Wednesday, October 30, 2013
BLIND DETECTIVE (2013) - Johnnie To
Blind Detective's storyline finds To in very familiar territory...yet another investigator with extrasensory sleuthing powers (ala Mad Detective and Running on Karma). This time, it's the result of his sightlessness (as opposed to insanity or karmic ESP). The big difference here is that To renders it as broad comedy, slapstick pushed to its bumbling breaking point in the vein of bad Jerry Lewis or one of the lesser Inspector Clouseaus. Farce and physical comedy is not the best fit for To's talents. And there's only so many stumbles a blind character can take before it seems genuinely in poor taste.
Speaking of taste, there is TONS of eating in this movie, more than in any other To movie I've seen (I skipped Love on a Diet). When Andy Lau is not stumbling face-first into something, he's got chopsticks to his mouth or a dumpling crammed into his cheek. You have to wonder if actors Lau and Sammi Cheng signed on for the catering alone. Whatever the case, To indulges his long-time stars and their improvisational "chemistry" way too much. There's no reason for a movie this slight in narrative to be 130 minutes long.