"Maybe in a world without an M. Night Shyamalan, Mad Detective would have been great."
- Mighty Peking Man
Mad Detective (2007)
Director: Johnnie To Kei-Fung, Wai Ka-Fai
Producer: Johnnie To Kei-Fung, Wai Ka-Fai
Writer: Wai Ka-Fai, Kin Yee Au
Cast: Lau Ching-Wan, Andy On Chi-Kit, Gordon Lam Ka-Tung, Kelly Lin Hsi-Lei, Lee Kwok-Lun, Karen Lee, Flora Chan Wai-Shan, Eddy Ko Hung, Lam Suet
Running Time: 91 min.
Plot: See review below.
Availability: This title is available at HKflix.com
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S REVIEW: Johnny To is usually a hit or miss with me, but I respect the guy. After all, he makes a shit load of movies (usually 2 a year, not counting ones he produces) and is open to just about any genre (with the exception of porn). It's definitely quantity over quality with To, but when he's good, he's GOOD.
When I heard he was going to be directing Lau Ching Wan again, I got all giddy. Then I heard this new project was going to be a crime-thriller and I nearly busted a nut.
This brings us to Mad Detective... a film about a man (Lau Ching Wan) with the special ability to see people's personalities (literally!), which makes him a phenomenal detective. On the other side of the coin, he's an eccentric madman (hence, the title). Self mutilation, starting fights with people for no good reason, and imagining things around him that are not really there. His way of solving crimes is outrageous: in one scene he tells his partner to stuff him in a suitcase and kick him down the stairs; in another scene, he buries himself 6 feet into he ground - all this just to get his thought process going.
Mad Detective is nothing fantastic, but it's entertaining. I dig the creativity brought to us by Johnny To, Ka-Fai Wai and Kin Yee Au (writers of the film). As always Lau Ching Wan's performance is excellent. I still would rather see Johnny To/Lau Ching Wan and company do a little something not so far out. Maybe another gangster movie like A Hero Never Dies or Fulltime Killer.
There's some half-groundbreaking stuff happening here. Maybe in a world without an M. Night Shyamalan, Mad Detective would have been great.
MIGHTY PEKING MAN'S RATING: 7/10