Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 23rd July 2013
Director: Gary Mak
Produced by: Pang Ho Cheung and Leung Kai Yun
Starring: Chapman To, Shawn Yue, Matt Chow, Derek Tsang, Jim Chim, Siu Yam-yam and Dada Chen
Film Distributed by Media Asia Distributions and Making Films Production
In cinemas across Australia, Hong Kong and New Zealand from 25th July 2013.
Hong Kong Box Office taking: HK$16,711,696
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Pang Ho Cheung continues his dominant taste and form with the Hong Kong audience, while at the same time providing the Hong Kong critics a direct reply upon his “Vulgaria” snub earlier this year. In an era where Hong Kong movies aren’t really that anticipated by the local audience, it is almost paramount for a pure Hong Kong production to strike a chord with the audience. It needs to be smart with relevant dialogue, uniquely Hong Kong style, and naughty and over the top and ultimately so hilarious that it cannot pass the Chinese censorship. In Pang’s last year “Vulgaria”, he did exactly that and while “SDU: Sex Duties Unit” isn’t as good, it makes up for an over the top exercise and enough laughs to ensure another HK$30 million Box Office hit looming for the producer and writer Pang.
This time around, the focus is no longer on purely Chapman To, but rather the comedy and chemistry is spread between four key characters. The somewhat serious Shawn Yue juxtaposes perfectly with the seedy yet hilariously funny Matt Chow, while Chapman To is “Chapman To”. Surprisingly Derek Tsang gives a wonderful effeminize performance that is likely to draw many laughs.
Director Gary Mak is surprisingly effective and at times, it really seem as though we are watching a Pang Ho Cheung movie. While in some way, you would have preferred a more personal style, it is almost undeniable that Pang will always have a heavy influence in films that he produced. After-all the auteur have not made a single bad movie in over a decade and have already overtaken Wong Jing’s mantle in the local box office.
In terms of nudity, the film never exposes in a crude and disrespectful manner, which is to be complimented. Everything act of the film goes towards producing a moment of laughter. While “SDU” will never revitalize the industry, but it gives a much needed boost to the quality starved local audience. As usual the supporting veteran players Jim Chim and Siu Yam-yam in their respective roles as “mama-san”, which all, but increase the value of entertainment. The constant interplay and referral to the “Vulgaria”‘s donkey jokes is also welcoming.
All in all, in creating “SDU: Sex Duties Unit”, Pang Ho Cheung is fast becoming Hong Kong’s most bankable local movie producer and with an acquired taste of local interest in smart, naughty, sexy and fun. Pang manages to strike the gold pot once again and despite leading man Chapman To taking a back seat, the four SDUs interplay are always impressive, full of jargon in-jokes, super wordplay and a delightful display of Macau’s vibrant and sexy nightlife. “SDU: Sex Duties Unit” is certainly not as good as “Vulgaria” in terms of quality filmmaking, but it is most certainly outrageously funny and sometimes, that is precisely what the local audience demands. (Neo 2013)
I rated it 7.5/10