4 July 2017 | shiyosunderland
Slapstick Gangsters Shoot Sharp!
"All the wrong clues" is Tsui Harks departure from his gritty new wave roots into a more mainstream body of work. I never really got why genre comedies in Hong Kong are usually marketed with pretty kitschy posters and overly long and quirky trailers for this is basically a pretty straight noir gangster spoof featuring George Lam as private detective and Teddy Robin Kwan as chief inspector. The story revolves about triad super bosses trying to outsmart each other with Lam and Kwan constantly sabotaging their schemes and themselves being played by mastermind Ah Capone. As you might have guessed, the story isn't all that important in a slapstick inferno like this. Tsui Hark delivers a million punches, some of them miss gloriously but you're never left hanging, the next joking is already homing in on you. If you do despise slapstick, please avoid this movie at all costs. Although the script and ideas are pretty strong in the first and last quarter of the movie, it really indulges in seemingly improvised mass brawls and chase scenes that try the viewers patience quite a bit, especially if you're not in the mood.
I have to say, I really really like the lead actors, especially Teddy Robin Kwan. That man is a comedy genius! I have a soft spot for his larger than life antics (I mean, the guy is 1.47 m).
The film is shot in wonderful Panavision (it must be, it's written pretty big in the opening credits) and pushes even this slapstick gangster romp into Hollywood standards. That's what Tsui Hark does best! It's nicely shot and he really knows how to make movies that people all over the world can enjoy although I don't think it was ever released anywhere outside HK or Japan.
PROS: - Great Slapstick in the vein of "Lupin the 3rd" (it really feels like old school cartoon comedy) - Great actors - Solid music - Mo lei tau 101: I guess Stephen Chow really liked this movie.
CONS: - Wow, so much slapstick. - Could have been a bit shorter. - It's a gangster spoof. It's supposed to have cons in it!