Friday, May 6, 2011

“THE DETECTIVE 2″[B+偵探] Movie Review. Bumbling after a SERIAL KILLER in sordid BANGKOK.


Excuse me ...

This Reviewer wants to elucidate a little on the complexity of film reviewing.

Sometimes you need to inject a teeny bit of buoyancy in this craft.

Because certain films take flight, preying on the human psyche as a mystery, such as this one does.

It challenges you to sink deep into the dark recesses of the mind to probe a trying subject you may want it eradicated.

This one is a psychological thriller that tends to veer off track in an inconsistent manner.

You board “THE DETECTIVE 2″ and take this “flight” to never land, metaphorically speaking. Just set your mind free.

Imagine this scenario as the intercom buzzes:

“Ladies and Gentlemen, it’s time to take off.

Kindly strap on your safety belt and put on your thinking cap.

We are flying on this super-duper airy THAI style whodunit airbus.

We ensure that you remain comfortably enthralled, mind-bending till the last frame of the finale, but not before you witness a fair butchering of victims.

The CAPTAIN for this flight is our Thai film director OXIDE PANG who had given us some creditworthy screamish stuff in the past.

He has his share of floppy ones too, but let’s not dwell on those now.

Travelling companions for the day are a loadful of mystery fan buffs.

Kindly rest assured that all of you’ll be in for a jolly slashing time.


Let’s deal with the plot:

Hong Kong’s ex-singer and mostly-now-actor AARON KWOK plays TAM, a nerdy, “blur blob” private detective who’s eking out a meagre living in Bangkok.

He is this ex cop who discovers that working for the government does not pay, irrespective of money and freedom.

What’s more, he can well dispense with the unhealthy politics within the police force.

He’s still miffed over the loss of his parents who were brutally murdered.

Then, by sheer coincidence he espies a remarkable resemblance of himself in FAI, a teenager who was led to believe that he was deserted by his parents and went to live with his sister. But everything points out that his “sister” is actually his blood mother who was raped and fradulently given birth to him. So his “sister” is actually his “mother”.

Over the formative years the boy has grown to be a strapping troubled adult as this childhood revelation has left him with an imprint that all women cannot be trusted.

He develops a burning hatred for prostitutes and lowly gangs.

A mysterious chain of killings then follows.

So is FAI the murderer?

Dark, sinister characters lurking in the shadows start to create a sense of chill.

There are giddy close ups of TAM the detective in full shock mode – mouth agape, eyes bulging – as if he’s frothing in a nightmarish trance.

AARON KWOK has always been a better actor than singer, but why is he bumbling and overacting like a childish idiot in most scenes?

The ensemble cast of Hong Kong and China artistes in dominant roles playing Thai nationals does not seem to fit well into the big picture.

In any part of THAILAND, it’s virtually impossible to hear verbal exchanges conducted in MANDARIN and CANTONESE without a decent word in THAI.

The film director beckons us on a trip through the infamous underbellies of the seamier part of Bangkok – to unearth dirt and sleaze of shameless gangs and societies tussling in decay.

But this film clearly displays more style over substance.

Plus a tiresome, draggy script does little to heighten the viewer’s expectations, only sadly adding to the flaws.

Visual treatment is commendable, but the storytelling and character development are not.

It leaves the viewer with a “could-have-been-better” aftertaste.

One would gripe an apparent lack of suspense.

The film explores the complexity of evil in the human mind, rather than spewing blood and gore which are signature of a horror film.

Overall, “THE DETECTIVE 2″ is positioned as a whodunit minus the horror.

It could have been a provocative albeit potent movie, but unfortunately it falls short of expectations.

At the end of the preview, one press member is noticed to nudge another with this question:

“Do you think that the PANG BROTHERS are overrated?”

The other nods resignedly.


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