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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Entertainment
I love most Chinese HK film having brought up with them. This one in particular I would highly recommend. It's typicall HK style - fast motion, lots of emotional highs and lows, self-pity, utter madness and senseless beating up scenes.

The story line is very simple. A detective (now retired) has a mental illness problem coincide with a talent to "see" things...
Published on 26 Oct 2008 by Anistitis

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unexpected and Unenthralling
Taking an original premise and turning it into a dull film takes a rare talent. "Mad Detective" devalues itself by doing nothing very much exciting with the premise : as a cop with an ability to see the inner thoughts and monologues of others, the Mad Detective seems to spend most of his time having people thinking and acting like cardboard cutouts. Whilst it seems a...
Published on 22 Oct 2008 by Mr. M. A. Reed


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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Entertainment, 26 Oct 2008
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I love most Chinese HK film having brought up with them. This one in particular I would highly recommend. It's typicall HK style - fast motion, lots of emotional highs and lows, self-pity, utter madness and senseless beating up scenes.

The story line is very simple. A detective (now retired) has a mental illness problem coincide with a talent to "see" things hence solve mysteries. He was seek by a rookie to help solve a case involving the disappearance of a fellow police officer. The journey and mayhem both questioning the moral judgement of each individual throughout the entire film is portrayed.It is slightly different from the average and Bun's character played by Lau Chin-Wan is very convincing.

Good entertainment, not-overtly funny but funny enough with fast action flick typically delivered by HK directors. Enjoyable.. although I couldn't bear to see the Van Gogh scene ie when he cuts his ear. Euww..
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I am human too. Why should I be any different?", 14 Aug 2011
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Mad Detective [Masters of Cinema] (Blu Ray) [Blu-ray] [2007] (Blu-ray)
Johnnie To and Wai Ka Fai's directorial collaborations are often less satisfying than their solo efforts, and Mad Detective is no exception. One of those films that's both a lot smarter than it initially appears and at the same time not nearly as satisfying as you'd like, at times its intriguing premise doesn't feel quite as well thought through or smoothly delivered as it could be. In a riff on To's earlier (and rather better) Running On Karma, in which Andy Lau's pumped up bodybuilder could see the past lives that dictated people's fate in this life, Lau Ching Wan's disturbed cop has the ability to see people's inner personalities, be they male, female, fat, thin or, in the case of one suspect, all that or more. Not that that's his only quirk: he solves crimes by putting himself in the place of either killer or victim, which can mean slashing a pig carcass with a craving knife, being buried alive or thrown down several flights of stairs in a suitcase. Not that he's an Asian version of Monk - Tony Shaloub never cut off his own ear and gave it to his boss as a leaving present. Literally damaged goods, he may have a unique gift for solving crimes but it's one that leaves him unable to cope with a normal life, as his deceptively complex relationship with his wife - who may or may not be dead or a figment of his imagination - underlines. Called back in by his one-time protégé to solve a series of robberies carried out with a missing cop's gun, he finds out that the chief suspect (and his conflicting seven inner personalities) is even more mixed up than he is...

With his bad haircut and face that's not only lived in but condemned for demolition as soon as they can get the squatters out, Johnnie To regular Lau Ching Wan's hangdog expression does a lot of the work for him in the title role (think Hong Kong's answer to Randall and Hopkirk: Deceased's Mike Pratt), which is just as well considering how much of the film his character spends in a state of denial. He doesn't overtly play for sympathy either, which helps the film avoid some of the more clinging sentimentality or stereotyping that Hong Kong films often overdo when dealing with mental illness, making his character as maddening one minute as he is empathetic the next. The film's structure mirrors his psyche perfectly, which can be a problem. Moving between his impressions and what those around him see, the film is built on constantly shifting sands and can certainly be tricky to keep track of at times - this is one film that definitely benefits from a second viewing or at the very least a substantial use of the rewind button to catch your bearings. But if it's not always as accessible as you'd like on a first viewing, there are still plenty of striking moments to keep you hooked, be it a conversation with the lost personality of a killer in the woods, a double date at a restaurant that only involves three `real' people and one character's subtle confusion at how to cover up the evidence after the final shootout that takes place, appropriately enough, in a room filled with mirrors that reveal both cop and killer's true personalities.

As with their DVD release, Eureka's first Blu-ray title is a rather impressive package with a good 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, though both the sound mixes are a bit low, and plentiful extras, including lengthy French interviews with Johnnie To, Italian interviews with Lau Ching Wan and Lam Suet (the latter a permanent fixture in To's films), UK trailer and booklet.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars cop finds gun, cop loses gun, cop gets gun back, 20 Feb 2009
By 
Ce Duty - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mad Detective [Masters of Cinema] (Blu Ray) [Blu-ray] [2007] (Blu-ray)
if you like this type of film you will have come across this story plenty of times. but this never seems familiar or boring. keeps you gripped all the way through. brilliantly story, brilliant direction. the ending will have you thinking long after the film is over.
only loses a star because although the cover goes on about how HD it is, besides the title menu, it didnt ever seem very HD to me.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "Forget about logic! Apply emotions to investigate!", 21 Aug 2009
By 
Sam Woodward (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)    (REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Mad Detective [Masters of Cinema] (Blu Ray) [Blu-ray] [2007] (Blu-ray)
Imagine 'Sixth Sense' directed by Takashi Miike (minus Miike's obligatory torture scenes) & we have Mad Detective - the years' largest grossing Hong Kong film. Rather than seeing 'dead people', Detective Bun can literally see everyone elses' 'inner personalities' which tell him things that their outer selves are trying to hide. As you can imagine, this makes hims seem mad to others but also makes him a very good detective.

