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戀戰沖繩 (2000)
Okinawa: Rendez-vous

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 1

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 05/18/2010

Breaking apart a bit from his usual action-heavy work, director Gordon Chan has created a picture with Okinawa: Rendez-vous that is much like a piece of angel food cake: it's light and sweet, but not really likely to leave you feeling satiated. The film gets by somewhat on the charm of its' stars, particularly Faye Wong, but ultimately, it's not enough to elevate this above average popcorn fare.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 03/10/2006

“Okinawa Rendezvous” is not a bad movie. Neither is it a good movie. Gordon Chan tries to meld several genres but doesn’t do any of them particularly well. As a romantic comedy it isn’t funny enough; as a heist flick it fails because the robbery being planned makes no sense, either for the audience or the characters. The ghost of a buddy movie keeps popping up to mix things up even more.

There are some hilarious touches to “Okinawa Rendezvous”. One is the gang that constantly follows Yakuza Ken Sato—he is never without them, including on the night that he proposes to his girlfriend. They walk along several paces behind Sato and Sandy—the entire gang—and one of them carries a gift basket that flashes “I love you, marry me” in order to help seal the deal. A good deal of funny business is supplied by supporting characters, especially Asuka Higuchi, particularly when she is armed.

Faye Wong as Jennie is a real joy. She is extremely attractive and provocative looking here and one almost wishes she wasn’t quite as successful in her singing career so that she would make more movies.

Big Tony Leung seems to have a good time playing a character that it is impossible to like, the police file clerk Mr. Law. He is insufferable and is given to saying things like “Don’t bother me when I am thinking,” to the woman who loves him (Gigi Lai as Sandy). Law fails as a cop, a crook, a boyfriend and a suitor.

There are a lot of tourist bureau type shots of the beaches, hotels and countryside of Okinawa, plus a reminder of the U.S. military presence on the island.

Not sure exactly how the Platters classic “Great Pretender” fit into the narrative—its use in the soundtrack was underlined by it being played on a jukebox the first and last time it was used. There were a few pretenders in the cast but that didn’t seem to be a central theme. But using such an iconic American song which, one assumes, is very well known in Okinawa if, for no other reason, U.S. troops listening to it, doesn’t seem to fit. But it is a terrific 1950s do-wop masterpiece and is always welcome.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 07/07/2005
Summary: a surprising adventure romance

One of Hong Kong's finest directors, Gordon Chan has crafted a surprising adventure romance story with a couple of Hong Kong's biggest pop music stars. This is a big budget, international production which achieves mixed results.

Director Gordon Chan teams up with veteran screenwriter Chan Hing Kar [A Better Tomorrow] for a filmmaking vacation at a Japanese resort on Okinawa, a popular stop for HK vacationers. This is what I would call sheer mastery of the filmmaking process by Gordon Chan, who shows himself, once again, to be a fascinating commercial artist.

For this viewer, this is an important movie. Okinawa Rendez-vous was the first highly anticipated film to open in Hong Kong just after the closing of the Music Palace theatre in NYC on June 30, 2000. I'm certain that this movie would've played there. One wonders what 2nd feature would've been paired with the film by the always daring, esoteric booker that ran the place in the last years.

When the VCD appeared in the stores some weeks later, I purchased one to check out the film. I've seen a lot negative reviews of the movie which I find surprising. Several writers, I think, harshly judged this work by comparing it to the directors previous films. A filmmaker as an artist always has to be exploring new visions. This film is clearly a new direction for this artist. I find it best to examine this new work on its own merits.

Near the end of the opening sequence before the titles, Jenny [Faye Wong] has used Dat [Tony Leung] to elude some yakuza. Jenny joins Dat as he boards a tour bus from the airport to the hotel. Dat, a HK cop assigned to the File Department who fancies himself as a street smart detective, is traveling with his girlfriend Sandy [Gigi Lai] and her friend Cookie [Stephanie Che]. On board the bus, Dat sits next to Jenny with his girlfriend sitting behind them. They have this quick exchange of dialogue:

Jenny: Is that your girlfriend back there?

Dat: Yes. She won't mind because I'm working. If she minded, she wouldn't be my girlfriend.

The dialogue between these two serves as the perfect metaphor for summing up the filmmaker/viewer relationship. Leung's delivery of the last line is almost an after thought, as if he's thinking out loud about his relationship. The director seems to be telling the audience to take this film for what it is, a care-free adventure story not the re-invention of the wheel.

Once at the resort, all sorts of kooky fun takes place. Leslie Cheung and Vincent Kok , as a couple of high tech crooks, cook up some explosive events. There are hijinks with the goofy yakuza who cruise around the island in strangely modified American passenger vans, searching hopelessly for the 'missing' Jenny.

Watching Okinawa Rendez-vous, I was thoroughly entertained. The cast is obviously enjoying themselves. The filmmakers are, as well, and it shows in every frame. In the end, for this viewer, I'd say that, from a director who has made some of the best action films in the last 10 years, this is a damn fine 'screwball' romantic comedy. Enjoy!

