(KTSF by Sean Au)
The investigation into a homicide in a firearms factory uncovers high level secrets in “The Bullet Vanishes.”
A female worker in a Shanghai firearms factory is accused of stealing bullets and is forced to shoot a loaded gun to her head. After her death, a series of murders happen where the victims are shot to death and the bullets are not found at the crime scene. Other workers claim that the victims have been killed by phantom bullets, a revenge act committed by the wrongly accused female worker. The deaths are investigated by a detective and a police officer. This uncovers a high level bribery scandal that implicates the top level of law enforcement in the city. As to who stole the bullets that set in motion the movie’s plot, no one cares anymore.
This Hong Kong production excels in production design that successfully re-created authentic sets in China at the beginning of the industrial revolution. As to the performance of the main cast which most viewers pay their most attention to, Nicholas Tse is competent in his role while Ching-Wan Lau excels in his role as the quirky detective. Now, therein lies the problem, Lau’s character is so much like Robert Downey Jr’s Sherlock Holmes in Guy Ritchie’s series of the Holmes saga, the role is practically modeled after Sherlock Holmes. In fact, when you look closer, the entire style of the movie resembles an Asian version of the Holmes movies, from the plot twists, to the characters, even the mischievous string-based musical score. That is disturbing.
It must be stressed that “The Bullet Vanishes” is not a bad movie. It is just that the shocking resemblance is so distracting and disappointing. Asian filmmakers should instead focus on making movies that are the type of original movies where they are masterful at.
Rating: 2 out of 5 stars.
Video courtesy of China Lion.
(Copyright 2012 KTSF. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)