As you'd expect from a Hong Kong film - especially one which has won numerous awards - Mad Detective is incredibly stylish. It also delivers the substance too, as some thought-provoking ideas about identity are gradually sneeked in, without detracting from the fun.

Funny, touching, unique & intruiging, Mad Detective is much more than the sum of its parts. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A real find especially in an Asian film context, 15 Feb 2009
By 
Siriam (London United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)    (VINE VOICE)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Looking for an all action kung fu or violent crime thriller or a scare you out of your pants psycho thriller in normal Asian mode? Then I fear this movie will not deliver it. However what it does deliver is such an offbeat story in Asian movie making that to see it was Hong Kong's largest grossing film in 2008 makes one wonder if Asian audiences are themselves looking for new approaches and themes.

There is violence but it is underplayed and acts as an undercurrent to the main story exemplified in the scene where the lead character cuts off his ear Van Gogh style to give to his boss at a farewell celebration! The real surprise and discovery which makes this movie such a find is a very spiritual story line where the interaction of a detective who by reliving crimes (in the truest sense without giving the plot away) is able to inhabit what happened and the souls of the participants alongside a purposely disorientating sub plot of his lost wife who he still treats as being alive though not present.

The film's continual flowing in and out of what is happening in reality versus the mind actually had my whole family (wife and young children) openly debating with me about what was going on in a way that showed me what a thought provoking movie it is. While derivative in a few parts notably the final denouement shoot out with its use of mirrors looking a lot like Orson Welles Lady from Shanghai, this is simply so unique a movie that I hope it will enjoy great success in the USA and Europe and be followed by other thought provoking and enjoyable follow ups.

Finally the quality of the main feature transfer (an area that many Asian movies fail on due to quality of the master tape used in visual and audio) and the DVD extras are some of the best seen and make for an overall high standard package. It looks like Eureka are aiming to set the standard for high quality Asian movies being released in the UK which will make them a label to watch!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Hugely enjoyable, 22 Jan 2009
By 
Mr. F. E. Marioni "fran151278" - See all my reviews
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This film by Jonnie To tells the story of a detective who has this ability to see other people personalities. This unusual storyline is illustrated using a number of varying techniques all brilliant and sometimes confusing. The plot involves said detective (Bun) retired and deemed crazy by his peers is asked to help with a new case. To say any more would be to spoil the film, its fast, absolutely bonkers but hugely enjoyable, it doesn't quite hit the heights of To's other works like Election but it gets quite close.

The dvd is also excellent with a 1st rate transfer which worked brilliantly using an upscaling dvd player. Good if not spectacular extras including a Q&A and interview with Johnnie To, short cvast interviews and a brilliant booklet by david borwell.

For fans of early John Woo or To's other stuff or just people who are fed up of the generic hollwood action thriller treat yourself to this you wont be dissapointed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Visually stylish genre-bending thriller, 22 Nov 2008
By 
Jeff Markham (Walton-on-Thames, UK) - See all my reviews
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The latest collaboration between Hong Kong directorial duo Johnnie To and Wai Ka Fai is a fascinating, visually stylish and compelling thriller. Although the bare bones of the plot are nothing new and we've seen any number of other police thrillers, what raises this well above average is the directors' challenging of genre conventions.

Flights of surreal fancy reflect the troubled inner workings of central protagonist Detective Bun's mind. His special gift is to read other people's minds and To and Fai visualise this brilliantly by showing the personalities Bun can read and hear their thoughts. This creates a disorienting but compelling twist on the standard policier. The set pieces are superbly staged too.

Interiors are superbly lit and there's a haunting music score which adds to the tension and overall strangeness of the film. Whilst it is unusual for such a modern film to get the full Masters of Cinema treatment, in this case it is fully justified, and David Bordwell's illuminating essay helps tease out the aspects of this film that make it so interesting.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "I am human too. Why should I be any different?", 11 Nov 2008
By 
Trevor Willsmer (London, England) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 100 REVIEWER)   
Customer review from the Amazon Vine Programme (What's this?)
Johnnie To and Wai Ka Fai's directorial collaborations are often less satisfying than their solo efforts, and Mad Detective is no exception. One of those films that's both a lot smarter than it initially appears and at the same time not nearly as satisfying as you'd like, at times its intriguing premise doesn't feel quite as well thought through or smoothly delivered as it could be. In a riff on To's earlier (and rather better) Running On Karma, in which Andy Lau's pumped up bodybuilder could see the past lives that dictated people's fate in this life, Lau Ching Wan's disturbed cop has the ability to see people's inner personalities, be they male, female, fat, thin or, in the case of one suspect, all that or more. Not that that's his only quirk: he solves crimes by putting himself in the place of either killer or victim, which can mean slashing a pig carcass with a craving knife, being buried alive or thrown down several flights of stairs in a suitcase. Not that he's an Asian version of Monk - Tony Shaloub never cut off his own ear and gave it to his boss as a leaving present. Literally damaged goods, he may have a unique gift for solving crimes but it's one that leaves him unable to cope with a normal life, as his deceptively complex relationship with his wife - who may or may not be dead or a figment of his imagination - underlines. Called back in by his one-time protégé to solve a series of robberies carried out with a missing cop's gun, he finds out that the chief suspect (and his conflicting seven inner personalities) is even more mixed up than he is...