© Copyright 2000 John Crawford. All rights reserved.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 04/19/2002
Summary: poor and unoriginal

What does 2 of the best singers in Hong Kong, or even the world, do to save this film? Nothing. Leslie Cheung & Faye Wong seem so out of place in this far fetched romance film. I can see why they were placed in this together, it's like watching one of the many Sammi Cheng/Andy Hui kind of films, big names with poor scripts.

I can't see this appealing to anyone, though one person seemed very pleased with it - maybe they were watching something else.

Rating: 2/5

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 01/21/2002

This movie never quite finds the right tone. Supposedly, it's a heist movie with some romantic undertones, but there are two many subplots, and most importantly, the main female character around whom much of the plot revolves, is played by Faye Wong, and she just doesn't have enough screen charisma to carry this movie.
The plot: Leslie Cheung is a professional thief trying to close a blackmail deal with a yakuza boss on Okinawa. Unfortunately, the deal hits a snag, when the boss's girlfriend (Faye Wong) runs away with the money. Meanwhile, Tony Leung Kar Fai (playing a HK cop) arrives for his vacation with girlfriend (Gigi Lai) in tow. He recognizes Leslie, and starts to develop an elaborate scheme about a bank robbery to entrap Leslie in a criminal act and arrest him. Meanwhile, they both try to court Faye, while Tony's girlfriend Gigi finds solace elsewhere.
Much of this is contrived and not very believable, and the resolution feels rather manipulative. I was mostly bored watching the film, and only kept watching because I live in the Great White North and it's winter, and I'm sun-starved, so seeing the beautiful beaches of Okinawa was easy on the eyes.
Not recommended.

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 08/17/2001


A movie with big name stars yet the finished product isn't so good!! It's a movie where thing interwine but you couldn't care less about the characters!! Tony Leung's character looks like a sleaze ball, Leslie Cheung looks like what the hell am i doing here, and Faye Wong is just probably enjoying the attention from both stars!!

I expected more, especially this is more character driven than plot wise. How any girl can put with Tong Leung's character is beyond me!!


Reviewed by: Yellow Hammer
Date: 05/10/2001

The plot does not really seem to come together at all. You would have expected to see some chemistry between Jenny (Faye Wong) and the wanna-be cop Dat (Tony Leung) or even the sorta criminal Tong (Leslie Cheung) but it doesn't happen. Couldn't tell if this movie was meant to be funny, dramatic, esoteric, or all of the above. The movie just doesn't flow all that well, which is a shame considering all the top-notched talent in this movie. Gigi Lai and Stephanie Che do have nice bodies though, those 2-piece bikinis show well on them.

Reviewed by: jasonlau128
Date: 01/03/2001
Summary: Excellent piece of work

This is a good film and those who disagree obviously had expectation which were unreasonable or they can not cope with something new in terms of style, content and genre - you people should just stick to Andy Lau style romantic comedy or cheapo badly directed action films.

The story revolves around several characters and shows their love interests and one of the guys is a cop and the other a robber. Tony Leung Ka Fai does a brilliant job as the cop and does not over do it as is easily possible.

The director makes good use of the locations and the shots and camera angles are very reminiscent of japanese films - good natural lighting and minimal decorative complacations as to illuminate the main characters and not the set

Highly recomended.

Reviewed by: trenty
Date: 10/08/2000
Summary: Completely slow and dull.

"Okinawa: Rendez-vous" offered a very bad taste to the audience. Even with the strong cast to support but failed to deliver a good movie.

The main problem of this movie perhaps should be the scriptwriter himself. After watching this movie, I asked myself a very important question, "What's the main plot of the story?" In result, I found out that my question can't be answered since characters were scattered around everywhere in the plot which made a very bored and slow-paced storyline. The setting looks good but it doesn't really matter where the story takes place. It could be anywhere, for example, Hong Kong.

As to the performance, all the main cast were at their acting standards. However, there is nothing much more you can expected from them due to the bad direction and script the movie has.

To conclude, this movie is very boring that I think not much "Romantic Comedy" (as stated) fans may want to watch it. It's just a plain slow-paced romantic(?) movie.

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 10/07/2000
Summary: Sayonara Snore-fest

"Okinawa: Rendez-vous" starts out with some promise, but ends up going nowhere. The film had the makings of a screwball comedy with Leslie Chueng and Tony Leung vying for Faye Wong in a love triangle. Unfortunately, the trio's interactions are tepid at best and there isn't much romance or comedy to speak of. Gordan Chan films have a habit of sagging in the middle without any relief to fend off the boredom. This film fell victim, too. Since Chan also wrote the screenplay, it's surprising how timid it is, without any madcap or zany elements to liven up the mixture. Instead everything plays too neatly. Vincent Kok steals the scenes that he's in and is the only refreshing aspect to the film.

Chan's romantic-comedy is a disappointing effort given the talent he has in "Okinawa: Rendez-vous."

Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 10/03/2000
Summary: Dull beyond any reasonable expectations.

I freely admit that I generally don't like art movies, but I will sometimes refrain from trashing them because apparently a significant number of people have found meaning in what I may find dull or irritating. Okinawa Rendezvous is not an art movie; it's a commercial movie from a commercial director, featuring big stars. Here's the big mystery: what part of it was supposed to be entertaining? Virtually nothing HAPPENS throughout the whole film! Not even the slightest touch of romance, unless you find attractive actors and actresses skirting the subject particularly romantic. There are a few dryly humorous scenes, mostly involving the Yakuza boss' long-suffering minions; these few mildly-enjoyable scene are the equivalent to down-time in real movies, though. The plot summary may lead you to expect some kind of mystery or suspense, or even a touch of action, but none of these are anywhere in sight. Now, I don't expect exploding cars, torrid love scenes and/or fart jokes in every movie I see, but I do think it is reasonable to expect that an expensive, commercially-successful movie will have some vaguely interesting ideas or entertaining elements. Okinawa Rendezvous adds up to little more than 90 minutes of attractive people in an attractive environment, and is a tremendous bore. Surprisingly, a few seemingly-intelligent people actually have liked it, but I can't think of a single person or category of person that I could possibly recommend it to.

Reviewed by: Paul Fonoroff
Date: 08/25/2000

Okinawa Rendez-vous may not be the worst film to be released in the new century so far, but it is certainly among the most disappointing. One has high expectations for Gordon Chan Ka-seung, a director with a unique place in the past decade of Hong Kong cinema, one of the few auteurs who time and again demonstrated that "commercial" and "high quality" need not be contradictions. Stephen Chiau Sing-chi was never better than in Chan’s Fight Back to School (1991), the level of cops-and-robbers pictures was elevated by his The Final Option (1994), and there isn’t a more subtle or nuanced yuppie Cantonese comedy than Brief Encounter in Shinjuku (1990). Chan returns to Japan for Okinawa Rendez-vous, but he has clearly lost his way.

The script, by Chan and longtime collaborator Chan Hing-ka, makes little sense. Are the adventures of ace thief Jimmy Tong (Leslie Cheung), would-be ace cop Dat (Tony Leung Ka-fai), and moll-on-the-run Jenny (Faye Wong) supposed to be raucous farce, sophisticated comedy, or edge-of-the-seat adventure? There are hints of all three elements, but each is so poorly developed, the proceedings so insipid, the characters so puerile, the dialogue so flat, that the viewer doesn’t have a clue to the filmmakers’ intentions.

The movie looks slick enough, thanks to a behind-the-scenes roster including image consultant William Cheung, art director Horace Ma, and cinematographer Cheng Siu-keung. But these are poor substitutes for the wit that was once a hallmark of Chan’s films.

There is absolutely no chemistry between the principals. The supposed sparks that develop between Jimmy and Jenny, or the "head-over-heels-in-love" experienced by handsome yakusa Ken Sato (Kato Masaya) and Dat’s fiancée Sandy (Gigi Lai), would come across as unconvincing if the viewer gave a hoot about any of these dull sophisticates. We don’t, and the movie comes across as a series of pretty images with beautiful people trying to act "cute" but quickly becoming tedious.

Following on the heels of 2000 AD, Chan’s glossy-but-second-rate Chinese New Years release, one wonders what happened to the magic that once made his movies the pinnacle of mainstream Hong Kong cinema.

Reviewed by: shelly
Date: 08/16/2000
Summary: a dull disappointment

What a disappointment! Lower your expectations before watching this movie. What seems to have been conceived as a wacky, vacation-at-the-beach cum cop-&-elegant-thieves caper farce is dead on arrival. Gordan Chan gives it no bounce, no sparkle, no energy, no rhythm, no lift. The thing just idles along, disconnected scene following scene, the actors merely going through their paces. Who would have thought that the best performance in a film starring Canto-cinema gods Faye Wong, Leslie Cheung, and Tony Leung Kar-fai would belong to GIGI LAI??? But that's what happens; her minor character comes to life: the camera loves her, and she gives back some energy, and hints of an actual character. Tony Leung tries, a bit, to be daffy and clueless in a sort of offbeat way, but there's not much he can do with zero support. Faye and Leslie are complete blanks in this film: L. is capable of great things, but listlessly poses through his scenes. And Faye Wong, so brilliant in Chungking Express, is wasted in this film. Chan has no idea what to do with her, and just poses and shoots her as a passive version of her own star persona. A few giggles and an attractive pony tail don't add up to a star turn (I say this as a confirmed Faye Wong fan from way back).

Cinematography is merely workman-like: lighting is cheap and miserable: many of the sunny outdoor scenes are dim and smudged. There are some mildly amusing Japanese yakuza for local colour, but the film as a whole reads as some light travelogue trifle, promoting the laid back Club Med-like charms of an Okinawa vacation.

Reviewer Score: 5