Lover of the Last Empress (1995)

Reviewed by: STSH
Date: 01/28/2007
Summary: Hmmmm ..... wow

Not a great film, but ChingMy still does a great job. After taking lessons from prostitutes, the sexy dance she does for young emperor (Tony Leung) is worth the price of hiring alone. Wow !

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 12/22/2006
Summary: Historical if not very erotic....

"Lover of the Last Empress" is a category III film starring the pin-up beauty Chingmy Yau and Tony Leung Ka-Fei. When Yu Lan (Chingmy) becomes a concubine of the emperor (Yu Rong-Guang), she is thrust into the midst of a cut-throat environment where anything and everything is done to get into the personal graces of the emperor. Being a relative novice in the bedroom compared to the other concubines, she fakes an illness and returns to the country where she employs the services of two of the most famous prostitutes to help her in her quest. When she returns, she manages to impress the emperor enough to become his favorite and eventually bears him a son. She also decides that this is the time that she is going to exact revenge on everyone that has crossed her in the past, and manages to find gruesome ways to do so, all while using the emperor's brother (Tony Leung Ka-Fai) in political maneuverings to solidify her power. Yes, this is the Empress Dowager we've come to know and love.

Being a Cat III film, I expected something akin to Sex & Zen, but this is nowhere as titillating. Chingmy is very cute and there are a few erotic scenes, but if that's what you're watching the movie for you'll be disappointed. This is more of a retelling of a historically favorite story with a bit of sex thrown in. Chingmy is decent, but her transformation from a naive concubine to the ruthless Empress Dowager was a little too sudden and hard to believe. Tony Leung Ka-Fei doesn't add anything extra to his portrayal of Prince Kung and seems to be a little bored with the proceedings. The positives of this movie are the costumes, sets and ruthlessness of the characters in their quest for absolute power.


Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 02/20/2006
Summary: Remarkable achievement in cinematography

Producer Wong Jing pulls out all the stops for his girlfriend Chingmy Yau Suk-Ching with this glossy star vehicle directed by cinematographer turned director Andrew Lau Wai-Keung. This beautifully mounted production is nothing more than a sexy, fictional retelling of the rise to power of the sadistic Empress Dowager, all done with a broad poetic license. Costumes and set design, lighting and movement combine to create remarkable achievement in cinematography for director Lau.

Lover of the Last Empress does prove that love is blind. Chingmy Yau Suk-Ching doesn't have the dramatic acting skills to handle some of the nastier elements of this story. Everyone but the producer knows that she's better suited in comedic roles and the lighter moments of the film are quite endearing. Performances by Tony Leung Ka-Fai, Yu Rong-Guang, and Valerie Chow Kar-Ling help to keep the illusion working.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: RLM
Date: 11/03/2004
Summary: Uninteresting

Either a lame historical film or a humdrum porn flick. Your choice.

Reviewer Score: 1

Reviewed by: ksbutterbox
Date: 02/01/2004
Summary: Surprisingly Good..

I was leary about this one...but
after reading your reviews below I took a chance and found
this one to be just above average! Which
is better than I expected...a fine supporting cast helps this quite alot as well. Not as sleazy as you would think coming from Wong Jing.

Good production doesn't hurt and Chingmy
is quite good in this....if you're already a fan of hers...you'll probably
like this.

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 01/27/2003

A boring soft-core skin spin on everything from "The Last Emperor" (1987) to "Raise the Red Lantern" (1991).

Reviewer Score: 1

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/29/2001
Summary: Ummm........

I wasn't sure if this was a serious movie with Cat 3 sex scenes~!! The sex scenes were only ok in this so if your here to watch it for Chingmy Yau doing it, you will be disappointed!! If your looking for a intense drama........maybe you will like this!!

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/21/1999

Yet another account of the Empress Dowager's tyranny, this time as a high-budget sexploitation flick, courtesy of Wong Jing. Chingmy Yau looks cute and sexy, but hardly seems an ideal choice for the role, and indeed, some of her "dramatic highlights" will leave the viewer cringing with laughter. However, the film's visual opulence pleases the eye, and the scene in which Tzi Hsi seduces the Emperor is quite erotic and beautifully done. Leung Ka-Fei, whose presence in a Cat-III may be puzzling at first, gives a solid performance as Tzi's chief advisor. And, as if one needs to be told, "the events and persons depicted in this film are entirely fictional". Any relation to history, or to three-dimensional human beings, may indeed be coincidental. But it is fun!

[Reviewed by Thomas Muething]

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Insipid category III flick (without so much as a naked body) aboutthe last Dowager Empress, Tzi Hsi. Yau Suk Ching is in her element as "evil" Qing royalty, something of a contrast to her "cute" role as Kin-Ning in Royal Tramp.

[Reviewed by Iain Sinclair]

Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

Chingmy Yau is a sexy Scarlet O'Hara of the last Chinese dynasty, using guile, pluck, sex, and murder to work her way from the least-loved concubine to the most powerful woman in China ... and the Emperor's brother (Tony Leung Ka Fai) helps her in her quest to have it all. Sure, it's rated III, but there's a lot of story there in this "Dallas in the Palace" story, a schlock combination combining all the tastiest tidbits from "The Last Emperor" and "Farewell My Concubine" with a little fan kung-fu, cat-boiling and a sequence where Chingmy learns sex from a prostitute-sifu. RECOMMENDED.

[Reviewed by Michael Perry]

Reviewed by: spinali
Date: 12/08/1999
Summary: NULL

As external pressures and internal weakness break down the Ching Dynasty, Yu-Lan (Chingmy Yau) is chosen as a concubine of the Emperor. Determined to gain favor and influence, she learns Oriental pleasure techniques from two prostitutes, and guides palace intrigues with the help of loyal but naive Prince Kung (Leung Ka Fai). The movie's treatment of an otherwise dramatic era in Chinese history is flatter than a mu-shu crepe. Nice set design in wide-screen helps a lot.


[Reviewed by Steve Spinali]

Reviewer Score: 6