Carry on Hotel
The next time I go to Singapore I know exactly
where I am staying the Pan Pacific Hotel which is where this film takes
place and is in fact a real hotel in Singapore. There is always something
happening at this hotel jewel thieves, female psychos, hidden cameras
in the rooms, clandestine affairs, spying bellboys and lustful managers
and need I mention that it is filled to the brim with beautiful women.
It is somewhat amazing that this hotel agreed to allow their name and premises
to be used!
This 1988 film directed by Jeff Lau is composed
of four stories that take place in the hotel involving both staff and guests.
Perhaps its inspiration was the American TV show Hotel that was on back
in the 80s. The stories are all slightly comic but take on different
emotional hues from slapstick to romance to horror and the quality
differs a fair amount between them. In total though, I found it pleasant
and harmless going - with a few very good moments and a fabulous
In some ways this really might be a film for die-hard
HK film fans nothing here to get excited about for most people but
just having such a nice large cast full of favorites is a real treat for
me. The photography is absolutely first rate and there are a number of
dazzling close ups that had me wanting to take three times more pictures
for this review than I did. The four actresses in particular look absolutely
stunning here. Its a bit hard to say the same for Richard Ng, Kent Cheng,
Woo Fung, Billy Lau and Eric Tsang! More a visual feast for the male viewer
than the female I must objectively report.
The first story is the weakest of the lot Kent
and Billy begin surveillance on a room where they expect an adulterous
couple to set up shop for a few hours. They install cameras in the room,
but before the couple shows up they realize they didnt book their hotel
room for the next day and have to leave. A rock group instead turns on
their TV set to see Charlie Chin and a married woman embracing one another.
Charlie sees the not very well concealed cameras and starts to perform
a melodramatic soap opera from his Taiwanese weepy days that is fairly
In the second episode, hotel manager Woo Fung
is expecting a top shareholder as a guest and everyone mistakes Richard
Ng as this person. Ng seems to be playing the same character from his Lucky
Stars films and thinks he can hypnotize everyone. Since they all think
he is this powerful mucky muck, they all pretend they are under his control.
Of course, he is actually a thief and soon the real big shot, Yasuaki Kurata,
shows up. This one isnt all that great either but the next two stories
are much better.
Eric Tsang is a group tour leader and coming
out of the shower he notices that a stunning Cherie Chung has let herself
into his hotel room and is lying seductively on his bed. Feeling a little
frisky, Eric wants to get down to business with Cherie but she has other
plans in mind like gutting poor Eric.
He receives a call from Pat Ha claiming to be
Cheries nurse telling him that Cherie is crazy and that she will soon
be up to help him. He opens the door only to discover that she too wants
to slice and dice him. He now has two female killers chasing him around
his very lovely and spacious suite (thats the one I will ask for when
I go to Singapore the Eric Tsang/Cherie Chung Psycho Suite) competing
with one another as to which one will kill Eric.
Even though it is humorous, this story verges
on the edge of being suspenseful and if that had been the intention it
could have been quite good. The cinematography for this segment in particular
is eye catching.
The final story is very sweet and romantic and
has an outstandingly attractive performance from Cecilia Yip not that
Joey Wong is anywhere close to shabby mind you just that Cecilia really
will capture your heart in this one.
Jacky Cheung and Cecilia are both maintenance
workers for the hotel and though buddies he wont give her greasy tomboy
looks a romantic thought. She clearly is in love with him but Jacky only
has eyes for the much higher status gorgeous Joey. Through falling tears,
Cecilia even helps him write love letters to Joey and even though
you see it coming a mile away like a fat guy walking on the beach the
ending is still very sweet and romantic.
My rating for the film: 6.0
Distributed by Mei Ah
The transfer is terrific - one of the best
yet for a film from Mei Ah - and an older film too. The colors and sharpness
are great - can't say how happy I was with this DVD. If they can do it
for this film - why can't they do it all the time?
Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks
The subtitles are Chinese or English or none.
There is a trailer for this film - and one
for Dirty Tiger, Crazy Frog.
The subs are very easy to read.