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Mad Detective

A mad thriller
By PETER KEOUGH  |  August 5, 2008
2.0 2.0 Stars


When Hong Kong police rookie Ho encounters Inspector Bun at the beginning of this mad thriller from Johnny To and Wai Ka-fai, he’s impressed by Bun’s methods, which include stabbing a pig carcass and being pushed down flights of stairs while inside a suitcase. Unorthodox, perhaps, but they work — until Bun crosses the line and chops off an ear (his own). Years later, stumped by a case, an insecure Ho looks up his old mentor and gets more than he bargained for. So does the viewer. Although unkempt and wacko (he argues, Harvey-style, with his long-absent wife), Bun has the gift of seeing people’s “inner personalities” and of psychically re-enacting events — think The Medium starring Columbo. This makes for some funny and surreal moments, but also for long stretches of clutter and confusion. A scene in which Ho and a suspect drive off in a car, their eight combined inner personalities jammed into the back seat, epitomizes what’s best and worst about the movie. 89 minutes | Cantonese | MFA: August 8, 9, 10, 13, 16

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