Tuesday, September 1, 2020

A Witness Out of the Blue / 犯罪現場 - 2020 Fantasia Movie Review

The Movie: A Witness Out of the Blue犯罪現場

The Director: Chi-Keung Fung

The Cast: Louis Koo, Louis Cheung, Jessica Hsuan, Cherry Ngan, Philip Keung, Fiona Sit, Patrick Tam, Andy On, Ling Man-lung, Sam Lee, Evergreen Mak, Power Chan

The Story: A Hong Kong crime thriller about a detective who discovers that a parrot can help him to solve a case.

The Review:
The description of this movie might make you think it's some kind of animal action comedy although that's really not the case. There are elements of humor and there are a few animals but this is definitely more of an action packed crime thriller and a very good one at that. To start off, any time you have Louis Koo in your movie, you're already off to a good start and director Chi-Keung Fung takes full advantage of the super star's acting ability and on screen presence.

Koo plays Sean Wong the head of a group of criminals who attempt to rob a jewelry store and then have to deal with the fallout after the job goes all kinds of wrong and he plays the part perfectly with several layers of character showing up at any given moment. He goes through a lot from being shot at and hunted to dealing with some serious emotional and mental trauma, Koo handles all of it beautifully. On the other side of the law is Louis Cheung who plays Larry Lam, a detective who is down on his luck but takes the time to care for stray cats. Oddly enough, this does end up fitting into the story quite nicely and of course it was great to see a few felines running around here and there.

One of the things that really impressed me about the movie is how there is some really good, intense action with shoot outs and well choreographed chases and there is also a good mix of emotional drama which primarily comes from Koo's character and some humor and light hearted moments which is where Cheung is at his best. Following the two characters who are on very different journeys yet seem to be on an inevitable collision course is well thought out and shows how both of them are very human characters with the type of flaws and vulnerabilities you don't normally see in crime thrillers.

Other standouts in the film are Jessica Hsuan who plays Wong's accidental landlord Joy Ting (it makes sense in the movie) and Philip Keung as Lam's boss Yip Sau-ching who is obviously up to no good. Both of their characters bring a lot to the story and especially Joy who helps to add a completely new dimension and story line to Wong's character arc and even she has a surprise or two to reveal before the movie is over. Also, special shout out to all the cats in the movie, they make the whole production that much more enjoyable.

The Verdict:
A Witness Out of the Blue is not your typical Hong Kong action thriller as it has a lot of unexpected twists and turns. Having an excellent cast and a great story is definitely a recipe for success.

A Witness Out of the Blue is an official selection of the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival.

To see more reviews, interviews, and festival coverage please go to: TwoOhSix at Fantasia 2020

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