If it's crap ... We'll tell you
Bun (Lau Ching-Wan) is the best detective on the force... but he is batshit crazy. And he's not cute crazy, like Monk, or Riggs. He's imaginary-friend / self-mutilation crazy. But they keep him around because of his awesome record. That is until he cuts off his ear and gives it to the chief as a last minute retirement present. Five years later Ho (Andy On) is having trouble cracking a case where the gun of a missing police officer is being used in a series of violent robberies, and he tracks down Bun to help him solve the case.
While I really enjoyed this movie almost the entire time, the disconnect I feel for the final product is that I think the case Bun is called in to solve is far less interesting than the character the film is based around. Bun is a three-dimensional, really cool character. Albiet he's "movie crazy" where his psychosis is really partially a gift of second sight that no one else believes, and partially based in delusion, but ultimately explainable. Still his character is supremely interesting, and you very much care about him by the end of the film. The case itself is rather straight forward unfortunately, and doesn't really display Johnnie To's ability to pull multiple story threads into an satisfying and increasingly suspenseful conclusion.
Visually this pretty great. The final sequence, although lacking the suspense I hoped it would have, is beautifully filmed, and reminds me of Christopher Nolan. I also want to shout out Andy On, who's character Ho is a pivot point for the film, and Gordon Lam who almost always plays the villain, and always does so quite well.
There isn't much action in the film, but I didn't even notice it wasn't there, because this is just an interesting movie. Can't say too much more without spoiling things but don't expect to be wow'ed by any over-the-top gun-fu. This isn't 'Exiled'
To fails in creating the suspense that he's become known for in this film because of how straight forward the conflict is, but this is still a strong stylistic and character driven film. It's an engrossing film to watch with some great performances, but unfortunately it doesn't engage the viewer as well as it should.
Upcoming suggestions include Korean films 'I Saw the Devil' and 'Il Mare'
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