Blind Detective ★★★★

....Blind Detective presents a couple of interesting contrasts. The most obvious is with 2007's Mad Detective, which has a similar title and is also the story of a young cop enlisting the eponymous former cop to help solve a recent crime. Lau Ching Wan's Mad Detective approaches his investigations with the same techniques as Andy Lau's Blind Detective: he goes through the criminals' motions until he sees exactly what they did, and we see his vision of the recreation on-screen. These visions recall as well Running on Karma, in which Andy Lau plays a former monk who can see people's karma, the crimes they committed in past lives. Again, he's called in to help a young detective solve a crime. Like that film as well, there's a strong romantic element to Blind Detective, though it's played here as comedy where in Karma it's tragedy (there's a smaller tragic love story in Mad Detective as well). The new film then represents not only the third part of a "vision"-based crime solving trilogy, but a synthesis of To's comedies with his crime films. (Yesterday Once More accomplished something similar, in combining elements of the romantic comedies with To's Running Out of Time caper films). The violence in these films is at times stomach churning, the dark and depraved killings clashing tonally with the wide-open romanticism of To's heroes, as if to say "the world is scary and terrible, but. . ."

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