Year of release: 2009
Director: Soi Cheang
Action director: Jack Wong
Producer: Johnnie To
Writers: Szeto Kam, Nicholl Tang, Milkyway Creative Team
Cinematography: Edmond Fung
Editor: David Richardson
Music: Xavier Jamaux
Stars: Louis Koo, Richie Jen, Michelle Ye, Stanley Fung, Lam Suet, Han Yu-Qin, Mo Xiaoqi, Alexander Chan, Lai Cheung-Wing, Peter Lau
Rated IIB for violence and language
Movie Review Index
With recent entries like Dog Bite Dog and Shamo, Soi Cheang has established himself as one of the directors to keep an eye on in Hong Kong, and his latest release Accident continues that trend. Produced by Johnnie To, this film will definitely fit the bill if you're in the mood for a stylish crime thriller.
The movie revolves around a group of assassins (known only by the roles they play during their job, such as Uncle, Fatty, and Woman) who avoid prosecution by making their handiwork look like accidents. After one of their jobs is botched, the group's leader, Brain (Louis Koo), begins to suspect that they were themselves the target of a hit. As Brain begins to seek out who would want him and his co-workers dead, his past pain and current obsessions come out of the woodwork and threaten to bring down the entire operation.
Like much of Milkyway's output, the city of Hong Kong itself becomes a major character in the movie. Brain's team uses things like dark alleys and inclement weather to successfully "clean" their targets. During the later stages of the film, Hong Kong's crowded nature adds to the claustrophobia and tension, where Brain's seeming de-evolution into madness is emphasized by the dingy and paper-thin walls of his small apartment.
The high technical values of the picture fits along nicely with the acting, most specifically Louis Koo. Koo has never really been known as a great thespian, but over the past few years, he has become one of Hong Kong's most reliable and solid actors, and is practically guaranteed a Hong Kong Film Award nomination for his work here. As a whole, Accident does come off as a bit unoriginal and derivative of other Milkyway releases, but that's not necessarily a terrible thing, as this is one of the better films in the genre from anywhere in the world you're going to see this year.
Shout! Factory's new Blu-Ray is light on special features, with a trailer and a twelve minute behind the scenes featurette being the only extras on the disc. However, the movie itself is presented very well, with a crisp 2.35:1 1080P picture, and a Cantonese soundtrack that is mastered in a Dolby DTS-HD 5.1 mix, with English subtitles available that are well translated and easy to read. The film is uncut from its' original release, clocking in at 87 minutes. Overall, this is a solid way to check out the movie.
The Blu-Ray and DVD are available at Amazon.