african-american directors series: nope (jordan peele, 2022)
"the telephone" (mario bava, 1963)

geezer cinema: detective vs. sleuths (wai ka-fai, 2022)

I have a friend who lived and taught in Hong Kong for many years. I count on him to be my go-to expert on HK films. When he saw on Facebook that we had gone to see Detective vs. Sleuths, he wrote, "Good lord-—Wai Ka-Fai is back? Is it an enjoyable mess?"

"You called it," I replied, saying it was the stupidest good movie I'd seen in a long time. I added, "You know you married the right person when it's her turn to pick a movie and she comes up with Detective vs. Sleuths. Loony from start to finish, several hundred dead bodies, 8 trillion rounds fired, nonsensical plot."

With that, I feel like I've said all that needs to be said about Detective vs. Sleuths.

I had never seen a movie directed by Wai Ka-Fai, although I had seen a couple of Johnnie To movies that Wai had written, including a favorite of mine, Vengeance. I knew it had been 13 years since the last movie Wai directed ... I don't know the story on that. Well into the movie, we got non-stop action, until finally about halfway through everyone took a deep breath. The editing was excellent ... it was part of the reason no one in the audience could take a deep breath. The plot didn't really matter, although eventually it managed to make a little sense. There's an easy-to-spot Chekhov's Gun ... one of the characters is very pregnant, so you know there will come a moment in the middle of the action where she says "my water broke". There's some good acting amidst the carnage. Lau Ching-wan (Lifeline) is over the top as a crazed, hallucinatory ex-cop on the edge of becoming a psychopath, but the acting is appropriate for the part. Raymond Lam is new to me, and he was great as one of the cops. Watch the trailer, and you'll know whether you want to see it yourself.


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