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The Detective 2(2011)
No synopsis for The Detective 2.
For more about The Detective 2 and the The Detective 2 Blu-ray release, see the The Detective 2 Blu-ray Review published by Dr. Svet Atanasov on September 19, 2011 where this Blu-ray release scored 3.0 out of 5.
Starring: Aaron Kwok, Patrick Tam, Beibi Gong, Liu Kai-chi, Lam Suet
Director: Oxide Pang Chun
» See full cast & crew
The Detective 2 Blu-ray Review
Reviewed by Dr. Svet Atanasov, September 19, 2011
Oxide Pang's "B+ jing taam" a.k.a "The Detective 2" (2011) arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Hong Kong-based distributors Universe Laser & Video Co. The only supplemental features on the disc are a short making of featurette and six deleted and extended scenes. In Cantonese and Thai, with optional English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese subtitles for the main feature. Region-A "locked".
Oxide Pang's sequel to C+ Detective is titled B+ Detective and is once again set in Bangkok, Thailand, where private detective Tam (Aaron Kwok, Throw Down, City Under Siege) and his good old cop friend Chak (Liu Kai-Chi, The Stool Pigeon, The Detective 2) are trying to track down a serial killer targeting prostitutes and drug dealers. Their efforts, however, are often disrupted by a young and cocky officer (Patrick Tam Yiu-man, The Myth, Lady Cop & Papa Crook), who desperately wants to get to the serial killer before everyone else does to earn himself a promotion.
It is Tam, however, who comes up with a brilliant idea that points the police in the right direction. He concludes that the serial killer is an orphan, like him, who picks his victims while recalling painful experiences from his childhood years. Tam and Chack begin hunting down the orphan and halfway through the film his identity is revealed.
As strange as it may seem, the rest of the film is entirely about the various similarities between the orphan and Tam, both obviously having suffered a great deal while growing up. There are long monologues in which Tam conveniently points out the clues that allowed him to figure out the killer's profile and a good number of revelations about the orphan's difficult relationship with his sister.
As it was the case with the first film, the atmosphere is excellent, particularly during the first half of the film where the serial killer is still on the loose. Then after his identity is revealed, Oxide Pang once again points his camera to the darkest and most dangerous corners of his home city where apparently anything could happen.
Strangely enough, not a lot does. Oxide Pang does a few of his old tricks and then the focus of attention quickly shifts almost entirely to Tam and his monologues, which basically rehash what has already been made obvious. Naturally, the spooky sequences eventually begin to look quite cheap.
The first film had this transition done wonderfully well. A serious subplot in the final third of the film moved it into an entirely different territory where a lot of the spooky sequences would make sense. Here the climax is brought incredibly early and there is hardly anything happening after it to keep one interested in following the rest of the story.
Ultimately, there is nothing particularly wrong with this sequel, aside from the fact that it ends early and then keeps dragging until Tam runs out of monologues. It is difficult to tell why the film was shot this way, but one possible explanation would be that in a third film Oxide Pang will likely be targeting Tam's childhood years and the disappearance of his parents.
Technically, the sequel is on par with the first film. Cinematographer Decha Srimantra's (Re-Cycle, The Storm Warriors) lensing is once again slick and sharp, though the amount of camera cuts and zooms has been greatly reduced. Generally speaking, the film's color scheme is also substantially toned down -- the lush yellows and browns as well as contrasty light have been replaced with a wider range of natural colors. The sound effects are again top-notch. Considering the script limitations, Curran Pang's (Infernal Affairs Trilogy) editing is more than satisfying.
Note: Last month, B+ Detective was screened at New Zealand's Hong Kong Film Festival.
The Detective 2 Blu-ray, Video Quality
Presented in an aspect ratio of 2.35:1, encoded with MPEG-4 AVC and granted a 1080p transfer, Oxide Pang's The Detective 2 arrives on Blu-ray courtesy of Hong Kong-based distributors Universe Laser & Video Co.
The sequel looks as impressive on Blu-ray as the first film. Again, there are no compromises in terms of detail and clarity, and even the darkest sequences in the film where detective Tam is seen wandering the poorly lit streets of Bangkok look fantastic. Colors are substantially toned down but still look rich and well saturated. Contrast levels are also better balanced. There are no traces of overzealous sharpening. Problematic noise corrections have not been performed either. The high-definition transfer is also free of heavy compression artifacts, banding and aliasing. Finally, there are absolutely no stability issues to report in this review whatsoever. (Note: This is a Region-A "locked" Blu-ray disc. Therefore, you must have a native Region-A or Region-Free PS3 or SA in order to access its content).
The Detective 2 Blu-ray, Audio Quality
There are five audio tracks on this Blu-ray disc: Cantonese DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, Cantonese LPCM 7.1, Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1, Mandarin DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1, and Mandarin Dolby Digital 5.1 (with portions of Thai). For the record, Universe Laser & Video Co. have provided optional English, Traditional Chinese, and Simplified Chinese subtitles for the main feature. When turned on, they split the image frame and the black bar below it.
I viewed the film with the Cantonese Dolby TrueHD 7.1 track and thought that it was exceptional -- screeching tires, objects falling and gun shots sound absolutely terrific. The track's overall dynamic amplitude is also quite impressive. The dialog is crisp, clean, and stable. The English translation, however, is problematic. There are numerous syntax and spelling errors that occasionally make it virtually impossible to figure out what is being said.
The Detective 2 Blu-ray, Special Features and Extras
The Detective 2 Blu-ray, Overall Score and Recommendation
The sequel to The Detective is a rather predictable film. Once again the atmosphere in it is quite intense, but the story lacks the substance that made the first film work so well. My advice to you is to avoid this individual Blu-ray release of The Detective 2 and instead look for a good deal on the recently released boxset, which has the first film we reviewed here.
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