(director: Pou-Soi Cheang; screenwriters: Szeto Kam Yuen/Nicholl Tang; cinematographer: Yuen Man Fung ; editor: David M. Richardson ; music: Xavier Jamaux; cast: Richie Ren (Chan Fong-chow), Louis Koo ( Ho Kwok-fai/The Brain), Chan Mong-wah (Wong), Cheung Wing Lai (Wong’s Father), Shui-Fan Fung (Uncle, street peddler), Michelle Ye (Woman), Suet Lam (Fatty, fishmonger), Han Yuqin (Chan Fong-chow’s wife), Monica Mok (Brain’s wife); Runtime: 89; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Johnnie To; Media Asia Films; 2009-Hong Kong-in Cantonese, Mandarin with English subtitles)

The mundane is made intriguing.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

Hong Kong helmer Pou- Soi Cheang (“The Death Curse”/”The Monster”) directs an enigmatic hit man caper film, with a twisty plot and a solid performance by its haunted anti-hero criminal leader Louis Koo. The hired killer Ho Kwok-fai (Louis Koo) is known as the Brain. The Brain and his cronies (Lam Suet, Shui-Fan Fun and Michelle Ye) stage what he calls “choreographed accidents,” in which they arrange for their crimes to look like accidents. When the Brain suspects his crew of sabotage, he sets up surveillance cameras to catch anyone guilty of betrayal. Things go awry after several attempts to arrange for a client named Wong (Chan Mong-wah) a complex accident to kill his wheelchair-bound shopkeeper father (Cheung Wing Lai). A member of the team is killed and the Brain barely escapes death in the botched attempt. The Brain is convinced it was an “accident” planned by another crime group. After the Brain follows Wong to a meeting with a businessman, Fong (Taiwan’s Richie Jen), he suspects Fong to be his rival and obsesses over him. The script by Szeto Kam Yuen andNicholl Tangis is as smooth as silk. The climax is cleverly done. The mundane is made intriguing.


Dennis Schwartz: “Ozus’ World Movie Reviews”