Jan 18, 2011
The last time I witnessed a role of Louis Koo's was in SPL's pseudo-prequel Flash Point. Within that film, Louis Koo demonstrated an uncanny ability to remain noticeable besides Donnie Yen's vacuum-like cinematic pull, abnormal in filmic science. It's within Koo's juggling of sidekick, comic relief, and tragic appeal that made me interested in seeing just how versatile this actor could be. With that in mind, Accident stars the aforementioned Louis Koo as the "Brain" of a crack-team of assassins with the specialty of creating "accidents" out of contracts. These recurring instances are where the title is derived and Accident offers many set-pieces in which to act out the Final Destination-esque moments with a searing taste for suspense and brief and brutal ways to depart from this mortal coil. Accident is a Hong-Kong superthriller from Soi Cheang, the man responsible for the plague-ridden Dog Bite Dog, and produced by the prolific Johnnie To. The credentials are enough to give Accident a pass from interrogating the Internet for reviews and scores because no matter who you show Accident to, it will incite a different perspective and sentiment. But one thing is consistent, Accident is a hell of a drag to any and all who view it.
The main team of assassins consists of Brain, Uncle, Fatty, and a nameless beauty. Brain carries with him a sick melancholy due to his wife's death, hinted at in flashbacks. Expressing the loss of a lover by ritual of rigging elaborate traps to uncork prolonged bouts of suffering is both conniving and bittersweet. The best part? It works. In the opening scene, a car suffering a flat tire blocks a bustling one way street. Perturbed, the man directly behind this car cuts his steering wheel and moves past through another street, getting water splashed onto his hood from a delivery truck. Once his vehicle trips a mechanism, a banner from several stories up flutters and lands atop his hood, stopping him in his tracks. Getting out, he tugs at the banner, breaking a pin and showering him with broken glass, lacerating an artery and leaving him immobilized and bleeding out in the street. Meanwhile, several spectators feign attraction to this "accident". You wouldn't normally consider that this grievous fatality was a murder, would you? Least of all committed by someone in your very near proximity. This moment of fatal paranoia is what Accident tackles full-force and dutifully.
After an accident goes terribly awry which costs the life of one of his team, Brain begins to slip into a paranoia on account of the synchronousness nature of his trade. This opens the portal to the last act of the film, one that schemes to alter the texture of Accident. What was once a vessel for ridiculous, elaborate murder switches gears all too easily to a moody intellectualized "whodunit" that has you questioning the motives and sanity of everyone involved. Accident simply echoes Milkway production to a "T", excavating suspense out of the most mild-mannered situations backed by sinister and studious prowess. Unfortunate event after another, Louis Koo's character slips into a state of reclusive suspicion towards an insurance agent. Was the death of a friend an "accident" or an accident? The flawless style of Accident makes up a great half of the cool composure held by Louis Koo and his cohorts. The other half is clockwork misery with a light classical score to better aid the musings of our somber and conservatively existential lead. Accident may certainly have flaws under its skin but you'd have a hard time discerning them from the clinical depression left behind by the finale. Easily one of the best Hong-Kong thrillers you've never seen.
Posted by Soiled Sinema at 3:51 PM
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