Overheard ★★½

Soap opera dramatics grafted onto a surveillance procedural with Lau Ching-wan, Louis Koo and Daniel Wu as cops investigating insider trading. It's a ripe subject for a genre film, but writer-directors Alan Mak and Felix Chong don't seem all that interested in the financial misdeeds of 21st century capitalism or the effects of technology on police work or our everyday lives in general. This movie could have existed at any time, in any place. The actors are much better than the material, especially the always the worst even when he was a good guy back in the 80s Michael Wong as the head villain. Expect the Unexpected mixes the personal drama stuff with the cop movie stuff much more effectively (as does Lifeline, but with firefighters), and Eye in the Sky and Trap Street capture the surveillance state better, the former with new visual approaches to an exciting police procedural narrative, the latter atmospherically with paranoid unease infecting what could otherwise have been a fairly conventional romance.

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