Tuesday, 27 May 2014

Premiere Screening : OVERHEARD 3

Date : 27 May 2014 
Time : 9pm
Venue : GSC Mid Valley

 Lau Ching-wan, Louis Koo Tin-lok, Daniel Wu Yin-cho, Zhou Xun
Directors: Alan Mak Siu-fai, Felix Chong Man-keung
Category: IIB (Cantonese and Putonghua)
Bigger is not necessarily better. That's the message filmmakers may take away from this latest instalment of the Overheard surveillance series, the budget of which reputedly exceeds that of the first two combined.
By including so many actors and actresses in their cameo-filled blockbuster, writer-directors Alan Mak Siu-fai and Felix Chong Man-keung have overcomplicated matters and ended up with a bloated work whose 131 minutes feels way too long.
There are characters and subplots galore in this crime drama, set in the near future. But the main story centres on three people whose surname is Luk, and a New Territories villager who doesn't share their surname, yet has personal ties to all three.
Traditional village supremo and property tycoon Luk Hon-to (Kenneth Tsang Kong) is getting on in years. So even as his NT Land Group seeks to push through a massive property development that involves the wholesale purchase of land rights from other New Territories villagers, his daughter, Yu (Michelle Ye Xuan), and the company's business director, Luk Kam-keung (Lau Ching-wan), vie for control and his inheritance — with Yu deciding to ally with "connected" mainlander Wan (Huang Lei) and Keung calling upon his hing daai (sworn brothers) for muscle and other support.
After spending five years in prison for manslaughter committed on behalf of the Luks, the newly released Law Wing-jau (Louis Koo Tin-lok) finds himself in the thick of the power struggle.
Although, initially, he looks to have cast his lot in with his erstwhile good friend Keung, it's soon revealed that he's working with his technical whizz ex-prison buddy Joe (Daniel Wu Yin-cho) to spy on Keung and his gang for Jau's former lover, Yu.
Wu is officially one of Overheard 3's three male leads, but his role is far less substantial than Lau's or Koo's. Indeed, it seems like the only reason that Joe exists in the film is to supply the necessary electronic eavesdropping elements to make it a viable part of the Overheard series.
Even more hard done by is the Cantonese-speaking Zhou, whose character looks to be in the picture merely to connect the dots.
Although their characters have less screen time than Wu or Zhou, Gordon Lam Ka-tung and Alex Fong Chung-shun are more attention-grabbing as they get to behave more flamboyantly — and, in Fong's case, sport an odd hairdo that's impossible to ignore.
Most memorable about this otherwise unremarkable movie are the strange hairstyles and clothing choices of the male characters, some of which could be generously described as "retro".
One wonders whether the filmmakers think New Territories villages are living in a different era.