Review: CONSPIRATORS 同謀 (2013) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Review: CONSPIRATORS 同謀 (2013)

CONSPIRATORS has a fairly intriguing whodunit with a scene-stealing performance from Nick Cheung, but the movie suffers from an excessive shaky cam and laboured pace.

From the outlook, CONSPIRATORS seems like a clear winner. It's a crime thriller which paired two award-winning actors, Aaron Kwok and Nick Cheung for the first time ever -- which is frankly more than enough to give Hong Kong movie fans to get excited already. But this movie, which is actually the third instalment of THE DETECTIVE series, manages only as a so-so crime thriller mostly ruined by Oxide Pang's questionable choice of direction.


In this latest entry in the series, Chan Tam (Aaron Kwok) leaves Thailand and travels to Malaysia for investigating his parents' mysterious death. There he locates a man named Chai (Chen Kuan-Tai), who might help to uncover the truths behind the murder of his parents thirty years ago. However, Chai seems to withhold a lot of information and even keeps telling him to stop investigating instead. Nevertheless, Chan Tam suspects something is very wrong and later enlists the help of a local Malaysian private detective Zheng Fung Hei (Nick Cheung) to piece the puzzle together.

As a murder mystery, the plot is fairly engaging. This time around, Aaron Kwok switches from his usual bumbling Chan Tam character previously seen in the first two DETECTIVE series to a more down-to-earth and intense persona. His no-nonsense portrayal is quite credible, but he is no match for Nick Cheung's eccentric role as Zheng Fung Hei. In fact, he steals the show from everybody involved here. On the plus side, it's a refreshing change of pace to see this third instalment expands its geography from Thailand to Malaysia (which is mostly shot around Kuala Lumpur).

The exciting scene where Chan Tam is being forced by the bad guy to steal a car and does whatever he says (e.g. pick any car and crashes it).

Writer-director Oxide Pang seems to be losing control most of the time. His choice of excessive yellow filters during the Malaysia setting is downright annoying, while it's nauseating to see the potentially exciting action scenes are badly framed with terribly shaky camerawork. At other times, the story tends to drag a lot as well.


It's obvious that both Aaron Kwok and Nick Cheung deserve a better movie than this average-looking crime thriller. Then again, any movie directed by Oxide Pang nowadays are mostly overrated rubbish (*cough* SLEEPWALKER *cough*) and CONSPIRATORS can be considered as one of his rare credible if heavily flawed efforts.

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