Now here's a handy bit of timing: Just over a week away from the film taking its bow at the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, six minutes of Soi Cheang's Johnnie To-produced crime thriller Accident
have been posted online. There are no English subtitles, unfortunately, but they're not particularly necessary to understand what's happening. Verdict? I think it looks stellar and the inside word from those few who have seen it is that Accident
is absolutely stellar, the film that should push its director to widespread international recognition. Here's how TIFF describes it:
It is no hyperbole to say that Accident is one of the finest Hong Kong crime dramas since Infernal Affairs. Director Soi Cheang, known more for his gritty and violent cult films such as Dog Bite Dog and Shamo, has graduated to the master class with this gripping, smartly constructed and psychologically fascinating thriller.
In a brilliantly executed early sequence, a seemingly mundane traffic jam transforms into a meticulously planned set piece. Innocuous little events, lined up like dominoes, gradually fall into place to build up to a deadly conclusion. This is the work of a gang of professional assassins, who commit murder by making perfectly staged crimes look like unfortunate accidents. But there is growing tension within the tight-knit group, which consists of four experts headed by the austere Brain (Louis Koo). When their next assignment goes disastrously wrong, Brain begins to suspect that someone else has planned an "accident" on them. Increasingly paranoid, he starts to stalk a mysterious insurance agent named Fong (Richie Jen), whom he believes is the mastermind. In order to save himself, he must destroy Fong.
Koo gives ones of his best performances as the super intelligent yet emotionally distraught Brain. Beneath his cold, unflinching expression lies a sea of guilt due to his wife's death years before. Heartthrob Jen is likewise convincing as an enigmatic Everyman with possibly sinister intentions. Though the two protagonists rarely face each other, the tension created from their game of cat and mouse is riveting. The pair are supported by a solid cast that includes perennial sidekick Lam Suet and actress Michelle Ye.
The film was produced by Johnnie To and bears some of the master Hong Kong filmmaker's hallmarks, especially in terms of the elaborate action scenes. But Accident also showcases Cheang's strengths, which were first fully demonstrated in 2004's underrated Love Battlefield. If the violence seems toned down from his earlier works, psychologically this film is still pure Soi Cheang. And given its tightly plotted, high-concept script, this might just be the next film to get a Hollywood remake.
The 'early sequence' referenced in that write up? Yep, that's the bit now online. Hit the link below to check it out and take a look at the trailer below the break.
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