The Gigolo (2015)

Directed by: Au Cheuk-Man
Written by: Au Cheuk-Man, Ramos Cheung & Liu Chun-Hin
Producer: Aman Chang
Starring: Dominic Ho, Candy Yuen, Jeana Ho, Hazel Tong, Winnie Leung, Tan Lap-Man, Ricky Yi & Tony Ho

After being expelled from school, well endowed Ho (Dominic Ho) finally agrees, because he wants to support his ailing mother, to become a gigolo at his cousin's nightclub. Not feeling at ease initially, some training from a veteran of the game, Tan Lap-Man's Absom, sets off the full powers of Ho...

While the success and hype of 3D Sex And Zen: Extreme Ecstasy would make you think that Hong Kong would ride that wave of Category III period erotica for a while, the adults only content has been sparse and more conservative if anything. With little to no local talent willing to participate and there's already enough audiences ok with flirting with the III-rating in the Lan Kwai Fong-series, it is a special day when a local film does decide to pull out all or some stops to play for the 18+ crowd. The result is The Gigolo, partly energetic, partly wonderfully mad, partly confusing because it seems to take itself deadly serious. A multi-mood experience normally raises my eyebrows but in 2015, that free for all playtime is a more forced notion.

As a fan of the Hong Kong sex comedy, you'll take what you can get though and some new life breathed into the notion of the gigolo-movie (mostly starring Simon Yam back in the day) is an exciting one. Singer and actor Dominic Ho at center stage, and within a slick music video style-frame, is impossibly pretty and a success story within the movie seemingly so it doesn't seem like a rise and fall story within the profession. It eventually kind of is but before director Au Cheuk-Man shows some nice comic timing taking us out of fantasy into working class reality for our lead, showing us Ho's first sexual experience involving fairly raunchy softcore oral sex (all while watching The 33D Invader on TV) so the rating is used for steam. Comedy is somewhat subdued though but director Au has got some weirdness looming... even though it stands out in an odd way that's not totally critics-proof.

With Ricky Yi, as Ho's father, representing that increased frequency the movie decides on sporadically (giving out advice after his career as Big Dick Shing the gigolo came to an end), this is the movie Au should've settled on as now the gloss and meteoric rise with well hung Ho becomes not a retro throwback but a fun confirmation that there's still room for this movie in 2015. And as we see the grandmaster of gigolo's played by Tan Lap-Man essentially using his mutated tongue to demonstrate the oral-levels young Ho needs to elevate himself to, we get a training montage, squirting, unreal computer imagery that firmly works for the cartoony nature, Ho as a human sushi buffet and yet, Au largely abandons this... favour of soap opera tactics, forced levels of danger, bloodshed and melodrama that perhaps would've been charming in a Simon Yam movie from 1993 but here this does feel like ill fitting pieces for the whole. The pieces of wonderfully out there imagery that The Gigolo does provide lingers and you wish this would be seen as a lead up to something greater and more insane subsequent to this. Hong Kong has another level in them. Even this team does and should remember that the III allows you to go nuts and have fun for an entire movie. Not just select portions of it.

reviewed by Kenneth Brorsson