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Paramount Motel
Year: 2000
Simon Lui has a drink in Paramount Motel.
Director: Billy Chung Siu-Hung
Producer: Raymond Wong Bak-Ming, Ng Kin-Hung
Writer: Simon Lui Yu-Yeung
Cast: Simon Lui Yu-Yeung, Ti Lung, Lai Yiu-Cheung, Cheung Tat-Ming, Pauline Chan Bo-Lin, Ada Choi Siu-Fun, Pinky Cheung Man-Chi, Fennie Yuen Kit-Ying, Samuel Leung Cheuk-Moon, Chapman To Man-Chat, Jason Chu Wing-Tong
The Skinny: Ultimately muddled, but still intriguing crime drama from low-budget kings Simon Lui and Billy Chung. The decent story and good acting make this an uncommon flick.
by Kozo:
     Masters of the low-budget crime film Simon Lui and Billy Chung team up for the 2000 release Paramount Motel, which possesses an intriguing narrative and fine acting. Nothing truly new happens here, and the film ultimately doesn't accomplish much, but at least they actually tried.
     The head-shaved Simon Lui is Pang, an incredibly obsessed police officer who's a top cop - at the expense of everything else. He's married to Fennie Yuen, but their marriage is an illusion. In reality, she's sleeping with fellow cop Cheung (Lai Yiu-Cheung). Instead of confronting her about this, Pang throws himself deeper into his work, which becomes even murkier when prostitute Wyman (Pauline Chan) is murdered at the seedy Paramount Motel. The list of suspects isn't long, but they include the evil boyfriend (Jason Chu), the best pal (Pinky Cheung), and motel owner Hing (Ada Choi). What makes the case an even tougher one is they're all connected to Master Sun (Ti Lung), a local crimelord who owns people in all levels of government. If Pang wishes to challenge Sun - and he just might - he may end up losing everything.
     The conflicts and situations that writer Lui cooks up are standard genre types, but his respectful handling of the ins-and-outs of Pang's world are refreshing. Pang, despite being a hard-boiled cop, is a good man who's well worth our sympathy. His pursuit of justice is single-minded, but his humanity gets in his way. It prevents him from confronting his wife, or even fingering the correct murderer. Simon Lui does a good job of portraying his stiff character, and Ti Lung, Lai Yiu-Cheung, Ada Choi and Fennie Yuen turn in fine support. For a good portion of the film, the attention to character and the performances make everything worthwhile.
     Still, that's only half the film. Lui does eventually lean on some too-easy existential dialogue and character connections which tie everything up very neatly. And, despite the appropriate ending, the film never really registers as something more telling. This could have been an exceptional film had the director-writer combo pushed the envelope even further. At times it seems that the film is reaching some sort of bursting point, but nothing that pronounced ever happens. People have vaguely threatening conversations, and that's supposed to be the payoff. Paramount Motel leaves too much undone, but there's still quite a bit to recommend here. (Kozo 2000/2002)
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Widesight Entertainment
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
English and Chinese Subtitles

image courtesy of Widesight Entertainment Copyright 2002-2017 Ross Chen