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The Gigolo
The Gigolo

Dominic Ho is faaaabulous in The Gigolo.


Year: 2015
Director: Au Cheuk-Man
Producer: Aman Cheung Man

Au Cheuk-Man


Dominic Ho Hou-Man, Candy Yuen Ka-Man, Jeana Ho Pui-Yu, Hazel Tong Chi-Yui, Winnie Leung Man-Yi, Sin Lap-Man, Angelina Lo Yuen-Yan, Ricky Yi Fan-Wai, Elena Kong Mei-Yi, Tony Ho Wah-Chiu, Ronan Pak, La Ying, Fan Ling

The Skinny: Entertainingly crappy gigolo film that should delight people who think that Hong Kong gigolo films are the height of cinema. Inadvertent laughs and over-the-top badness are the highlights of this softcore sleazefest, along with some flying bodily fluids and a prosthetic penis. Take this movie seriously at your own peril.
by Kozo:

The Gigolo opens with a fleeting glimpse of a massive prosthetic penis, so obviously this shouldn’t be your destination if you’re seeking cinematic class. Likewise, if you’re looking for a serious examination of male prostitution, this Category III drama shouldn’t be shortlisted. Despite offering a lead character who earnestly questions his place in the sex trade, The Gigolo is merely a variation on male fantasy fodder like early nineties films Gigolo and Whore or Hong Kong Gigolo – both of which actually get namedropped by a character named Abson, the “King of the Gigolos”, as required viewing for understanding the trade. The fact that Abson is played by former Category III regular Pal Sin makes that particular moment in The Gigolo doubly meta but that’s very nearly the extent of the film’s cleverness. This is merely old tropes given new style – early nineties sleaze dressed up with flashy Lan Kwai Fong club beats and male eyeliner. You know what this movie is, so don’t expect anything else.

Lan Kwai Fong veteran Dominic Ho stars as Ho Kui-Fung, a well-hung young man who starts working at the gigolo club owned by his cousin Hung (Elena Kong) after being expelled from school. Fung starts as a janitor but his innocent looks make him a favorite of club regulars, including Yoyo (Hazel Tong) and Michelle (Candy Yuen), the latter of whom brings Fung to her yacht for a many-housewives-on-a-single-gigolo action. Fung feels demeaned but after some training from Absom, he overcomes his insecurities to become the best gigolo EVER. Seriously, he soon has the hard-to-please Yoyo eating out of his palm, plus Michelle now wants him exclusively. This turnabout is more than skills-oriented – there’s a mental component too. As he’s taught by Absom, “Win a woman’s heart and you win the world.” Apparently, being an amazing gigolo is a state of mind that imparts you limitless power over females. It’s kind of like “the power of positive thinking” except you use your tongue and your 12-inch member. Boys, these are life lessons.

The film eventually introduces a serious love interest in the form of Chloe (Jeana Ho), who’s directing a film-within-the-film called King of Gigolos. Chloe casts Fung in her movie not knowing that he’s really a gigolo, leading to the film’s third act and plenty of plot hole-riddled melodrama. Unfortunately, this love story doesn’t qualify as even remotely interesting. Director Au Cheuk-Man’s screenplay offers only perfunctory emotions, and has much more success with its over-the-top gags, like Fung’s training in the gigolo arts (which includes literally playing a woman like a piano) or the coming-from-offscreen sprays of female ejaculation. The inadvertent laughs are cool too; one mid-film death scene is supposed to be affecting but features terrible acting. Also, a scene where Chloe’s father introduces Fung to his extensive knife collection is ripe for giggles. Au’s even-keeled direction can cause confusion; some jokes are obvious, but sometimes it’s hard to tell when the director is aiming for seriousness or satire. Either way, it’s unlikely that the target audience cares about director intent.

The sex is what it is. The film’s softcore couplings are actually not that risqué, minus a lengthy scene involving former Miss Hong Kong contestant Candy Yuen that offers expected nudity and unexpected bodily fluids. The forever-teasing Jeana Ho stays wrapped-up, however, so those expecting her “breakthrough” should dial back expectations. Dominic Ho earns his wings in the lead role; his acting isn’t noteworthy, but he’s a solid sport who has the looks and sly smarm that suit the role. He’s kind of scrawny but bishonen are in, so there you go. Otherwise, this is tricked-up Skinemax fodder, all the way to the over-the-top climax, which actually surprises in how the filmmakers recycle erotic thriller tropes with such straight-faced gravity. All hope for this film kind of dies with the very first techno beat, but as a sometimes-funny, always-stupid update to an infamous Hong Kong Cinema genre, The Gigolo rates OK. If you get a kick out of horny montages set to songs with lyrics like, “Push me on the table” and “Is it you?” then this is your film. Hell, they probably had you at the prosthetic penis. (Kozo, 1/2015)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 3 NTSC
CN Entertainment Ltd.
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese Language Track
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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