Bong’s got the P.I. blues, with memories of his pregnant wife’s suicide and a drinking problem, to boot. Having left the police force, he assists a friend/ex-partner, Hei, to find the murderer of his father-in-law, likely so Bong can distract himself from his languishing existence.
This police thriller by Andrew Lau Wai-keung and Alan Mak Siu-fai, the men behind the “Infernal Affairs” series (which inspired “The Departed,” in case you’re behind), consists of moody shots of vivid color, making for a dreamlike tone that meshes Bong’s (Takeshi Kaneshiro) personal torment with his case. It has twists and turns to match the tortuous mystery, though we soon learn, through grayed-out flashbacks, that Hei (Tony Leung) is in fact the murderer Bong is after. Having already lost her father, Hei’s wife is now targeted by a stalker.
Promising elements aside, the visuals float about as the film seems to wander, pondering its characters more than focusing on the said criminal thread. Lengthy exposition appears repeatedly, though we expect the case to serve as a MacGuffin to provide flavorful thrills. But the film too often skips on suspense and is stuck on a tortured protagonist, which leaves this misfire pondering its own title. A Hollywood remake is already in the works, but I must confess, I may have to skip it.