With his bad haircut and face that's not only lived in but condemned for demolition as soon as they can get the squatters out, Johnnie To regular Lau Ching Wan's hangdog expression does a lot of the work for him in the title role (think Hong Kong's answer to Randall and Hopkirk: Deceased's Mike Pratt), which is just as well considering how much of the film his character spends in a state of denial. He doesn't overtly play for sympathy either, which helps the film avoid some of the more clinging sentimentality or stereotyping that Hong Kong films often overdo when dealing with mental illness, making his character as maddening one minute as he is empathetic the next. The film's structure mirrors his psyche perfectly, which can be a problem. Moving between his impressions and what those around him see, the film is built on constantly shifting sands and can certainly be tricky to keep track of at times - this is one film that definitely benefits from a second viewing or at the very least a substantial use of the rewind button to catch your bearings. But if it's not always as accessible as you'd like on a first viewing, there are still plenty of striking moments to keep you hooked, be it a conversation with the lost personality of a killer in the woods, a double date at a restaurant that only involves three `real' people and one character's subtle confusion at how to cover up the evidence after the final shootout that takes place, appropriately enough, in a room filled with mirrors that reveal both cop and killer's true personalities.

Eureka's DVD is a rather impressive package with a good 2.35:1 widescreen transfer, though both the sound mixes are a bit low, and plentiful extras, including lengthy French interviews with Johnnie To, Italian interviews with Lau Ching Wan and Lam Suet (the latter a permanent fixture in To's films), UK trailer and booklet.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Compelling and confusing Hong Kong mystery, 3 Nov 2008
By 
Rowena Hoseason "Hooligween" (Kernow, Great Britain) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 50 REVIEWER)   
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Mad Detective isn't an easy film to get to grips with. Throughout the investigation we aren't sure whose perspective is correct: whether the mad detective himself is simply having visions and he is wrong, or whether his insights form a true representation of what is going on in the world. You don't find out until the final shoot-out scene, and then it becomes horribly obvious which is true.

Without the 'I see inside people' supernatural/insane aspect, this film is a very straightforward Hong Kong police procedural. But the fact that it centres around an ex-policeman so bonkers he cut off his own ear makes it convoluted and intriguing. Just like the Sixth Sense, much of the Mad Detective makes much more sense on second viewing. But unlike the Sixth Sense it is devoid of Hollywood's flourishes and over-statement, so instead the beauty of the film comes across from the nuances of the actors' performances. The scenes with the mad detective's wife are especially heart-rending -- their final goodbye in particular.

There are parts of the Mad Detective which are bloody, startlingly violent, unspeakably sad, and just plain confused. The sub-titling isn't bad but we needed to pause now and then to work out what was happening. However, for the majority of the movie we were carried along with the plot, entranced by the possibility that the detective might not actually be as mad as he seems. In some ways I was reminded of Angel Heart; another dark detective story poised on the edge of the unknown.
The special features were about average; the Q&A with the director would make more sense if you'd seen his other movies. We gave up halfway through the cast interviews as they weren't adding much to the overall experience.

So a film well worth renting if you like oddball mysteries. Not one to go for if you prefer high-kicking shoot-em-up action films. Definitely one to absorb and mull over.
8/10
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Cinematography masterpiece, 23 Oct 2008
By 
P. McCauley - See all my reviews
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This film rightly received a lot of attention upon its release, and its easy to see why. This has to be one of the best films I have seen over the last couple years.

The story is very unique, and pieced together so delicately in the correct way to make you captivated by it. It is about a detective, who is quite unique as he can actually see peoples inner personality as a living person. This opens the door to many interesting and humourous situations. The detective because of this gift, is very delusional, and at times seems to be unaware of reality. He is such a fasinating character and this type of character is quite hard to understand usually, but he comes across very clearly in this film.

The acting in this film is incredible, and each character portrays their personna with such excellent precision. It's quite rare today to find a film where everyone fits their role so well.

The artist approach to the cinematography of the film is just breath taking. Every shot is just a wonder to behold, and it shows how much time, thought, and genius went ino the creation of this film.

The rating 18 is a bit harsh, and is more like a 12 in british current ratings.

If you are looking for a great thriller film, with twists, action, great acting, and an overall beautifully worked film, then this is for you.

It didn't win best film of 2007 in hong kong for nothing.
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Mad Detective [Masters of Cinema] (Blu Ray) [Blu-ray] [2007]
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