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Mad Detective (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) DVD Region All

Lau Ching Wan (Actor) | Kelly Lin (Actor) | Gordon Lam (Actor) | Lee Kwok Lun
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Mad Detective (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
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Customer Rating: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10 (2)

YesAsia Editorial Description

If his films are any indication, Johnnie To is perhaps as madly brilliant as the protagonist of his latest work Mad Detective. Teaming up with old partner Wai Ka Fai for the first time since 2003's Running on Karma, To serves up an intriguing police thriller with signature stylings and a heady psychological twist. Also overdue for a reunion is acclaimed actor Lau Ching Wan, in his first Johnnie To film since 2002's My Left Eye Sees Ghost. Fresh off his Best Actor win at the Hong Kong Film Awards last year, Lau Ching Wan oozes effortless, manic charisma in the titular role of the mad detective with special powers. Along with usual suspects Lam Suet, Gordon Lam, and Eddie Cheung, the film features a starring turn from up-and-coming action star Andy On (Invisible Target) and an interesting female cast of Kelly Lin (Triangle), Jay Lau (Gong Tau), Flora Chan (Dry Wood, Fierce Fire), and Jo Koo (The Longest Summer). Another sublime crime film from the master of the genre, Mad Detective confounds, challenges, enthralls, and simply begs for repeated viewings.

Inspector Ho (Andy On) has on his hands a dead case, a series of crimes linked to the gun of a missing cop. Desperate for answers, he turns to retired detective Bun (Lau Ching Wan) for help. Famous for his eccentric, but effective crime-solving methods, Bun was forced to leave the job years ago after he cut off his own ear and presented it as a gift to his boss. He seems to have gotten even madder with time, but Ho knows that only Bun can solve this case. Bun tells Ho that he can see through to one's inner personalities, to the weaknesses and vices that lead people astray. In Bun's eyes, these inner ghosts are living and breathing beings, revealed in their true form. Despite the protests of his wife (Kelly Lin), Bun agrees to take the case and his top suspect is the missing cop's partner (Gordon Lam), a man with seven personalities, walking side by side.

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Technical Information

Product Title: Mad Detective (DVD) (Hong Kong Version) 神探 (DVD) (香港版) 神探 (DVD) (香港版) マッド探偵 (神探) (香港版) Mad Detective (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)
Artist Name(s): Lau Ching Wan (Actor) | Kelly Lin (Actor) | Gordon Lam (Actor) | Lee Kwok Lun | Eddie Cheung | Lam Suet | Andy On (Actor) 劉 青雲 (Actor) | 林熙蕾 (Actor) | 林家棟 (Actor) | 李國麟 | 張兆輝 | 林雪 | 安 志杰 (Actor) 刘 青云 (Actor) | 林熙蕾 (Actor) | 林家栋 (Actor) | 李国麟 | 张兆辉 | 林雪 | 安 志杰 (Actor) 劉青雲(ラウ・チンワン) (Actor) | 林熙蕾(ケリー・リン) (Actor) | 林家棟(ラム・カートン) (Actor) | 李國麟(リー・クォックルン) | 張兆輝(チョン・シウファイ) | 林雪 (ラム・シュー) | 安志杰(アンディ・オン) (Actor) Lau Ching Wan (Actor) | Kelly Lin (Actor) | 임가동 (Actor) | Lee Kwok Lun | Eddie Cheung | Lam Suet | Andy On (Actor)
Director: Johnnie To | Wai Ka Fai 杜琪峰 | 韋家輝 杜琪峰 | 韦家辉 杜琪峰 (ジョニー・トー)  | 韋家輝(ワイ・カーファイ) Johnnie To | Wai Ka Fai
Release Date: 2008-02-01
Language: Cantonese, Mandarin
Subtitles: English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese
Place of Origin: Hong Kong
Picture Format: NTSC What is it?
Aspect Ratio: 1.78 : 1
Widescreen Anamorphic: Yes
Sound Information: DTS Digital Surround, Dolby Digital 5.1
Disc Format(s): DVD, DVD-9
Region Code: All Region What is it?
Rating: III
Duration: 91 (mins)
Publisher: Mei Ah (HK)
Package Weight: 120 (g)
Shipment Unit: 1 What is it?
YesAsia Catalog No.: 1005158496

