Has already premiered
All U NEED IS LOVE
Director & Writer Vincent Kok
Starring Jacky Cai, Carlos Chan, Haley Chan – Full Cast
Languages: Cantonese with English subtitles
Shortly after opening scenes of sweeping panoramic shots of the Hong Kong airport, accompanied by savvy Sturm und Drang film score flourishes, character Wong King Fai strolls into customs after disembarking from an international flight. Moments later he is met by two well dressed masked men in black suits who demand that he accompany them.
He resists, of course, sprinting off as he launches into rambunctious stunts of rollicking gambado for several kinetically charged minutes of superb action cinematography as he outmaneuvers the duo and their ever arriving backups in white vans. He sprints up and down and escalators, catapults and somersaults from high places, eventually crashing through the window of an emergency van of the Pandemic Task Force that wants to quarantine him because he is suspected of being infected with COVID-19. All that dodging and running derring-do got him nowhere – but it most certainly hooked this reviewer, pulling him into film almost as if he was actually there for every scene. This Hong Kong comedy has pizzaz!
These action scenes and the overall superb quality of the cinematography are so meticulously well done that it’s hard not to imagine that there are people on this planet that can actually jump, whir, pivot, and pirouette on a dime like that and not bleed a drop. Wong King Fai is eventually transported to The Grande Hotel (in real life the Hong Kong Ocean Park Marriott) that is being locked down for quarantine for 14 days because of a suspected coronavirus outbreak.
Something to Say About COVID-19?
All U NEED IS LOVE cinematography wowed this reviewer so much that he wasn’t particularly put off, as other film review maestros were, by an oddball storyline about how hotel guests must deal with the cabin fever resulting form the quarantine. The imperturbable script is buoyed by the superb visual aspects of the film, compensating for the laid-laid-laid back slapstick, double entendres and in-jokes. This reviewer missed nearly all of the in-jokes but am certain he can come up to speed watching subsequent reruns of the movie.
That’s this reviewer’s way of hinting that film has a satisfying finish like a fine wine, and audiences will be revisiting re-runs on their big screens to see it again.
Hotel guests – eccentric, idiosyncratic and narcissistic if not just plain loony – irritate each other and their cabin feverishness are portrayed in skit after skit after skit. Some reviewers found this monotonous but this reviewer wasn’t particularly put off because of the look and sheen of the production and filmmaking values.
All U NEED IS LOVE’s has a superb ensemble cast that includes Louis Koo, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Eric Tsang, Candice Yu, Michael Hui, Louis Cheung, Fiona Sit, Michael Ning, Julian Cheung, Luk Wing, Yuen Qiu and many more. Directed by Vincent Kok in his directorial debut. Chen Hsiao-yun’s jazzy orchestral type music is surprisingly infectious and lively for a movie that’s suppose to be slapstick comedy but has a good measure of amusement. No guffaws, that’s for sure, but no regrets plunking down the $$$ to see it. The film score ties the knot
One film reviewer wrote in AIPT that the film, despite alleged limitations, stands tall because the actors were not paid and the film was made to raise money for film industry workers suffering from the consequences of COVID-19. According to other sources, ALL U NEED IS LOVE was made to support Hong Kong film industry workers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The Hong Kong Performing Artistes Guild and the Federation of Hong Kong Filmmakers, and 10 major local film companies were involved in that effort.
A film for the cause!
Gregg W. Morris can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com