Hong Kong Digital
is a recurring series of movie reviews by John Charles -- associate
editor / film reviewer for Video Watchdog magazine and the author
of The Hong Kong Filmography.
Singer Anna Ching Suet has been kidnapped and a video clip of the captive girl has been uploaded on to the internet for all to see. After five days with no leads, the police are under enormous pressure to crack the case. The perpetrator, who has made no demands thus far, orders via e-mail that Ai Mo (Andy Hui Chi-on) be added to the investigation team. Mo left the force four years earlier, following a gambling scandal, and now works as a bodyguard. However, the evolving mystery quickly lures him back, to the chagrin of team leader Roy (Ken Wong Hap-hei), who feels that his authority is being challenged. Shortly after Mo makes contact with the suspect (who calls himself "Jash"), comedian King Lam-foon is snatched from a bar. Self-proclaimed psychic Shana Yick (Nicola Cheung Sam-yuet) predicted both kidnappings in advance, making her a prime suspect in Mo's eyes. He revises his opinion when Shana's forecasting proves to be dead on but Mo and Roy are still unable to rescue the next victim, Japanese actor Yukie. Jash (Ronald Cheng Chung-kei) warns that time is running out, and forces Mo and policewoman Renee (Irene Santiago Casiano) to participate in his "grand finale," which will be seen by everyone the world over.
Andy Hui and Irene Santiago Casiano. Image
courtesy Golden Harvest.
Director Billy Tang Hin-sing displays his usual visual panache and keeps things moving along at breakneck speed, all the better to help one forget the script's lapses in logic (like some absurdly elaborate e-mail games Jash compels his opponents to participate in). The events of the final third seem disappointingly unimaginative until the film goes off in an unexpected direction that puts the preceding events in a very different light. Screenwriter Felix Chong Man-keung (TOKYO RAIDERS, SHARP GUNS) is not quite able to pull off this sleight of hand but it is certainly a worthy concept and leaves the film with repeat value that it would not have otherwise possessed.