No, Just No – Beauty On Duty!

I should have known better. I really should.

Wong Jing is known for making these kinds of movies. This is why I have Google, Wikipedia and IMDB. In fact now I think about it, honorary Things Fall Apart staff member was especially scathing about him – so this serves me right for not listening to her sage advice.

I knew “Beauty on Duty!” was going to be some loose HK version of “Miss Congeniality”, but nothing really prepared me for this utter drivel

But no – there I was, drawn in by the prospect of a new film starring Charlene Choi. I know Choi makes a mixed bag of films, from the sublime “Diary” to the frankly awful “Twins Effect II”. I know this but still I wanted to see it. I thought if nothing else I would enjoy another 90 minutes in her company.

I waited a month to get the Cantonese version. I spent hours sorting it out to play on my spanking new iPad. I hunted down some reasonable subtitles, even though they were in a format that I needed to run them through some OCR software. Regardless of the running time of the film, I want a lot more of my life back.

I am ashamed to even be writing about this film. I am ashamed that some people are going to find this blog because some search query that leads them here, and what they are going to find is this review. I am ashamed that some people are going to press the “next blog” button on the top of another Blog, and come across this review. But I have to do it, just to warn people away.

The film is just a collection of really un-funny, badly thought out, badly acted and occasionally homophobic scenes. It is visually noisy, brash and uncouth. It is full of actors that really should know better. Sometimes I even find a passable performance, or some emotional core that allows me to think positively about such a film.

I have actually seen a couple of reviews online that have given this film a passable review, saying it is funny in places, that fans of Ah Sa are going to enjoy it, that Lam Suet gives a passable performance (and he does, but you will also find reasonable performances by him in at least another 5 HK films this year).

But no. This is a movie without redemption. Even if you want to see a lot of pretty young ladies in Bikinis, I just know you can do better.

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