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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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
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