Blind Detective Screen 8 articles

Blind Detective


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  • It’s fundamentally a comedy, and if you have any experience with Hong Kong comedy, you know that it’s often broad enough to make Adam Sandler look like Oscar Wilde... Like Shield Of Straw, Blind Detective runs far longer than necessary (129 minutes), and a little of Lau’s mugging goes a long way; after initially being put off, though, I eventually adjusted to the film’s antic rhythm... enjoying the two leads’ go-for-broke enthusiasm and the convoluted plot’s nutty digressions.

  • Like Miike, To doesn't stick to logic or continuity: There are two willfully ridiculous sequences where our blind detective drives a car while, of course, acknowledging that he cannot, indeed, even see what he's doing—and while To's ambitious amalgam of comedic trappings and grisly crime analysis is just odd enough to remain of interest, it's also atonal in ways that contrast jarringly with best recent work, such as Life Without Principle and Romancing in Thin Air.

  • There's still something fascinating about the relentlessness of the humor, which manages to make light of murder, cannibalism and oversexed grandmas among other wild targets. It also helps that To treats the proceedings like a master-goofing-off lark, and that Lau and Cheng have an alternately aggravating and ingratiating chemistry that suggests Nick and Nora Charles as played by Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck. A Looney time, alright.

  • Once more, the congenitally fabulous Andy Lau Tak-wah is accompanied by Sammi Cheng as his love interest, and the two ham it up as gleefully as in Love on a Diet(2001). (They were more subdued in my favorite of the cycle, Needing You…, 1999.) This is, in short, a real Hong Kong popular movie. It brought in US $2.0 million in the territory, and $33 million on the Mainland, about the same as Monsters University. If it keeps Milkyway in business, how can I object?

  • Decisively on the "fun" side (much more than Mad Detective was), the film pushes to the extremes the "reconstruction theories" of his very special cop, at the physical expense of sweet and witty Sammy Cheng. But the blind detective's arrogance and taste for manipulation is constantly challenged and shattered by his own self-confidence. A scathing humor and some farcical situations give the film a solid politically incorrect turn.

  • This is never not charming, and never not knowingly silly... Lau and Cheng sometimes feel laid bare in the sun, and Blind Detective escapes the artifice of its movieness and resembles some shoddy TV production. Yet in a way this feeds back into the film, into its greater sense of freedom, its silliness, its can-do attitude willing to try pretty much anything.

  • This is, simply put, one of To's purely fun—and surprising—movies. I never could get a handle on exactly where it was going, either tonally or in terms of its storytelling. In spirit, it made me think of Howard Hawks' Monkey Business with Andy Lau hamming it up not unlike Cary Grant. As always, it seems difficult not to link To to classical Hollywood.

  • To's writing stable often provides him with strong scripts, but I can't remember the last time the acting and screenplay not only fully kept up with his direction but also pushed it forward. The morgue scene alone is a masterpiece of comic writing and a reminder that comedies are enhanced by immaculate filmmaking, and that to know how to actually direct need not stand in the way of a joke.

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