Product Information

* Screen Format: 16:9 Anamorphic Widescreen
* Sound Mix: DTS, Dolby Digiatal 5.1
* DVD Type: DVD-9

Director: Johnnie To, Wai Ka Fai


重案組督察何家安(安子杰)受命調查此案多月毫無進展,何家安決定找舊上司,已退職的陳桂彬(劉青雲)請教 ...


A missing police pistol is connected to a series of recent heists and murders. Its owner WONG died earlier while pursuing suspects in the mountains. All doubts point to his partner KO (Lam Ka Tung), who miraculously returned unharmed.

Hotshot CIB inspector KA-ON (Andy On) is in charge of the serial murder investigation. He knows the only chance he has in cracking the case is to ask his mentor/former boss BING (Lau Ching Wan) to come out from retirement.

Bing is recognized as a gifted criminal profiler until he went mad several years ago. At his superior's farewell party, Bing sliced off his right ear with a meal knife and offered it as a present. Bing lives in seclusion with his beloved wife MAY (Kelly Lin) ever since.
Additional Information may be provided by the manufacturer, supplier, or a third party, and may be in its original language

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This film has won 2 award(s) and received 7 award nomination(s). All Award-Winning Asian Films

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YumCha! Asian Entertainment Reviews and Features

Professional Review of "Mad Detective (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

December 28, 2007

Has it really been ten years since Johnnie To's Milkyway Image production company burst on the scene, infusing new life into Hong Kong Cinema and possibly salvaging the territory's international reputation as kings of the crime genre film? Obviously, that question is rhetorical. With a decade of good-to-sublime Hong Kong Cinema behind them, Milkyway unveils their latest creation, Mad Detective, delivered to Hong Kong Cinemas like the icing on the proverbial birthday cake. Mad Detective has Milkyway goodness oozing out of its pores, beginning with directors Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai, who first teamed under the Milkyway shingle ten years ago with Too Many Ways To Be No. 1. Add appearances by a number of Milkyway regulars, some familiar themes and motifs, and a plot mixing crime thrills and wonky Milkyway musings, and you have Hong Kong's most enjoyable genre experience this year. Just make sure that your tolerance for arch wackiness is strong.

Reigning Hong Kong Film Award Best Actor Lau Ching-Wan stars as Bun, a police inspector whose methods are more than a little off-the-wall. Bun investigates crimes through bizarre role-playing, like stabbing a dead pig to simulate a bloody murder, or zipping himself into a suitcase and getting thrown down the stairs to understand the inner workings of someone who got thrown down the stairs while trapped in a suitcase. Besides being amusing and quirky to watch, the odd methods seem to work, as detailed in an opening montage of newspaper clippings celebrating Bun's success at solving crimes. However, the success train ends abruptly. Rookie detective Ho (Andy On) joins Bun on the force, but only gets to work with him for a few days because Bun hands a very strange gift to his retiring superior officer (Eddy Ko), earning himself a quick discharge from the force on the grounds that he's more than just an eccentric detective, he's also a crazy one. Hence the title of the film.

The action picks up a few years later after the disappearance of a police officer. Ho is on the case, but he can't seem to crack it, and the trail has gone cold. Needing help, he turns to Bun, who he considers to be his idol. Bored of his current inactivity, Bun quickly shows a desire to help, but his harried wife (Kelly Lin) protests. Bun joins up with Ho anyway, but once Bun is back on the job, Ho starts to have a few reservations. For one thing, he learns Bun's true power: Bun can see a person's "inner personality", which takes the form of another person entirely. What this means is that Bun can see and hear people that others can't, and since he reacts to these people physically, normal people look at him like he's a total loon. After gleaming this info, Ho begins to doubt Bun, and as the case progresses, he begins to wonder if Bun's eccentricity - not to mention his increasingly erratic behavior - isn't leading him down the wrong path. And, since the suspect in the missing police officer case reportedly possesses no fewer than seven inner personalities, the stakes are raised precipitously. Is this case Bun's redemption, or has he officially gone completely bonkers?

