Bishonen (1998)
Reviewed by: sarah on 2002-04-07
Summary: Five Shaolin Rentboys
Why did Bishonen remind me of Five Shaolin Masters? Well, for a start Jason Tsang looks alot like a young David Chiang. And Stephen Fung in his first lead role is as impressive and stellar in his way as Alexander Fu Sheng.
Daniel Wu could pass for Ti Lung, tall and slim with huge eyes, but really the star he reminds me of most is Rudolf Valentino. So many beautiful boys wrestling about without shirts, wonderful cinematography and the best of intentions. Its bound to remind you of Chang Cheh. But I don't think Yonfan is in his league as far as certain other aspects of cinematic craft are concerned. The plot really wasn't very plausible, failing to set up the Daniel Wu denoument and it is hard to see any motivation for what he does. And that female voice over was very incongruous. I did like the rather novel 'John Cam', and I thought the rentboy scene was very authentically presented, with amazing performances from all concerned.
Whatever its faults as a film, it has had a profound effect on Stephen Fungs legions of teenage fans. I've read many posts about how watching this film has overturned their prejudices. Good on the boy for taking risks and using his success to enlighten others.