Sex and Chopsticks 2 It took me a long time to review this movie because it took me a long time to getting around to watching it. The first film was refreshingly fun, if sleazy and stupid. Extreme Ecstasy which is breaking box office records in its home territory as I write this , or that the sequel to The Forbidden Legend, released a scant few days after I posted my review of the first, would recall another aspect of older Hong Kong film making: As mentioned in my previous review, The Forbidden Legend movies are based on the D.
The Plum in the Golden Vase , and so the audience, presumably familiar with the story either from reading the original or viewing one of the numerous film adaptations, knows that the nice young Ximen Qing of the first film will become a sexually voracious murderer at some point in the narrative.
The second film opens with Ximen admitting that he is a sex-addict, in case that was not obvious after the events of the first film. Those familiar with the source material will know what comes next: This is all fairly in line with the source material, but after the funny, mostly light-hearted first film, the contrast is jarring, sometimes disturbing. Like the first film, every scene is draped with naked flesh, but the tone of many scenes is nastier and cruel.
To punish one of his wives, Pinky whose husband Ximen paralyzed and forced to watch his carrying on with his Pinky before killing him Ximen organizes a gang-rape. Lotus, it is revealed, had feelings for Wu Song, though she also pleasures herself as she watches Wu getting beaten to a pulp after Ximen, Moon, and Plum frame him for attempted rape. Plum poisons Ximen with an overdose of aphrodisiac, partly as revenge for his having tied her up so that one of his servants could have his way with her.
The novel by Lanling Xiaoxiao Sheng used all of these elements to comment on sexual politics and the role of women in Chinese society. The film has no pretense of doing such, so the rough and sometimes violent sexuality serves only to titillate, which it will, assuming that the viewer is a budding pervert like Ximen Qing. Unlike the Japanese porn actresses who do most of their scenes sans-costuming, Leung shows only as much skin as one would expect from an otherwise respectable mainstream actress which is still rather a lot, to be honest.
But Leung's casting is merely a symptom of the real problem with this movie: The cinematography in the first recalled those earlier films, with soft lighting highlighting some creatively staged sex scenes.
But even that is absent here, as the film is shot in a mostly serviceable, utilitarian manner. It looks like a straight-to-video digital picture; the first was digitally filmed too, but it at least aspired to the higher production values of its inspirations.
Hong Kong cinema aficionados who want to see this story told well will have to look at one of the other adaptations, and those who want to see a fun throw-back to the playful smut of the late eighties and early nineties should watch the first. Sex and Chopsticks 2 is rough, unpleasant going for the most part, and there are no chopsticks this time.