The Murder (1983)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2003-10-26
Summary: Mildly interesting crime thriller
The opening scenes make it very clear the filmmakers used the marvellous Kathleen Turner film BODY HEAT as a starting point. I'd have been pretty happy if they'd kept going along that line, especially if they'd given it the full Category III treatment (yes, I know Cat III was brought in several years later).

But they switched direction during the murder scene, by tossing in the added complication that the victim was actually already dead. If all this sounds like it hold the promise of an intelligent and complex murder mystery, then unfortunately that potential remained unfulfilled. There are a couple of tricky plot twists, but Agatha Christie this ain't ! Dai Sai Aan arriving on the scene as the chief investigating officer introduces a comedic element, with some of the wackiness but none of the depth of Columbo.

The anxiety of the two conspiring lovers works pretty well for about the first 2/3 of the film, but things change as the plan unfolds. This tension makes much of the film watchable but not brilliant.

Just which audience this film is pitched at is a little uncertain. Lead actor Ngai Dik is clearly being portrayed as a young girls heart-throb, and many opportunities are taken to show him as close to completely naked as was allowed in the early 80s (there are several shots of his bum, for instance). Unfortunately, the same was not done with the still-lovely Si Si (perhaps the producers thought she was getting on a bit !).

Some fairly good performances by the support actors help. Chief among them is the wonderful old character actor Wong San, as the hapless victim. Pity his part was so small, but necessarliy so for his role. And Pak Sha Lik is suitably sleazy as the blackmailer.

Don't be in a hurry to see this, but if you do, you could do a lot worse.
Reviewer Score: 4