深海尋人
Missing (2008)


Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 11/08/2008

Tsui Hark's fall from grace is one of the most baffling of any of the stories from the world of cinema - a producer/director who had ruled the roost in his home country for well over a decade, with a string of the country's biggest hits at home and abroad on his CV, goes to Hollywood for a couple of years and comes back seemingly having completely forgotten how to put a film together.

MISSING is unlikely to restore Tsui's fortunes, with a messy, confused storyline that undermines whatever emotions and ideas he might have been trying to express and comes across as a cynical cash-in on the worldwide fad for Asian horror films, coming a few years too late to really catch that wave.

Tsui seems to be desperately trying to prove that he is 'fresh' and on the leading edge of HK's cinema - when it's clear that in fact he's not. He seems to think that if he's to stay relevant he can't rest on his laurels, making the kind of films that made him a success in the first place, but I have to say that his best chance of keeping a career in film at all is probably to do exactly that. I'm sure ONCE UPON A TIME IN CHINA 7 would still find an audience if he can find a worthy Wong Fei-Hung (Wu Jing?), whilst it's becoming increasingly less likely that each 'new' Tsui Hark film will.

On the bright side, Isabella Leung's performance is really good.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/03/2008

Hey kids! Remember when Tsui Hark was considered a vital film-maker and you looked forward to his latest project? Yep, I do too, and that's why this film feels like it's (pardon the pun) missing a certain something.

Like most of Tsui's movies, Missing is technically well-made. The cinematography and editing are top-notch -- this is indeed a gorgeous film to look at -- and the acting isn't bad either. But it really feels like Tsui was on auto-pilot here and is just doing the cinematic equivalent of painting by numbers.

The story seems like it could have been something so much more, with Angelica Lee playing a woman who takes to using psychotropic drugs to see her dead finacee in order to solve the mystery of his death. But there are so many lame false endings and unbelievable plot twists thrown out that it comes off like Tsui was pulling a Wong Jing by using the "flying paper" style of film-making -- i.e., just trying to come up with something interesting when you have little to work with.

Sometimes, this schizophrenic method can work, but when one of your plot twists involves the phrase "it was just a dream", you know you've run into an artistically bankrupt work. The beautiful mise-en-scene can only take Missing so far, especially in the crowded world of Chinese ghost movies. If you're a huge fan of the genre or Tsui Hark, then you might want to check this out. The key word being "might".

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewer Score: 5