Down-on-his-luck private eye Tam (Aaron Kwok) is asked by a man to find a woman who is trying to kill him. Tam takes the case but instead of locating the mysterious woman he starts turning up dead bodies. Welcome to the off-kilter world of The Detective, directed by Oxide Pang. He and his brother Danny Pang made Bangkok Dangerous, which they are remaking in English with Nicolas Cage, The Eye , which is being remade by two French directors in English with Jessica Alba, and The Messengers, which isn't being remade because it was shot in English and made a good deal of money in relation to its budget.

The Pang Brothers are quite prolific; in the last five years or so, they've made three other films together as a team, Oxide has directed four others on his own and Danny has made three solo efforts. I very much enjoyed the energy and style of Bangkok Dangerous and The Eye, admired certain elements of The Eye 2, and was bored silly by The Messengers, but I haven't seen their other work. The Detective opened strong in Hong Kong last week, earning HK$1 million on its first day of release, according to Hong Kong-based entertainment news site The Detective also opened in Singapore last week and opens today in Malaysia. Reviewer Kozo of calls it "more of a ride than a complete experience, but Oxide Pang puts together a very enjoyable ride." Stefan Shih of had some reservations yet wrote: "still recommended for the visuals, sound design and [Aaron] Kwok's charismatic one man show." The film also received a positive nod from Cammy Zulkifli of Cinema Online in Malaysia.

Aaron Kwok has been a romantic pop idol for many years while also starring in movies in which his dramatic talents have sometimes been questioned. Entertaining blogger Soupdragon commented in her review: "He's an obsession just biding its time before it takes over all over again. ... Sometimes you rediscover [old obsessions] and find it's going to be a blatant case of not-stalgia ... Other times you remember exactly why they were obsessions [in the] first place. This is a clear case of the latter." She puts the film on the top of her list for 2007. Sadly, The Detective doesn't appear to have North American distribution yet.
categories Reviews, Cinematical