ReviewWriter: Ng SuzhenWriter Ratings:Overall: Cast: Plot: Effects: Cinematography: Watch this if you liked:
“The Detective” and “The Detective 2”
If not for the presence of Aaron Kwok and Nick Cheung, this movie would have been easily mistaken for a local production that does not really live up to standards plot-wise.
While Kwok's Chan Tam has made a name for himself as the bumbling detective in "The Detective" and "The Detective 2", it does not do much to save the movie. Compared to the premises featured in the past two movies, it seems far-fetched that Tam would invest so much into finding out the truth behind the murder of his parents. Kwok, who undoubtedly is a capable actor, is let down by a storyline that was never interesting from the start.
The film tries to play up the mystery factor but director Oxide Pang should have known that there really is not much with the material to hype up the story into a climactic discovery. The efforts in spinning the web of intrigue just add up to dragging the film a little longer, which can be quite annoying.
Malaysians, however, might be distracted from the mundane plot as the movie is set in here in the country. When bored, you may take the time to guess the shooting locations of familiar spots around Klang Valley. Being married to Malaysian actress Angelica Lee probably helped make the movie more authentically Malaysian but when the local flavour is heavily presented via the eyes of Oxide, it feels contrived and unnecessary at times.
If there is only one complaint about authenticity, it would be Oxide's decision to feature a Chinese police detective (Detective Mah, played by Leon Li) who is able to converse with his colleagues of various races in Mandarin and still gain understanding from them, a scene which will undoubtedly earn an incredulous look from local audiences.
Despite multiple flaws in the movie, Nick Cheung sort of saves the day as Malaysian private detective Cheng Fung Hei. It is surprising how good he looks in a kung fu stance while sporting a head of unkempt long hair. It is always fun seeing him onscreen despite the movie's faults. Sad to say though, while Hei is supposed to pair up with Tam as his new 'buddy', the bonding does not seem to happen much onscreen.
It is not really believable that Tam and Hei are able to share so much trust between them as the both of them do not have much in common save for the fact that they are pursuing the same people who have harmed their family. Even that connection seems to be a forced plotline to give them a reason to work together.
If you are looking for a good mystery, this would not be the best choice. Go for "Conspirators" only if you feel a need to finish Oxide Pang's trilogy of Detective Chan Tam. Cinema Online, 10 April 2013