SPARRING PARTNER, THE (The Corridor of Justice),  (JING YI WUI TONG)

(director: Cheuk Tin Ho; screenwriters: Frankie Tam/Oliver Yip/Thomas Leung; editors: J. Him Lee/Jojo Shek/Zhao Zhang; music: Philip Yung; cast: David Siu (Cheung Chiu), Nicky Wong (Little O),  Alan Yeung (Henry), Yeung Wai-lun (Henry Cheung), Mak Pui-Tung (Angus Tong), James Au (Cheung Kuen Kwai), Chan Kam-Fung (Shiu Suet Yee), Chu Pak-Him (Cheung Hin Jo), Xenia Chong (Shiu Pui King), Louisa So (Carrie Yau), Jan Lamb (Wilson Nq), Michael Chow (Supt. Kam); Runtime: 138; MPAA Rating: NR; producer: Philip Yung; Well Go USA Entertainment; 2022-Hong Kong-in Chinese with English subtitles)

“Challenging crime story.”

Reviewed by Dennis Schwartz

The former actor from Hong Kong, Cheuk Tin Ho (“The Way Home”), directs this intense and shocking procedural crime film based on a true story about a double homicide, that took place in Hong Kong in 2013. A young man, Henry Cheung (Yeung Wai-lun), partners with his roommate, Angus Tong (Mak Pui-Tung), to kill and dismember his parents.

It’s scripted by Frankie Tam, Oliver Yip and Thomas Leung.

After the murder, Henry reports his parents missing, then on an App site a few days later confesses, saying he killed them because they cut him out of their will he was supposed to share with his brother. He’s then questioned by the police and both he and his pal are charged with the murder.

At the trial, the story goes Rashomon, with three lawyers present, as stories are constantly changing and doubts about whose telling the truth comes into play.

At least throughout all this confusion there’s no doubt Henry is the killer, even if he pleads ‘not guilty.’ But for Angus’s part in the murder, things are not so clear, as we’re left without all the information as to what he actually did and like the jury of nine we are left confused.

The two detestable accused characters give highly entertaining performances, in this challenging crime story, where the chief defendant’s mental health becomes an issue.

REVIEWED ON 12/22/2022  GRADE: B