ALL U NEED IS LOVE (2021) short review

Ten Hong Kong production companies and two dozen Hong Kong celebrities unite forces, for free, in All U Need is Love, an ensemble comedy shepherded by old hand Vincent Kok, for the benefit of local film industry workers painfully impacted by the Covid crisis. From these best of intentions emerges a scattershot collection of mediocre vignettes as we follow Hongkongers quarantined in a hotel: Eric Tsang and Tony Leung Ka Fai reprise their horny characters from Pang Ho Cheung’s classic Men Suddenly in Black, looking for a sexcapade within the hotel’s limited roster of young females; hotel manager Michael Hui grandstands while trying desperately to escape quarantine (one of his attempts is foiled by a random Jackie Chan appearance, in his briefest fight ever against Ken Lo), Julian Cheung and Louis Cheung trade threats but warm to each other as rival gangsters forced to share a room… There’s more, but nothing much worth mentioning. In 75 minutes the film hurries clumsily to the conclusion that love conquers all, but keeps dropping cameos (Louis Koo, Francis Ng, Raymond Wong, Yuen Qiu as – you guessed it – the landlady from Kung Fu Hustle…) because who would keep watching anyway? But it’s a benefit film, hurried into production under strained circumstances, so it’s hard to pounce on it too hard. It’s like 1991’s The Banquet all over again, only with much fewer stars. (no rating under the circumstances)