Mad Detective - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Mad Detective Reviews

Page 1 of 28
½ January 3, 2016
I was able to catch up on a more recent Johnny To film via cable and I quite enjoyed Lau Ching Wan as the titular detective, who is able to see the true personalities of criminals, allowing him to solve increasingly strange cases.

Well worth a look.
November 30, 2015
Absolutely excellent psycho-suspense! Full of cinematic creativity. Great directing, screenplay, and performances. Personally, I prefer films directed only by Johnny To than ones that To co-directs with Ka-Fai Wai, but this one's an exception. To and Wai's partnership dates back to more than 10 years ago, and they have been constantly releasing films, but they are much more fictional (often with some eccentric or supernatural ideas), richer in variety (genres), and often have more elements of romance and comedy than films directed only by To. It's unclear how they divide their parts in the collaboration, but in it I guess To's auteurship is not as strong as his own film, and he seem to have been taking a role of a supervisor or a pure mise-en-scene craftsman. In "Mad Detective," the collaboration is the most successful - the basic idea of a kind of supernatural power is well-mixed with the noir style. Also, the composition to make you doubt if the supernatural power of the hero is real or not (if he really has supernatural power or is a complete psycho) keeps you in suspense till the film ends. The idea itself is original and great, but how it is shown visually in the picture is absolutely fantastic and has a lot to learn. Also, I love the last gunfight in a mirror room (an homage to Welles's "Lady from Shanghai") and the ending which suggests weakness and foolishness. Ching-Wan Lau gives a terrific performance in a difficult role to play.
½ July 8, 2015
A fiercely inventive cop flick from HK action master Johnnie To. The titular cop is a bundle of crazy abilities ... he acts out the crimes he's investigating in order to gain near supernatural insight (a bit like TV Will Graham in "Hannibal") ... he can see people's inner personalities ... his wife has left him years ago, but he sees her anyway and lives with the hallucinatory wife. He's was kicked off the force years ago for cutting off his ear in homage to his retiring boss. A young cop who worked with him briefly (and hero worships him) brings him back to help with the case of a cop who's gone missing, but whose gun has been involved in a series of crimes. Although he latches on to the cop's partner as the culprit (who also has 7 inner personalities and appears as all of them at once on screen), the young cop starts to have grave doubts.

I honestly do not know who Hollywood hasn't jumped on this for a re-make.
March 1, 2015
a johnnie to's Psychopath Thriller with a Final Shootout Scene.
½ November 19, 2014
Interesting movie and script.

The cut is a bit messy and sometimes is difficult to follow but it is quite original and has a good ending.
½ August 26, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Mad Detective is simply put, a fun and engrossing film. It takes typical elements of a thriller-suspense film and coat it with a supernatural flavour, ultimately giving the audience a taste of something familiar but also be stunned in the process. Due to its supernatural element, the film was able to avoid becoming too predictable which I find valuable in a thriller film. One can simply fall in love with this film even without any great attention as many sections of the film explain the plot in order to keep its audience orientated, but in doing so one would be missing out in Mad Detective's beauty; the deeply-rooted character development. I was fascinated on the reasoning behind our protagonist, and along the way the film was able to throw me off the trails a couple of times with its spectacular twists; I was also impressed with the film sneaking a tiny element of Macbeth in its characters, but then again this may just be me. Though in saying all of this, the film's tone is not as serious or dire I make it out to be, as a couple moments in the first two acts were executed with a layer of comedy; with an individual like Bun, how could you not laugh. The main reason why this is slightly under perfection is that the ending is not as straight forward as I thought it would be, I wasn't able to completely comprehend the reasoning behind some of the character's decision and the underlying implications that the director was trying to suggest felt ambiguous enough that I require a second viewing in order to appreciate it. Mad Detective is a breath of fresh air, as police-related films are a dime a dozen in contemporary cinema; lacking in any incentive from its writers to produce anything daring or thought provoking.
½ August 26, 2014
Review In A Nutshell:

