November 18, 2008 – 4:33 am

Is Raped By An Angel 3 a thriller trying to pass off as a soft porn movie? Given that it is produced by Hong Kong’s king of sleaze, Wong Jing, it’s a safe bet that it’s the other way round. Stephen Tan reviews.

Businessman Alex Fong is aiming to be Hong Kong’s next Chief Executive. But he has more than politics on his plate. Not satisfied being married, he is having an affair with one of his staff. Meanwhile, there has been a spate of rape cases in the building that he owns and works in. His popularity among the voters is dwindling and, when he is under stress, he hallucinates and sees naked women around him.Things come to a boil when Fong is accused of raping Pinky Cheung, one of his staff who is mentally challenged. The DNA test shows that Fong is the culprit but he cannot remember what happened on the night of the crime. He tells detective Simon Lui that he spent the evening with his former lover, Angie Cheung, now a prominent psychologist. However, Angie denies having met Fong since she was at an official function. At the same time, Pinky’s brother, John Ching, who is Lui’s colleague, wants to throw the book at Fong.

In 1992, producer Wong Jing had a hit with the lesbian-themed Naked Killer, a film which probably made everyone, especially western audiences, take note of Chingmy Yau. Not one to leave a good thing alone, Wong returned with Naked Killer 2 (1993), which is also called Raped By An Angel. In 1998, Aman Cheung helmed the in-name-only sequel, Raped By An Angel 2: The Uniform Fan; before directing this follow-up.

Storywise, this 1998 movie is a direct steal of Presumed Innocent - betrayed partner goes through an elaborate scheme to exact revenge. But then, no one goes to a Wong Jing movie for intricate storylines or fine performances. It’s as if Wong Jing has a germ of an idea; lets the screenwriter develops the script; throws everything into the air let then shoot as things land. First thing to go out the window is any sense of (cinema) logic.

The movie opens promisingly with a young woman working overtime and meeting her lover in the office. An intruder enters the office while they are having sex, attacks the man and brutally rapes the woman. Viewers soon realise what they are in for when Simon Lui walks into the crime scene mouthing ridiculous lines that have them reaching for the fast forward button.

But the movie is not without a couple of choice spots - Alex Fong at a press conference and seeing women, especially a woman press photographer, in the nude is quite memorable. Fong in the lift with a naked woman who only has a clutch bag to cover her privates is also quite amusing.

But the show stealer is Pinky Cheung, who does a strip tease (emphasis on tease) in one of Fong’s hallucinations (or “illusions” as the film’s subtitles have it), which makes her a name to look out for. Not to be overshadowed is femme fatale Angie Cheung’s sex scene with Fong. Those hoping for something steamy might be disappointed as these sex sequences are artily shot and are more “erotic” than exploitative. They also have a tendency to feel padded - shots being there just to lengthen viewers’ longing or prolong the agony!

As for the male leads, Simon Lui does his usual - he’s the smartalecky geek into internet porn but gets tongue-tied and flustered when a woman (in this case Pinky) offers herself to him; and Alex Fong would probably want to forget he was ever in this movie. Like Lau Ching-wan, Alex Fong has a deadpan face but it is Lau who seems to get the kind of roles that allow his persona to shine. Even the entire line on Hong Kong’s chief executive is nothing more than a MacGuffin but then that’s Wong Jing for you.

Note: The Raped By An Angel 3 DVD (Universe) is banned in $ingapore.

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