Title; Mad Detective
Director; Johnnie To & Wai Ka-Fai
Staring; Lau Ching-Wan, Andy On, Ka Tung Lam & Kelly Li
Johnnie To & Wai Ka-Fai's Mad Detective is a film that turns the Hong Kong crime genre upon it's head. Based around the simple concept of a man that can see everyone's hidden personas, Mad Detective is anything but formulaic and right from the very start disuades any notion that this is just another flashy HK crime flick. Lau Ching-Wan stars as the eponymous Mad Detective, Inspector Chan Kwai-Bun, a brilliant detective forced into retirement when his methods and actions become a little too bizarre. Alongside him Andy On plays young Inspector Ho who tries to enlist the aid of retired Inspector Bun to solve a complex murder case involving a missing police officer and a suspect with multiple personalities.
What follows is a highly ingenious, highly inventive and above all, highly entertaining piece of cinema. Paced perfectly, this viewer sat on the edge of his seat, intrigued and enthralled in equal measure and delighting and the simple, unrestrained freshness of this film and it's premise. Lau Ching-Wan plays his part exceptionally well as the oddball Inspector Bun, throwing all semblence of logic out of the window as he investigates the case, but it's a straight faced performance; there's no comedy here as the plot and it's characters take themselves very seriousley. However, despite this it's hard not to find humour in some of the scenes involving multiple personalities, and whether this was the directors intent or not, it does provide a handful of light hearted moments that help to break up this complex and down-right weird film into more palatable pieces.
Overall, if you're looking for a crime film that's as inventive and intriguing as it is enjoyable, you can't go wrong with Mad Detective. See it now before Hollywood does a shitty remake with Leonardo Di Caprio.