The Pearl Of Oriental (1992)

Directed by: Chan Chun-Tak
Written by: Jun Tak
Producer: Yau Ang-Yan
Starring: Chan Wing-Chi, Kent Tong, Rena Otomo, Roy Cheung, Karel Wong, Melvin Wong & Ku Feng

Sandy (Chan Wing-Chi) is the daughter and heiress of the Lo Corporation headed by her mother (Rena Otomo). Bringing back Tony (Kent Tong) from America to meet her family, he is a manipulator whose charms eventually work on his future mother-in-law. Threatening to tear the family apart due to this love triangle forming, the company is also in jeopardy as secret share holders are planning a hostile take over...

Not the weakest excuse for a Category III film as it blends romantic melodrama with softcore porn, you can argue that because it's at best basically executed it needed the spice of sex to be noticed at all. Still, achieving somewhat to fair competence is more than you'd expect and while The Peal Of Oriental promises something completely different in its opening and poster, it's not an embarrassing showcase. It's even one of the better ones for our Japanese mainstay of the Hong Kong sex film Reno Otomo.

Although its action element throughout is weak, Chan Jun-Tak kicks things off immediately with a shootout. But problems are evident. Due to what looks like a quickly mounted production, the gunplay appears neither snappy, powerful plus fight action and stunts are poorly timed. Half a second or one second off in your timing and editing and action falls flat. Lending credibility to the no time scheduled-theory.

Then again, Chan is mainly interested in building a triangle drama amidst the corporate elite, with standard performances along the way (including a not so charming Kent Tong) but despite the seemingly small age difference between Chan Wing-Chi and Rena Otomo, the latter carries herself well without having a cake of make-up applied. She moves a little bit slower, possesses a sadness and void in terms of physical pleasure and for half a movie she does well despite performing the standard, average soap opera tactics.

That then sex- and masturbation scenes are injected into this is not the most far fetched notion and the consummate professional Rena Otomo nails the eroticism needed for her scenes, despite having no particularly great eye available to catch her staged pleasure. There's a subsequent orgy on a boat that overstays its welcome and vcd 2 (i.e. the second half) takes a detour into melodrama and hysteria that even the dedicated performers can't elevate. There's competence at points but a lot is also mild in The Pearl Of Oriental which gives it no punch as a drama and the elements for adults are not enough to carry it fully. But if it would've had a violent touch and better usage of gangster genre faces such as Roy Cheung, Karel Wong and Melvin Wong, you would've sat up to notice more than just a couple of elements.