Clean My Name, Mr. Coroner! (2000)
Reviewed by: ipkevin on 2001-02-07
Summary: WOW. One of the best-made HK films in years!
Clean My Name Mr. Coroner is hands-down the most solid mainstream HK film I've seen in years. "Solid" does not mean "best". This little mystery-thriller-comedy doesn't aim too high and thus never reaches one of those joyous cinematic heights that more ambitious films may reach. However, it makes up for this by being extremely well-made from beginning to end. Most HK films these days tend to be sloppy: Their plots don't make much sense and they gloss over any problems in the most superficial manner. Worst of all, unlike the past, the pacing in current films tends to be off, drawing further attention to the flaws. All these factors serve to make Mr.Coroner's tight plotting, perfect pacing, and smart script all the more impressive. It is a consistently interesting film that manages to surprise even when you think you have it all figured out. Nick Cheung and Francis Ng are good, both toning down their more annoying tendencies to give solid performances. Stephanie Chie as the love interest is also quite good and all three have wonderful chemistry together. Admist the mystery-thriller machinations, writer-director James Yuen even manages to find time to elicit genuine emotion and explore the characters. So what you have is a well-written and well-acted film that is consistently entertaining, thrilling, funny, and touching. What are you waiting for? Go see it!

If there is a flaw, it's that there are no moments in the film that wow you. Any wow factor comes from the fact that it's an extremely competently made commercial film in a time when most HK films are intermittantly good at best. However, this doesn't mean Clean My Name Mr Coroner is boring! It should entertain all but the most jaded moviegoers and would make a fine evening of entertainment. I look forward to James Yuen's next movie.