A troubled assassin, who works by orchestrating “accidents”, suspects that an accident that happens to his team is not an accident at all.
Accident, a new release directed by Pou-Soi Cheang, is quite unlike many film premises I’ve come across. This Asian thriller takes on a few new angles while following in the tradition of noted cult filmmakers. Our main focal character Ho Kwok-fai (Louis Koo) is a professional hit-man assassin leading a small team of dedicated members in his trade. His trade is unlike many we’ve come across, basing his assassinations on the outcome of well-planned accidents. They call him the “Brain” because of his calculating and flawless technique.
In essence, Ho Kwok-fai is hired by outside buyers who contract him to assassinate their clients (or targets for that matter). The reasons may vary or deem unimportant, however he gets the job done by making the entire sequence look like an accident. Him and his team which include his uncle, and 2 close acquaintances, assist him upon go ahead. Each is assigned a portion of the outcome which in tangent results in the target seemingly executed on accident. The films begins on this note with an elaborate well planned event that bases a series of factors to the demise of a highly targeted crime lord.
The Brain, analyses every angle while carefully being alert to any factors that might leave behind clues. This operation is seen performing their magic a few times in the film. However when a new event occurs that leaves one of his crew dead, Ho Kwok-fai begins to assume it’s not accident and that he is being targeted by another assassin like him.
From this point on, we start to delve in the cult fashion that you might expect from a director like Darren Aronofsky. Ho Kwok-fai now obsessed over the event and the death of his friend becomes reclusive and determined to piece together the details of the accident. His focus turns to an upstairs neighbor Cahn Fong-chow who he believes “might” be the mastermind. Obsession goes into overtime with schematics, recordings, and fact checking. In fact we never need to know too much about his trade, besides it being unique to his team and their profession. While “Brain” is married to his constant practice of surveillance, he can’t help but fantasize about the lovely girl upstairs. This in itself presents as being one of his sacrifices to do what he does best. A result of focusing on the mundane while perhaps separated from the more fantastic.
In “Accidente’s” 2nd half, we can’t help but be plunged into Brain’s world of suspicion and paranoia. In fact it’s so cleverly done that we begin to believe what might otherwise be an ordinary chance circumstance. This is at times beautifully shot in order to illustrate many of the objectives of the film. I think its outcome provides more than one statement about the nature of the character and how chance and fate relate.
A fantastic film, “Accident” is memorable in not only its execution but its unique plot that grows even more unique as it progresses. Filmed in 2009, the movie presents a new idea with an even greater outcome that takes you on spin a few times before capping off its storyline. Fans of the genre should recognize this release more as cult style thriller than anything but certainly well within the interest of its genre circles. It pushes forth an intellectual take that is complimented by its unsavory task at hand. Even with the idea that luck is on their side in some cases, we go with the direction as being a successful one.
The film was centered in its original location of Hong Kong and first released at the Toronto International Film Festival of 2009. It was received with mixed reviews but also seems to be heralded by its genre viewers. Most point to its nature of a be an absorbing film rich with invention and meticulation. I found it remarkable and a film that you’ll want to revisit. Rich with flavor, “Accident” is a must see!