SUSPECT (超意神探) (2024)

Genre: Action/Crime
Director: Sam Wong Ming Sing
Cast: Nick Cheung, Patrick Tam, Niki Chow, Zhang Yishan, Liang Yong Qi, Michael Tong, Sammy Hung
Runtime: 1 hr 34 mins
Rating: PG13 (Some Violence & Disturbing Scenes)
Released By: Golden Village Pictures
Official Website: 

Opening Day: 18 April 2024

Synopsis: Guo Wenbin, a former policeman who suffers from hyperthymesia finds himself entangled in a twisted game orchestrated by a brilliant killer who challenged justice in a hypnotic murder case. The society is in a state of panic as the suspect advocated punishing criminals on behalf of the law, eliminating violence by bizarre means, and openly challenging the judiciary. With lives at stake and the public trust wavering, Guo's exceptional memory becomes the key to unravelling the complex scheme. At the moment of the final showdown, Guo faces a hypnotic battle against his own inner darkness, a persona known as “Suspect Zero”, this is not just a fight against the killer, but also the darkest impulses within himself. Guo must resist the urge for vengeance, uphold the law, and expose the truth behind the murders and the hidden tragedy that fueled them. Ultimately, he must rely on his own strength to bring the true culprit to justice.

Movie Review:

With all due respect to Nick Cheung, ‘Suspect’ is downright atrocious. We’re not sure what exactly Cheung signed up for when he accepted the lead role in this serial killer thriller, but we’re quite sure seeing how little effort the award-winning actor puts into playing idiosyncratic detective Guo Wenbin that he probably realised on the set that it just wasn’t worth it.

The fault, we suspect, lies squarely with writer-director Wong Ming-sing, whose previous triad feature ‘Man on the Edge’ was similarly incoherent despite boasting a star-studded line-up. A former leading member of the Jackie Chan stunt team, Wong clearly overextends himself struggling to put together a story involving such weighty subjects as hyperthymesia, hypnosis and even multiple-personality syndrome.

Set in an unnamed city that looks like a clumsy cross between Hong Kong and some Southeast Asian capital, ‘Suspect’ has Cheung’s former policeman entangled in the crosshairs of a killer who appears to have supernatural powers. That killer is ostensibly the enigmatic beauty May Chou (Zhang Yishang), who turns herself in at the police station the night of the brutal murder of a South Asian male who happens to be the disgraced CEO of a PR company.

Subsequent murders follow despite May being held in custody, and Guo’s pursuits to try to stop these other killings lead him to suspect that there is more than meets the eye. That is however taken too literally by writer-director Wong, who not only has Guo being able to remember every single detail of a crime scene (owing to his hyperthymesia) but also do battle with various personas inside his brain for no rhyme or reason.

What could be a tight thriller therefore never ever coalesces into anything intriguing, no thanks to Wong’s kitchen-sink approach at throwing every single trick in the genre playbook into his eventually overstuffed yet underdeveloped movie. Indeed, it isn’t hard to guess that someone is manipulating May, or that the ultimate killer is a master of hypnosis, but the build-up to that reveal is non-existent, even while we get eccentric scenes of multiple Cheungs taunting one another.

That ‘Suspect’ was made on a shoestring budget – it was meant for the iQiyi streaming platform, after all – is patently obvious, but that is no excuse for how illogical and downright idiotic the plot is. We cannot even say that there was ambition on the screen, just perhaps not the budget to execute it; rather, this is unfortunately the case of a completely inept filmmaker who has bungled the execution from start to finish.

Is Cheung nonetheless watchable? Of course he is. But that doesn’t mean the movie is. ‘Suspect’ is one of the early contenders for the worst film of the year, which considering its cast of veterans like Cheung, Patrick Tam, Niki Chow and Michael Tong, should say enough about just how bad it is. We’re not sure what each of these actors think they owe Wong favours for, but they are doing absolutely no favours for their career or for their reputation being a part of such utter drivel.

Movie Rating:

(Not even Nick Cheung can save this film from being utter drivel, and a surefire contender for worst film of the year) 

Review by Gabriel Chong


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