PRODS Johnnie To, Wai Ka-fai
SCR Wai Ka-fai, Yau Nai-hoi, Ryker Chan, Yu Xi
CAM Cheng Siu-keung
EDS Allen Leung, David Richardson
PROD DES Bruce Yu
MUS Hal Foxton Beckett
PROD CO Milkyway Image / Media Asia Film
Hong Kong superstars Andy Lau and Sammi Cheng star in Johnnie To’s wild, sparklingly madcap genre-bender: let’s call it a romantic/detective/horror/thriller/comedy. This is no cool minimalist genre excursion, but rather To with no holds barred, intensely local and wildly cinematic.
Lau is blind amateur investigator Johnson; Cheng is a feisty young cop Ho. He specializes in solving “cold cases,” and makes up for his lack of vision with a kind of Stanislavskian immersive sixth sense: he reenacts (sometimes rather aggressively) unsolved crimes at the scene. She lends her athleticism (scissor kicks! rooftop tangos!) to his crime-solving brains. In order to solve a gruesome double-murder in a morgue, Johnston induces the gamely self-abusive Ho to reenact rather wild scenes—stairway tumbling, head bashing—all in the service of the greater crime-fighting good. It’s all held together by that great Chinese fetish, food, as Johnston and Ho eat their way through HK crime scenes, never letting a few bloody murders get in the way of a tasty meal.
To’s long time collaborator Wai Ka-fai wrote this characteristically narrative-warping screenplay. Daffy cop comedy transmutes into action thriller which veers straight down to macabre horror-murder, and back again, all at Hong Kong speed. This is To and Wai at their most dazzlingly playful, with beguiling star performances.
— Shelly Kraicer