With a tantalizing title that reads HI, FIDELITY and a genre movie that explores older women rediscovering their sexuality, it's almost make you think this is the Hong Kong's answer to Sex and the City. On the plus side, the movie also marks the return of Pat Ha and Carrie Ng -- a double treat for die-hard fans, so what's not to like? But thanks to Calvin Poon's unfocused storytelling and haphazard direction, this movie is a complete misfire. More on that later.
When Alice (Pat Ha) finds out her husband (George Lam) accidentally caught on camera with a much younger woman, she is totally devastated. Her two close friends, Jojo (Michelle Ye) and Pinky (Carrie Ng) feel sympathized for her. That is where their youngest friend, Sevon (Bonnie Xian) suggest they should "payback" their husbands by traveling across the Hong Kong-China border to visit gigolo club for sexual fun.
And so, four of them journeyed to the gigolo club where they encounter a handsome young gigolo named Bill (William Chan). Alice is particularly fond of Bill, only to be snapped up by the more aggressive Pinky. Nevertheless Alice feels upset and leaves the club early. While drinking wine all alone, Bill appears and confesses he likes her a lot. Naturally it doesn't take long before they start seeing each other, even though their relationship is strictly sexual at the beginning.
However, Alice's long-dormant sexual urges isn't really the main situation here as her fellow friends and even Bill have their own hidden agenda. And it is this series of hidden agenda from each of the respective characters crippled Calvin Poon and Yeeshan Yang's script.
The biggest problem of this movie is that Calvin Poon tries too hard to be both lurid and serious-minded, but ends up failing miserably. The sex scenes are disappointingly cut-rate and forgettable, while the movie suffers from an excess baggage of soapy melodrama. If that's not insulting enough, Poon goes overboard by throwing all kind of sudden plot twists midway throughout the movie without even bother to develop them in coherent manner. For instance, there's a secret to how Bill is able to perform so tirelessly unlike other gigolos. Not only that, there's something fishy going on between Jojo and Alice as well as Jojo's triad husband, Matt (Chapman To). Then there's the frustrated wife Pinky who doesn't realize that her driver, Chiu (Shaun Tam) has a thing for her. Plus there's a latter fact of how come she and her son, Ho Kar Po (Buzz Chung) are dumped by her irresponsible husband (Lawrence Cheng) in the first place. Someone should tell Poon that too much of everything is hardly a good thing unless the foundation of the entire plot is carefully constructed.
Cast-wise, it's good to see Pat Ha and Carrie Ng return to acting after years of long hiatus. Both of them have fast approaching in their 50s but they still aged well. Pat Ha is particularly stunning, and her role as a lonely woman forced out of her comfort zone and rediscovered her sexuality is nothing short of captivating moments. On the other side, Carrie Ng never really loses her trademark ferocious acting style which might delight some of her die-hard fans but overall her performance remains a bit over-the-top to justify the kind of role she tackles here. Likewise, Michelle Ye's nuanced acting performance is in game as usual while William Chan rounds up the cast with a gamely playful performance as the relentless gigolo Bill.
It's a shame that these cast deserves better. And HI, FIDELITY would have been a genre masterpiece if Calvin Poon stay focused. What a huge waste of opportunity.