong’s Lan Kwai Fong entertainment district. He takes on a rare new client, Monica (Connie Man Hoi-ling), who has reluctantly turned to prostitution to pay her mother’s medical bills. Having been referred to him for carnal guidance after a customer labels her a “dead fish”, Monica inevitably falls for Fung’s charms.
The Gigolo 2 features a roster of buxom bikini babes, including Iris Chung Choi-hei, Hazel Tong Chi-yui and Leslie Lam Lei-han (as another of Fung’s clients, in literal need of “loosening up”), as well as oiled beefcakes fronted by Lam Tsz-sin. But the supposedly erotic comedy fails to perform: the sex scenes are cautious and stilted, the humour desperate and obvious, and the romance woefully naive.
The film also seems to legitimately uphold prostitution as an effective means of making a decent income. Only through a jarring, seemingly tacked-on denouement does Keung right his course, bringing swift and brutal retribution upon all concerned. But even then it feels more exploitative than cautionary.
By failing to offer any kind of social commentary or deliver anything remotely sexy or comical, The Gigolo 2 limps onto screens flaccid, embarrassed and painfully ill versed in the ways of the world in which it so desperately wants to excel.
The Gigolo 2 opens on January 14