Friday, July 4, 2014

Film Review: The Detective 2 (2011)

The Detective 2 (Review)
China/2011
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...a good time killer, but not as great as the original."

Private investigator Tam (Aaron Kwok) once again joins his police friend Chak in solving a string of bizarre serial murders....

Glowing with celebrity from his last successful case, Tam joins Chak in investigating a bizarre case of murder. Although they know the cases are connected, the murder uses bizarre and inconsistent methods to kill, and does not leave fingerprints or other conclusive clues. So, as the murders pile up, Tam begins to delve deep into the mind of killer. The story is fairly simple this time around, moving at a slow pace and just barely keeping me engaged. The ending is decent -- the final scenes are a great tease for the future.

The Detective 2 is a good mystery film. The mystery is definitely interesting, but not so much engaging. This is likely because the investigation isn't in-depth. There are less interviews and interrogations, and less hands-on investigations -- the information is just handed to the audience. Compared to the first, there is also less excitement and thrills. I did like the characters, though, and the many possibilities Tam runs through. I don't want to spoil to the film, but I will say the general concept surrounding the killer was also good. It doesn't have a slick twist like the first, but the concept and execution is at least good.

Aaron Kwok is very good as the lead -- again, he's very charismatic. The rest of the acting was good, too. The photography is better this time around, too. The cinematography is much easier on the eyes; I did sort of miss the muddier style of the first, though. The music isn't special, but it works. The English subtitles on the Netflix Instant stream have some errors, but you'll always know what's going on. Director Oxide Pang is good, but loses personality with this film; it feels very safe and procedural, and it also has some pacing issues.

Overall, The Detective 2 is a good film. It offers an interesting mystery and an interesting resolution, and it's all-around entertaining. However, it does occasionally lose momentum, the runtime is bloated, and the film lacks raw investigation work, especially compared the The Detective. It's a good time killer, but not as great as the original.

Score: 6/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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