Out of the Dark

Broad Outline: Chow plays Leon, an escapee from a mental hospital, who trains a number of security guards and a young girl (Karen Mok) to deal with a spirit that is haunting their High Rise apartment/Shopping Mall complex.

Stephen is a Dick Level: 1/10.  Leon is quite weird, but he is neither a dick nor an every-man.  To be honest he is more a force of nature than a character.  In fact, he is almost more an extended cameo than the star.

Mo Lei Tau Quota: 7/10.  The film chooses to mix up utter nonsense set-pieces with a quite well done Hong Kong horror film.  There are plenty of belly laughs, and the major movie homages are incredibly clear.

Sing Girl Status: Karen Mok again.  And for some reason riffing on her character from Wong Kar-wai’s “Fallen Angels“.  Actually she’s really rather good as a wide-eyed ingenue, but is the only character who really has to do any kind of acting. She looks amazing with a buzz cut too, which is quite a shock.  Without her though, the film would only be people running around.

Is it Any Good?: This could be the shortest review I have done for years.  Which I think says it all.  Director Jeff Lau is a great comedy director, Chow of course is a great comedy actor.  Mixing them together (not for the first time) should equate to comedy gold.  But whilst there are some really really funny scenes, the whole thing just seems really slight.  The non-sequitur homage to Luc Besson’s “Léon: The Professional” doesn’t really make any sense. It looks pretty good, but it’s just too slight to be anything more than Mildly Recommended. Oh, I nearly forgot.. The soundtrack is far too loud and distracting.

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