Due West: Our Sex Journey 一路向西 (2012) – Hong Kong
Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 2nd October 2012
@ Media Screening Couteusy of Dream Movies Australia and Vie Media
In cinemas around Australia by 27 September 2012.
Hong Kong Box Office Takings: HK$19,252,981
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The latest Hong Kong 3D sex comedy “Due West: Our Sex Journey” comes from the debutant director Mark Wu, who in turns created something fun, slightly refreshing, a good enough story and even some smart antics to boot. A far cry from Wu’s previous writing efforts in last year’s terrible “Sex and Zen 3D” and far better than the recent crude and unnecessary “Lan Kwai Fong 2”.
With a bit of research on the internet, the name Mark Wu is associated with Cat 3 and sex selling movies namely the script writing of the atrocious “Sex and Zen 3D” and the” Lan Kwai Fong” series. With such accreditations, director Wu does not exactly provide any comfort to the awaiting audience. However, “Due West” is surprisingly entertaining, contains an adequate storyline, enjoyable and sexy performances and even having something to say in the process as well.
Justin Cheung is a far better lead actor than Hiro Hayama’s ill-fated role in last year’s “Sex and Zen 3D”. Cheung shows far more character in his role as the slightly nerdy typical local, growing up in the midst of a satirical democracy family that is not unlike Hong Kong’s current political situation. What makes Cheung’s character interesting is that underlining all the monologues and self-indulgence, he is easily a likable person that the audience can relate towards. Representing the local Hong Kong industy, Celia Kwok does well as Cheung’s mainstay girlfriend and despite being an obvious stereotypical take on Hong Kong’s girls in general. I probably won’t go into the detail naming each actresses who bare their parts, but it must be admitted that the quality on display (in particular the scene at the camping site and the showing of different types of actual massage on offer) is by far better than the atrocious “Sex and Zen 3D”. Jeana Ho also appears in a hilarious cameo, while Gregory Wong is suitably cool and Mark Wu’s groovy yet realistic appearance provide adequately support as Cheung’s accomplice and venture into the world of Mainland prostitution.
Director Mark Wu succeeds because he clearly respects better filmmakers and there are obvious notions and elements of auteur Wong Kar Wai, Stephen Chow and Pang Ho Cheung throughout in his work. Wu constantly plays with the audience and breaks the third wall through Cheung’s constant monologue to the audience. This is extremely effective as the audience can easily walk into the movie and be fully absorbed in the proceeding. Films like these can easily be cheesy and resulting in the audience laughing at the filmmaker and actors alike, but somehow Wu manages to switch this around and created something relevant, smart and sexy enough to satisfy a broader audience base.
All in all, “Due West: Our Sex Journey” is probably as good as it get in terms of Cat 3 sex comedy. After the failures of “Sex and Zen 3D” and to a larger extent “Lan Kwai Fong 2”, both of which have fallen down the path of being cheap and sleazy without any substance, “Due West” holds up surprisingly well and even provide a somewhat satirical look on the sex industry. I am not saying that “Due West” is a perfect example of how to shoot a local Cat 3 production, but I must admit that I am pretty impressed with the film’s production values, adequate casting, inside look on the vibrant sex industry, somewhat realistic look on modern relationships and sexy performances all round. For what it is worth, “Due West” is easily one of those pure guilty pleasures of the year. (Neo 2012)
I rate it 7.5/10