Just what we need at times like this, given the seemingly never-ending COVID-19 pandemic — a lighthearted comedy featuring an all-star cast of both older and current generations.
In All U Need Is Love <總是有愛在隔離>, a HK$30 million benefit project which reportedly has ten major local film companies joining forces to help the affected Hong Kong film industry workers due to the pandemic, takes place mostly in the (fictional) Grande Hotel. When the Centre for Health Protection led by ex-TVB regular Gregory Charles Rivers demands the hotel has to temporarily cease operation due to a suspected COVID-19 outbreak, every guest and worker are forced to be quarantined for 14 days.
From here, the story focuses on several subplots including two rival gangsters (Julian Cheung and Louis Cheung) who both trapped in the hotel; a hotel manager (Carlos Chan) and a single mother (Fiona Sit), where he forced to re-hire her due to a lack of staff; two guests (Tony Leung Ka-Fai and Eric Tsang) re-enact Men Suddenly In Black <大丈夫> (2003)-like characters; and a young couple (Luk Wing a.k.a. 6 Wing and Cecilia So) who are about to marry and hold their wedding at the hotel.
Elsewhere, the hotel president (Michael Hui) is looking to sneak his way out of the hotel with the help of his security brother (Chin Ka-Lok). And of course, you will find plenty of cameos here ranging from Louis Koo to Francis Ng, Gordon Lam Ka-Tung, Alex Fong and even Jackie Chan. The latter shows up in a minor scene where the movie parodied one of his famous action movies (you’ll know when you see it).
Speaking of parody, director Vincent Kok has a field day making fun of them ranging from Security Unlimited <摩登保鑣> (1981) to Cold War <寒戰> (2012). But personally, I found the funniest one has to be the Motorway <車手> (2012) send-up, where a hilariously deadpan Bob Lam drives a getaway car to rescue one of the gangsters.
The overall story is more like a scattershot of hit-and-miss sketch comedies stitched altogether to fulfil the length of a feature film. It’s mildly fun and amusing while it lasts, notably the subplot involving Julian Cheung and Louis Cheung.
Although the comedy dominates the most in this movie, there are few worthwhile action setpieces including the aforementioned Motorway <車手> parody and the earlier foot chase scene, where a character played by Alex Fong attempts to avoid getting captured by a task force from the Centre for Health Protection.