Main cast: Byron Pang (Kafka), Tom Price (Daniel), Linda So (May), and Winnie Leung (Linda)
Kafka is a cute personal trainer with a very, very troubled mind. He is a Catholic as well as an amphetamine addict, and while he is bisexual, he is hesitant to accept the overtures of the gorgeous Australian-Chinese expatriate Daniel. But of course he does eventually, and it is beautiful. Why wouldn’t it be? He now has a wealthy cute guy who is willing to both supply and do ice with him, and this guy is not only willing to forgive him each time Kafka screws up, he wants to marry Kafka. In Australia. If I were him, I would be screaming “Yes! Yes! Yes!” even as I plan my purchases of many, many beautiful things for the next ten years on Daniel’s money. Alas, Kafka is too screwed up, so this romance hurtles towards the inevitable tragedy that every eight out of ten gay movies need to have in order to qualify for indie street cred.
Now, let’s get this out of the way: yes, this movie is one of the most gorgeous visual pornography ever. Byron Pang has no problems taking everything off from the very moment the film begins, and Tom Price is no slouch either, baring everything although his pee-pee’s screen time is considerably far less than Mr Pang’s. Given that both men are bisexual, there are also some female nudity here, but come on, this movie is for people who like to look at guys. Hot guys with nice bouncy behinds and cute pee-pees. Hot guys who have no problems doing long dreamy scenes in the showers, in bed, and underwater as naked as the day they were born. The movie shies away from portraying the actual sex act between two guys due to censorship reasons (the censors, naturally, have no issues with the straight sex scenes) but for the most part, Amphetamine is the Chinese equivalent of a soft porn movie with naked guys frolicking around for the audience’s appreciation. I naturally approve.
And there is a lovely romantic fantasy here. As I’ve mentioned, Daniel is a dream. Rich, wealthy, and so eager to love – what’s not to say no to, really? The rescue fantasy here is pure visceral delight to follow, although I hope people aren’t expecting a happy ending here.
But unfortunately, the director Danny Cheng Wan-Cheung or Scud is very undisciplined. Amphetamine is self-indulgent nonsense too often for its own good. The opening itself has Kafka naked except for body glitter and a pair of stuck-on angel wings. He looks pretty but the scene does nothing for the rest of the movie. Every time Mr Cheng feels like it, he would insert some pointless scenes just because he can, culminating with an ending scene which has Kafka and Daniel doing choreographed naked underwater frollicking like they are half-dolphins or something. And then, Kafka’s name, ugh. Maybe the director is trying to replicate some kind of drug-induced high, but these scenes are just overwrought, overly sentimental, and often unintentionally comical instead of deep and philosophical like they are meant to be.
Thus, this is a gorgeous movie to look at, but in the end, it resembles far more a garish, gaudy bad soap opera than whatever high art pretensions it is aiming for. Thank god for the naked, flopping pee-pees and bouncy behinds, really, or this one would have been one of the most comical pretentious misfires I’ve come across in a while.