Miss Kicki (霓虹心) directed by Hakon Liu (劉漢威) is a tale that brings a Swedish mother and son to Taiwan. Kicki, played by Pernilla August, is a Swedish woman with a wild past and her son Viktor, played by Ludwig Palmell, has been raised by his grandmother. Kicki leads her son to believe that the trip is so they can get to know each other, but actually she wants to meet Mr Chang, a businessman played by Eric Tsang (曾志偉), who she has been chatting with online.
Once in Taipei Kicki leaves Viktor to do his own thing while she lacks the courage to go and visit Mr Chang. Instead Kicki flirts with the Ken, the hotel receptionist. Viktor soon meets and becomes friends with Didi. Some romantic tension develops between Viktor and Didi although the gay relationship is never fully developed.
The three central characters work together well and the film has some wonderful scenes. The variety of Taiwan scenes, from broad Taipei cityscapes to Sun Moon Lake look great, but it is the rundown hotel, narrow alleys and rooftops in Taipei’s Wanhua District where the most interesting moments are captured. There is also a scene shot at the UFO houses near Sanzhi, which have since been demolished.
The dialogue in the film is a mix of Swedish, English and Mandarin. The director is a Norwegian who grew up in Taiwan. He successfully finds a way to fit the Swedish style in a Taiwanese context. The film is nicely shot with some good acting performances although the plot fails to build sufficient tension.