Heroic Duo

Director Benny Chan and screenwriters Adrian Kwan and Alan Yuen abandon the black-and-white simplicity of most American cop flicks in this wild ride view that treats obedience to the law as a moral issue subject to shifting variables. Intent on busting bad guys, straight-arrow Detective Ken Li (Ekin Cheng) takes his lovely partner, Brenda Hui (Karena...read more

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Reviewed by Robert Pardi
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Director Benny Chan and screenwriters Adrian Kwan and Alan Yuen abandon the black-and-white simplicity of most American cop flicks in this wild ride view that treats obedience to the law as a moral issue subject to shifting variables.

Intent on busting bad guys, straight-arrow Detective Ken Li (Ekin Cheng) takes his lovely partner, Brenda Hui (Karena Lam), for granted. Former police psychologist Jack Lai (Leon Lai), who's serving a stretch in prison for bending the rules, could teach Ken a thing or two about valuing loved ones. A homicidal thief known as "The Mindhunter" (Francis Ng) forces the opposites to work together: Capturing him before he kills again is a high priority, so Ken springs the disgraced Jack, who shares similar mind-control skills with the elusive master-criminal. Using a gem auction as bait, Ken brings Jack along to spot any hypnotic hocus-pocus. But Jack double-crosses Ken, mesmerizing him and making off with the jewels. The department suspects and inside job, which turns Ken into a fugitive, and though Jack acted under The Mindhunter's orders from, his motivation wasn’t greed — for years, the Mindhunter has held Jack’s wife (Xue Jing Lei) and his best friend's widow and children in an underground hideout. Jack works up the nerve to defy The Mindhunter and refuses to surrender the loot until the hostages are released. Ken, meanwhile, shakes off his fellow cops and infiltrates the subterranean lair, only to find that The Mindhunter has sealed his prisoners in a vacuum chamber. Can Ken and Jack defeat an amoral fiend whose mental acumen gives him an advantage?

The high velocity stunts may not make viewers as dizzy as the screenwriters' dizzying plot, but logic can be an overrated commodity in action pictures, especially when a director like Chan is at the helm and his back-up includes cinematographer Liu-Ming Poon, a magician with color.

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