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Genre: Thriller
Starring: Aaron Kwok, Liu Kai Chi, Jo Koo
Director: Oxide Pang
Rating: PG
(Some Disturbing Content and Brief Nudity)
Year Made: 2007




- Trailer
- Photo Gallery




Languages: Mandarin
Subtitles: English & Chinese
Aspect Ratio: 4:3 Letterbox
Sound: -
Running Time: 1 hr 49 mins
Region Code: PAL 3
Distributor: Innoform Media




Tam is an impoverished private detective. One day, a guy nicknamed 'Fatty' asks Tam to track down a woman who had wanted to kill him. He leaves Tam a portrait of the woman without giving any details. Tam cannot resist the money and starts the investigation. He identifies the woman as Sum, a frequent mahjong player. Tam starts tracking her whereabouts through her mahjong playmates, but he is shocked to find each of them murdered every time he is about to get in touch with them. He discovers a half-burned photo at one of the murder scenes. Tam decides that he has to protect the next target from the invisible murderer. The photo is the only clue for Tam to uncover the case…


Okay, so Aaron Kwok did not clinch the Best Actor prize at the Golden Horse Awards for his role in this movie for a third year running (If you haven’t been following the news, Singapore local funnyman Gurmit Singh didn’t win either – they lost to Lust, Caution’s Tony Leung). But at least the Heavenly King knows what the panelists love so that they can nominate him a fourth time in a row at next year’s awards – intense roles which are bursting with tension and emotions.

Kwok’s previous award-winning performances in Benny Chan’s Divergence and Patrick Tam’s After This, Our Exile are but different variations of the private detective he plays in Oxide Pang’s movie.

The Mandarin title of this picture is “C+ Detective”, and when that is translated into Cantonese, it’s a word play on the term “private detective”. And C+ isn’t exactly a good academic grade, which reflects the status of Kwok’s character. The poor guy is a frumpy and near-sighted private investigator in Thailand who doesn’t have the best of luck. His latest case brings him face to face with a seedy murder that may be more than meets the eye.

Knowing the Pang Brothers (the other half being Danny Pang) who have helmed supernatural flicks like The Eye (2002) and Re-cycle (2006), it’s only habitual that one looks for clues which involve this movie with beings from the third dimension. As the 109-minute flick progresses, it looks like there are no signs of spirits in the story penned by the director himself. Whether there are any paranormal twists by the end of the movie, we’ll leave it up to you to watch it yourself.

As the movie builds up to its finale, you’d be distracted by many really sudden loud sound effects, many really sudden quick cuts and an over-the-top performance by Kwok. These elements help to entertain the easily-bored viewers today and help to allow the crew to show off some neat tricks. The gritty look of the movie manages to make the film appear like a fine piece of art without being tacky.

The clammy feel of Thailand is well captured through Decha Simantra’s (Bangkok Dangerous) lenses, and the production design by Anuson Pinyopotjanee won him a Best Art Direction at the recent Golden Horse Awards (we guess it’s the impressive collapsing elephant scene that wowed the judges). Also, look out for familiar Hong Kong faces like Liu Kai Chi (Protege), Shing Fui-On (Young and Dangerous) and Jo Kuk (Hooked on You).

Whether or not you’d be bowled over by the quick-paced story and Kwok’s performance by the end of the movie, one thing for sure: you’d be duly entertained.


This Code 3 disc contains only a Trailer and a somewhat pointless Photo Gallery.


The disc’s visual transfer isn’t crystal clear, but is okay because the movie wants to portray a coarsely filmed feel anyway. Too bad there is only a Mandarin audio track for the movie.



Review by John Li



Alternative Opinion:

. The Detective (Movie Review)

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This review is made possible with the kind support from InnoForm Media


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