Mad Detective is simply put, a fun and engrossing film. It takes typical elements of a thriller-suspense film and coat it with a supernatural flavour, ultimately giving the audience a taste of something familiar but also be stunned in the process. Due to its supernatural element, the film was able to avoid becoming too predictable which I find valuable in a thriller film. One can simply fall in love with this film even without any great attention as many sections of the film explain the plot in order to keep its audience orientated, but in doing so one would be missing out in Mad Detective's beauty; the deeply-rooted character development. I was fascinated on the reasoning behind our protagonist, and along the way the film was able to throw me off the trails a couple of times with its spectacular twists; I was also impressed with the film sneaking a tiny element of Macbeth in its characters, but then again this may just be me. Though in saying all of this, the film's tone is not as serious or dire I make it out to be, as a couple moments in the first two acts were executed with a layer of comedy; with an individual like Bun, how could you not laugh. The main reason why this is slightly under perfection is that the ending is not as straight forward as I thought it would be, I wasn't able to completely comprehend the reasoning behind some of the character's decision and the underlying implications that the director was trying to suggest felt ambiguous enough that I require a second viewing in order to appreciate it. Mad Detective is a breath of fresh air, as police-related films are a dime a dozen in contemporary cinema; lacking in any incentive from its writers to produce anything daring or thought provoking.
April 1, 2014
Saying I was Gobsmacked by this unorthodox film would be an understatement!
February 21, 2014
A whacky thriller that makes you not to close your eye lids even for a while, though some moments that is does not make sense it is supported by the stylish portrayal on screen
November 27, 2013
What would you do if you could see everyone's inner personalities? According to this movie, you would urinate on their pants leg, just for giggles. That's what you would do.
½ September 30, 2013
Re-thinking the detective genre--A maddening-yet-fascinating movie!!
July 27, 2013
Mad Detective is weird and I mean really weird thanks to the smart direction and lead, but it's also very intelligent and highly ambitious with an interesting ending scene that you'll have to re-watch in order to truly understand it.
½ March 2, 2013
Great criminal flick, the fantasy and esthetics that is usual on HK cinema and specially To and Ka-fai is there. Really good directing. It's truly well done. Not a must see but a should see.
January 22, 2013
It's amazing what commercials can do when they're used for good.
January 19, 2013
Original, interesting, inventive.
½ September 12, 2012
Apply emotions to investigate!
½ July 4, 2012
Strap yourselves in for a wild ride.
Cinema-Maniac
Super Reviewer
April 20, 2012
I give a lot praised to director Johnnie To as he personally a favorite of mine for his style, direction, and creative story telling. While I?m familiar with his work in the action genre, he proves once again he can tackle other genre with the same level of greatness.

Mad Detective is about rookie cop teams up with a former detective with a supernatural gift to hunt down a serial killer. During the viewing of Mad Detective its protagonist, Inspector Chan, was more interesting than I expected. He`s an unusual detective and unlike anyone I've seen before. He has some unusual methods to solving cases as he has a gift for seeing a person inner personality. This is effectively use throughout the since we see what this character is physically seeing, but it does get tedious and overused throughout its length. The story is well written, though the case is not as interesting characters themselves. As I've come to expect in Johnnie To movies, the female characters don't have a big impact on the story. While it's certainly an improvement that the female characters help us learn about our main character unlike To other movies, they don't have much of an impact on the story. The character themselves are interesting through Chan point of view as we get as it adds another dimension to these character who don't all appear as they look. As much as I liked the character of inspector Chan, some will find him unrealistic. One notable example include Chan cutting his ear and giving it to his retiring boss as a gift. Its story driven by interesting that help move the movie forward. Even if the case is not as interesting as our characters, they help overlook that flaw.

To direction is spot on as usual with him always bringing the highest level of direction in his movie. The cast is terrific, especially Sean Lau Ching-Wan as Inspector Chan who brings brings a lot energy into the movie and character he portrays. He's easily, in my opinion, the best and most interesting of the cast. You do get to see some familiar faces if you've seen To other work, but thankfully he worked with other actors to prevent repetition. The climax of Mad Detective has easily has the best cinematography in the whole movie and its impressive in the way it's filmed.

Mad Detective has interesting characters that save movie from it boring case and not so interesting case. Mad Detective is certainly not for everyone, but it?s worth a watch for Sean Lau Ching-Wan performance and portrayal of Inspector Chan.
Page 1 of 28