Mad Detective received international press due to Johnnie To, but this exercise in screwy Buddhist indulgence has Wai Ka-Fai's fingerprints all over it, too. The idea that Bun can see another person's "inner personalities" is a very clever hook, and feels like the type of fantastic element Wai has injected into past To-Wai efforts. Adding to the familiarity is the fact that many of the inner personalities are essayed by Milkway regulars, such as Lam Suet and Eddie Cheung. However, the device also requires a leap by the audience, as they have to accept the ridiculous visual idea of seven people walking down the street in place of one, or seven people crammed into a small car instead of just one. The camera's perspective shifts constantly from Bun's to everyone else's, meaning characters change appearance without warning. One instant we see Lam Suet (as the gluttonous personality), the next it's Eddie Cheung (the violent personality) Lau Kam-Ling (the shrewd and calculating personality), or more in place of the actual suspect, portrayed with sweaty amorality by Gordon Lam. The switching characters and perspectives keeps the audience on their toes, and the effect is that it can either draw one in or alienate them. Mad Detective makes the audience work, and some people may throw up their hands at all the extra effort and say, "Screw this! This movie makes no sense!" They would not be entirely wrong.

Then again, movies can be effective even if they don't make logical sense, and the best of the Milkyway canon have managed to elicit unexpected emotions in the most unlikely, and even illogical of ways. Mad Detective resembles Running on Karma in that it takes the odd and frankly unexplainable and sells it not through a logical explanation, but through creative, unexpected usage. Mad Detective takes a fantastic premise - that a person can see the emotions and inner voices of others, which makes him appear mad - and uses it to explore complex emotions, as well as the moral choices people make simply to get along in the world. Even though this movie is about cops and crimes, it seems to be more concerned with who people are rather than what they will do. Bun's powers aren't used to solve cases as much as they're used to see how petty, two-faced, insecure, and awful people can be in the course of regular human lives. The result is a curious genre film where the greatest tension arises from whether or not people will overcome their own internal weakness and remain honest to themselves. This isn't your average crime thriller.

But it's a very welcome one due to its uncommon, fascinating ideas, and also because of its lead actor. Nothing says "Happy Birthday" to Milkway Image better than an appearance by Lau Ching-Wan. For most of Milkyway's ten years, Lau was the company's main performer, appearing in nearly every other Milkyway production before taking a break after My Left Eye Sees Ghosts in 2002. The embargo ends with Mad Detective, and Lau turns in a vintage performance, manic and affected, but with discernible pathos and empathy. Lau's weathered, grizzled look speaks volumes, and his character's puzzling "madness" is both charismatic and repellent. Mad Detective features compelling characters in that they seem not unlike us, with inner voices nudging them to do good or bad things, the consequences of which are unexpected and sometimes damning. The lone unconvincing character is Andy On's Ho, whose fragility seems odd considering that his character chooses to partner with an unstable ex-detective with bizarre methods. Also, On is somewhat distant in the role, though when Mad Detective finally ends, his character's purpose is clear.

Like in Election 2, the ultimate reveal in Mad Detective isn't a "wow", it's more like a "man, that kind of bites" feeling that can stick with a person long after the final frame of the film. If the audience buys in, the film is a rarity: a multi-layered genre film that grows richer upon reflection or successive viewings. Also, the film has some real-world connection, as its flawed characters and their conniving inner personalities is a concept that could strike a chord with anyone who has conflicted emotions once in a while. There's plenty to chew on in Mad Detective, and the multiple layers of the film allows for a good deal of post-viewing examination. Viewers can perceive numerous interpretations from the film's content, and there may not be a definite correct answer. Basically, cinema pseudo-intellectuals can have a field day with this one. The downside is that the whole thing can play as rather ridiculous, and Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai seldom attempt to ingratiate themselves with the audience. Many of the odd and even humorous details don't really seem necessary, and could be perceived as empty details meant to add needless quirkiness.

