A look at the internal struggle of a young person seeking love and lust in contemporary society of Hong Kong. The film reflects the reason why men head North to Mainland to seek pleasure and the general problems exist among Hong Kong girls. It also focuses on the intricate conflict of the two-sided coin of love: affection and lust.
Writer/director/bit player Mark Wu may not hate women but his 3D, misogynistic ode to one-note maleness, Due West: My 3D Sex Journey sure seems to. The sense of silliness that helped audiences endure his last fleshy exploitation film, 3-D Sex and Zen: Extreme Ecstasy is glimpsed in the opening credit animation, in which a train navigates between larger-than-life CGI beauties in the throes of pleasure before hurtling into a vaginal tunnel. But any notion of inventive fun dissipates almost immediately in favour of leery, juvenile crassness.
any notion of inventive fun dissipates almost immediately in favour of leery, juvenile crassness
Masquerading as one virginal man’s search for a life in which sex and love coexist in perfect harmony, Wu’s slim, occasionally pitiful adaptation of the online novel about adventures in Dongguan’s red-light district is little more than a steady stream of pretty actresses embodying the worst fears of the protagonist, Frankie (a broad but not entirely unlikable Justin Cheung). Wallowing in its depressingly outmoded depictions of gender with coarse smugness, Due West’s painting of women as being entirely at the service of male fulfilment is just plain awful.
Our 'hero’ has had a chequered history with the opposite sex since boyhood, when his domineering mother (Lai-Chu Ng) would run the home like a dictatorship and rule over little Frankie and his dad (Tony Ho). When teenage Frankie is literally caught with his pants down by his mum and her mah-jong brigade just after watching a porno supplied by a friend, the sexual neuroses kick in. In a film of many deeply distasteful moments, the scene in which his mother’s dog laps up Frankie’s spilt ejaculate then wildly licks her face is the lowest point.
An innocent infatuation with a pretty classmate (Japanese adult film actress Jessica Kizaki) is ruined when the drunken Frankie mistakenly sleeps with a 'she-boy’ and becomes the butt of schoolyard taunting. Frankie’s run of bad relationships is set in motion, each one envisioned via a sexist, tedious myopism: the so-called ugly British girls who fawn over him while he studies in London; Zeta (Celia Kwok), the frigid stunner Frankie pins all his hopes on; the shipped-in nightclub hookers who all look the same but get Frankie’s attention with their cleavage ('local girls have titties you can barely pinch"); and Fish (Jeana Ho), the sweet girl who reveals she wants to swap sexual favours for shared rent money.
The film’s nauseating sexual politics are underlined in the overextended final act, when Frankie finally gets his rocks off with Juliet (Eva Li), the perfectly-formed, up-for-anything hooker with a heart of gold that he screws with such finesse, she foregoes her profession and falls madly in love with him. Li’s blank stare, huge bosoms and utter submissiveness sum up the production’s version of the ideal woman.
Tech credits are passable, though the converted third-dimension is of no consequence onscreen; it exists entirely as a marketing gimmick. Raincoatters may get a slight buzz from the 3D depiction of jiggling breasts, simulated oral action and Cheung’s thrusting bottom, but that is as far as Wu goes in his scant depiction of a 'sexual journey’, suggesting this material may have best been left as online content.