Saturday, July 23, 2011

Herman Yau's All Of A Sudden

All of a sudden is an "adult thriller", the kind of direct to video movie that was all the rage in the mid 90's after the success of Basic Instinct et al, following a formula of plot twists, violence and most importantly sex and nudity. The film was directed by Herman Yau, most famous for his works in the category III genre, and stars Simon Yam and Irene Wan, with Yam being no stranger to category III movies either and the salacious dvd artwork, you could be forgiven for expecting something really trashy and fun.

The film starts off promisingly, with Yam's wife taking a dive from a building onto the roof of a car. It turns out she was having an affair with her boss, Alfred Cheung. Yam attacks Cheung outside the family home he shares with Irene Wan and their baby, Yam accidentally kidnaps the wife and child as he steals Cheung's car to get away. So far so good, however the film rapidly goes down hill from here with twist after convoluted twist and some frankly stupid and unbelievable behaviour from all the characters consigning the movie into pure potboiler territory. Aside from the writing, the movie is also handicapped by featuring Dayo Wong as one of the most irritating cops in any film ever.

While there are one or two brighter moments in the second half, given the pedigree of director and star with this type of material, not even a fair amount of nudity can save the movie from becoming tiresome, and unforgivably for a Herman Yau film, just plain boring. Simon Yam puts in one of the least convincing performances I've ever seen from him, he just looks like he wishes he was doing something else entirely, and after the first twenty minutes or so, I was with him all the way!


Hans A. said...

Hey A Hero Never Dies,

I've enjoyed reading your work since following your blog. We share a lot of the same interests.

Yau is one of my favorite HK filmmakers. As you noted, he is most famous for his Cat III flicks, but his filmography is quite diverse and often oscillate in quality.

I have this DVD but haven't watched it. Yam made more than one of these types of "adult thrillers" and he's given unenthusiastic performances in each. I still want to see it, because of Yam and Yau, during HK cinema's fertile period.

Great stuff, A Hero Never Dies, and I'm looking forward to more.

A hero never dies said...

Hi Hans,

Thanks for commenting, it's always good to know a fellow blogger has similar interests!

I'm a big fan of Yau but as you say the quality of his output varies massively, rarely are the results dull though.

I've enjoyed looking through your blog too and will certainly be spending more time on it in the future. Thanks again!

Wes Moynihan said...

Mart, just for the gynecologically minded readers out there like myself (ahem!) - is gentalia a taboo image in HK Cinema like it is in Japanese Cinema ?

A hero never dies said...

I can't remember seeing male genitalia in a HK movie before but female is permitted but pretty much automatically equals a category III rating.

Anonymous said...

Irene Wan, she was once a promising actress in the 80's and 90's. Not really a big star, but a respectable actress nevertheless in the HK film industry. Then she did this film with the nudity, probably thinking she would get more important roles in the future. But as things turned out, that did'nt turned out to be the case. Wan remained a B actress starring in average-at-best local tv production and movies. But who knows, maybe one day she can become a more important actress, we'll see.

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