Mad Detective


Mad Detective

Critics Consensus

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Reviews Counted: 21

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 4,437


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.9/5

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Movie Info

A psychotic ex-policeman with a mysterious supernatural gift proves invaluable in the case of a missing police firearm and its vanished owner in this tense police thriller from co-directors Johnny To (Fulltime Killer) and Wai Ka-fai (Running on Karma). Bun is an outcast detective who always seems to crack the case despite having some rather serious personality flaws. When Bun slices off his ear and offers it up as a gift at a party staged to honor one of his superiors, he is promptly forced into early retirement. Subsequently withdrawn into his own world and tormented by the specters of his former vocation, Bun finds his unique ability to see the hidden personalities and inner demons of everyone he meets nearly driving him to insanity. As a policeman Bun's gift of second sight helped him to solve some of the department's most difficult cases, but now that the visions serve no purpose, they simply serve to erode his already fragile sense of reality. Yet despite Bun's bad reputation, ambitious inspector Ho (Andy On) still believes in him. Recently, Ho has been assigned the difficult case of a locating a missing policeman named Wong (Lee Kwok Lun), who disappeared after pursuing some suspects into the nearby mountains. While Bun is indeed eager to help out with the case, he soon finds his volatile personality clashing with the seven conflicting personalities of Wong's apparently schizophrenic partner Chi-wai (Lam Ka-tung).

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Andy On
as Insp. Ho Kar-on
Gordon Lam
as Ko Chi Wai
Kelly Lin
as May Cheung
Flora Chan
as Ko's Inner Personality
Suet Lam
as Ko's Inner Personality
Siu-Fai Cheung
as Ko's Inner Personality
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News & Interviews for Mad Detective

Critic Reviews for Mad Detective

All Critics (21) | Top Critics (8)

  • Cleverly scripted, brilliantly acted and masterfully edited, Mad Detective explores the very human capacity to lose one's moral centre in a crisis.

    Aug 9, 2008
  • A stylishly funky Hong Kong thriller from cult director Johnnie To and co-writer/codirector Wai Ka Fai.

    Aug 8, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

    Ty Burr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Mad Detective doesn't always make sense, and you cannot always tell what is real and what is imaginary, but viewers will be having too much zonked-out fun to care.

    Jul 18, 2008 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • If the insanely inventive and entertaining Mad Detective weren't so weird -- and in Cantonese -- hordes of action geeks would be lining the block to see it.

    Jul 18, 2008 | Rating: 4.5/5
  • Fleeting confusion and bizarre literalization aside, Mad Detective is an effective mystery story, with an oddball hero -- like TV's Monk, but far crazier -- and some moments of visceral violence that raise the stakes.

    Jul 17, 2008 | Rating: B

    Noel Murray

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • Every moment in Mad Detective seems engineered for maximum oddity; it almost becomes overwhelming...Yet the movie feels adventuresome, too, a new bridge to Asiaâ(TM)s soulful ghost canon. Itâ(TM)s a metaphysical mystery masquerading as a doodle.

    Jul 16, 2008 | Rating: 4/6

Audience Reviews for Mad Detective


An original and intriguing Hong Kong made thriller about a detective who claims to have the supernatural ability to see the inner personalities of people, something he puts to good use in his line of work. It's an interesting idea but I think it deserved a better story to play out the use of its gimmick. It kept my attention though and I was never really sure if the characters' "gift" was real or just in his imagination until all is revealed after the climactic Mexican stand-off. It's a good film but could have been better.

Lee ?
Lee ?

Super Reviewer

edge of your seat thriller with an insane and/or psychic lead character keeps u guessing about what's real/not real. stylish and a lot of fun with ending straight out of lady from shanghai!

Stella Dallas
Stella Dallas

Super Reviewer

Very original character for a police story. Enjoyed, even if I did get extremely confused in places!

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer


Good direction from To, solid performances from everyone (Andy On is just tolerable, nothing more) but the script doesn't help to make this something better. To works a lot better by himself.

Tsubaki Sanjuro
Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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