Comedy films

Detective Chinatown 3 review – majestically crazy crime buddy-cop | Comedy movies

AChinese cinema’s most wacky buddy-comedy action franchise is now in stage three, and after a period of bewilderment, I began to appreciate its eccentric hyperactivity. The two wacky Chinese cops, Qin Feng (Haoran Liu) and Tang Ren (Baoqiang Wang), have already recorded a few mishaps in Bangkok for the first film and in New York for the second (which featured a particular cameo by Michael Pitt); now the daffy duo are moving to Tokyo, where they have been summoned to tackle a strange crime.

A local gang leader was murdered, apparently by a rival from the territory called Watanabe (Miura Tomokazu) during dinner, but this man insists he is innocent and demands that our heroes find the evidence that will acquit him. The rest of the film is one mad digression after another, concerning bizarre criminal plots and the obscure motives of victim’s assistant Anna Kobayashi (Masami Nagasawa).

Thai action star Tony Jaa makes an appearance for some enjoyable martial arts footage, and there’s a small role for veteran Japanese player Tadanobu Asano – who appeared in Takashi Miike’s cult film Ichi the Killer – as a police detective. We cannot fault this film for its ambition and its desire to do everything possible in terms of spectacle, especially during a scene of colossal brawl at Tokyo airport and wacky chaos at the world famous crossing of Shibuya in Tokyo.

Oddly, after all of this nonsense, the film culminates with a melodramatic court scene involving passionate speech and a sentimental throwback to the culprit’s unhappy childhood. We get an entertaining moment when mysterious author John Dickson Carr’s “closed room” detective novel theories air. There is a puppy charm here.


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