Movie Review: The "Mad Detective" (Hong Kong)

Guns guns guns, but who shoots first?

Ok, I love Hong Kong cop films, so it probably helps. I’m also able to sort out Asian faces better than most idiots who just say ‘they all look alike’, which definitely helped because this movie is part Hong Kong police fare part Buddhist personality play. I also love Johnnie To movies so watching this was quite a treat.

The Mad Detective is a Hong Kong police officer blessed/cursed with the ability to see a criminal (or anyone’s) inner personality. In doing so he basically go insane and drops out of the force, until called back to help in the disappearance of a Hong Kong police officer and his gun (a cop losing his gun in HK is a very big deal). As he looks at possible suspects and partners, he ’sees’ (and you see) the personality inside–be it the stern taskmasker, the lazy loaf, the thug, or the brains (always played by smartly dressed hot women I should add). For those easily distracted in movies, this will throw them for an absolute loop, but once you make this realization that each time you are looking at someone they can be someone else the film takes on this really interesting dimension.

This is one of the tightest written Hong Kong cop movies I’ve seen in a long time. No random characters or scenes that obviously suffered from excessive editing (i.e. no continuity in the plot). The film has been released on DVD by Blockbusters as part of their new move into foreign films.

Like I said, if you can track multiple characters (personalities) this is really a pretty entertaining film. Definitely kept me interested as the plot twisted and turned making you feel like a lost child at times.


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