Sunday, 6 September 2009

Venice 2009: Accident

Yet another Hong Kong movie ripe for a Hollywood remake, this Johnnie To production revolves around a quartet of professional assassins who murder their targets by concocting elaborate, perfectly staged chains of events that culminate in fatal accidents, thus eradicating any suspicion of foul play being involved.

After an arresting opening involving a slow motion car crash, the film proper begins with the spectacular murder of a Triad boss by flying glass, and introduces the four members of gang lead by Brain (Louis Koo) whose paranoia spirals out of control when another job leaves one of his team dead. Convinced it was the work of another “accident choreographer”, Brain focuses his obsession on an insurance investigator (Richie Jen) who was at the scene, moving into the flat below and setting up surveillance.

While the concept may be familiar to readers of the now defunct British comic Toxic!, director Soi Cheang’s film takes the idea of an "accidental hitman" and twists it into a stylish, taut exercise in trust that grips right up until its ridiculously ending involving a solar eclipse, which succeeds only in undermining all that’s come before.

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