An adaptation Li Yu's Chinese erotic novel The Carnal Prayer Mat follows the sexual exploits of young Ming Dynasty scholar Wei Yangsheng (Hayama).
A billing as "The world's first erotic 3D film” was enough to make this period sex comedy, loosely based on the same source as the original Sex And Zen, open bigger than Avatar in its native Hong Kong. Eroticism, like beauty and comedy, is in the eye of the beholder — literally, given the 3D breasts displayed here — and all three get a fair shake in the film’s amusing and/or arousing first half, which takes place squarely in the realm of the senseless. But it loses impetus, straying from questionable taste to outright misogyny (one woman is literally raped to death, another suffers genital mutilation), obscuring the ‘lust fades, love lasts’ message and leaving a bad taste in the mouth.
If three-dimensional boobs are your thing, this Chinese skinfest ticks some boxes. If not, this packs all the sexual thrills of a baguette. Avoid like a case of the crabs.