Thursday, July 17, 2008

Mad Detective (HONG KONG)

Film Review by Kam Williams

Headline: Clairvoyant Cop Cracks Cases with Unorthodox Methods in Crime Caper from Hong Kong

Despite a knack for solving crimes with his intuition, Inspector Bun (Ching Wan Lau) was forced to take an early retirement after he pulled a Van Gogh and sliced off his own ear as a going away gift to his boss. Now five years later, the clairvoyant cop is being recruited back onto the police force by young Inspector On (Andy On) who needs help in solving the mysterious disappearance of a fellow officer (Kwok-Lun Lee) who has been AWOL for a year and a half.
Teetering between inspired and insane, Bun has his new partner do things like zip him up in a suitcase and throw him down the same flight of stairs as a murder victim only to emerge knowing who the perpetrator was. “Seeing Things” (1981-1987) was a PBS-TV series which successfully employed a similar gimmick, though such supernatural contrivances invariably feel a little hokey to all but the most gullible.
In the case of Mad Detective, the device is more comical than compelling, given that the whodunit is a collaboration of Hong Kong action mavens Johnny To Ka-Fai Wai. So brace yourself for a trademark low-budget, high body-count, blood and guts affair resting on an implausible plot which doesn’t always make logical sense.
But what do you expect of a chopsocky revolving around a head case of a hero asking to be buried alive in order to channel his psychic powers?

Very Good (3 stars)
In Cantonese and English with subtitles.
Running time: 90 minutes
Studio: IFC Films

To see a trailer of Mad Detective, visit:

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