Not that this is a new M.O. from Milkyway; these are clever guys, and their particular brand of self-amusement has earned plenty of accepting fans. Mad Detective will obviously play best to the initiated fan who's used to the usual Milkyway signifiers of stone-faced irony, deadpan quirkiness, arch repetition, and mild misogyny. For the uninitiated, Mad Detective may be a tougher sell, as its twists and turns come with an opacity that can sometimes prove maddening to those who like things spelled out for them. Milkyway films sometimes say volumes with what isn't being said - which can lose a great many viewers, even those who love everything these guys do. Still, regardless of meaning or intent, the style and emotions that Johnnie To and Wai Ka-Fai elicit can be compelling and even intoxicating, such that one is entertained and enthralled even if they aren't fully sure what's happening. Sometimes, enjoying a Milkyway Image film can happen through pure instinct. I may not be able to fully explain or justify why I like Mad Detective, but my inner personality tells me it's pretty damn good.

by Kozo -

This original content has been created by or licensed to, and cannot be copied or republished in any medium without the express written permission of

Customer Review of "Mad Detective (DVD) (Hong Kong Version)"

Average Customer Rating for this Edition: Customer Review Rated Bad 9 - 9 out of 10 (2)

See all my reviews

December 28, 2009

1 people found this review helpful

different from the norm. Customer Review Rated Bad 10 - 10 out of 10
johnnie to does it again with mad detective, he creates a throughly engaging piece of entertainment and has his signature style stamped all over it. Lau ching wan does a fantastic job in conveying an out of ordinary character and shows why he is one of the best actors to come out of hong kong. the story moves at a brisk pace; introducing the character but also slowly easing the information to the audience (showing through actions rather than dialogue). Andy On also does a good job as the good cop but sadly he is dubbed into cantonese.

Almost all characters are potrayed with elements of evil with in them and it almost speaks true to reality, and it is these elements that To conveys really well basing a sci-fi concept into reality. the story itself is a refreshing change introducing elements of ghosts but sticking firmly to real life. the ending is also fanatastically handled; introducing a twist.

an enjoyable watch, highly recommended.
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Kevin Kennedy
See all my reviews

March 3, 2008

2 people found this review helpful

Nightmarish crime thriller Customer Review Rated Bad 8 - 8 out of 10
"Mad Detective" stars Lau Ching Wan as Bun, a deeply psychotic former police detective who was dumped from the force when he cut off his ear to give it as a gift to his retiring senior officer. Andy On plays Ho, a young detective who has idolized Bun for his astonishing crime-solving work. Ho has been unable to solve a case involving a police officer who has been missing for many months and whose gun appears to have been used in a series of crimes.

Frustrated with his lack of progress, Ho turns to Bun to help him crack the case. Bun claims to be able to see people's "inner personalities" and that this ability is the key to his detection skills. As Bun gets involved in the case, the film switches back and forth between the world as seen through Bun's psychotic eyes and the real world seen by Ho. This presents some real challenges to viewers seeking to follow the story. Indeed, although the film is only 90 minutes long, I must admit that I was worn out by this confusing storytelling technique.

Ultimately, when Ho discovers just how seriously disturbed Bun has become, he seeks extricate himself from this entanglement ... but things have gone too far. Bun has taken Ho's gun and badge and is on the loose in his crazed pursuit of the villain. ("Mad Detective" twice uses this plot device -- a police officer's gun is stolen and he is reluctant to report it because it would jeopardize his imminent promotion. Longtime Milkyway fans will remember that this same plot idea formed the core of the film "PTU".) The film culminates with a John Woo-style showdown in what seems to be a hall of mirrors, an appropriate locale given Bun's mental illness.

While many of the elements of this story have a recycled feel, "Mad Detective" definitely is worth watching to see Lau Ching Wan, the master craftsman, work his magic. His mad detective is scarily real and will keep you watching to the end.
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