Movie Details

Conspirators

After "The Detective", Oxide Pang returns with yet another detective thriller titled "Conspirators", starring Aaron Kwok and Nick Cheung. Chen Tan (Aaron Kwok), a private detective in Thailand, travelled to Malaysia following the clues in a photo in order to reveal the truth behind the murder of his parents 30 years ago. There he finds a man called Chai, who directs him to Zheng (Nick Cheung), a Malaysian detective born in China. The two eventually stumble upon Chai`s daughter, Zhi Wei (Jiang Yi Yan) and realise that she may hold the key to the mystery...

Language: Mandarin
Subtitle: NA
Classification: PG
Release Date: 11 Apr 2013
Genre: Action / Suspense
Running Time: 1 Hour 44 Minutes
Distributor: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES
Cast: Aaron Kwok, Nick Cheung
Director: Oxide Pang
Format: 2D

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Review
Writer: Ng Suzhen

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Watch this if you liked: “The Detective” and “The Detective 2”

If not for the presence of Aaron Kwok and Nick Cheung, this movie would have been easily mistaken for a local production that does not really live up to standards plot-wise.

While Kwok's Chan Tam has made a name for himself as the bumbling detective in "The Detective" and "The Detective 2", it does not do much to save the movie. Compared to the premises featured in the past two movies, it seems far-fetched that Tam would invest so much into finding out the truth behind the murder of his parents. Kwok, who undoubtedly is a capable actor, is let down by a storyline that was never interesting from the start.

The film tries to play up the mystery factor but director Oxide Pang should have known that there really is not much with the material to hype up the story into a climactic discovery. The efforts in spinning the web of intrigue just add up to dragging the film a little longer, which can be quite annoying.

Malaysians, however, might be distracted from the mundane plot as the movie is set in here in the country. When bored, you may take the time to guess the shooting locations of familiar spots around Klang Valley. Being married to Malaysian actress Angelica Lee probably helped make the movie more authentically Malaysian but when the local flavour is heavily presented via the eyes of Oxide, it feels contrived and unnecessary at times.

If there is only one complaint about authenticity, it would be Oxide's decision to feature a Chinese police detective (Detective Mah, played by Leon Li) who is able to converse with his colleagues of various races in Mandarin and still gain understanding from them, a scene which will undoubtedly earn an incredulous look from local audiences.

Despite multiple flaws in the movie, Nick Cheung sort of saves the day as Malaysian private detective Cheng Fung Hei. It is surprising how good he looks in a kung fu stance while sporting a head of unkempt long hair. It is always fun seeing him onscreen despite the movie's faults. Sad to say though, while Hei is supposed to pair up with Tam as his new 'buddy', the bonding does not seem to happen much onscreen.

It is not really believable that Tam and Hei are able to share so much trust between them as the both of them do not have much in common save for the fact that they are pursuing the same people who have harmed their family. Even that connection seems to be a forced plotline to give them a reason to work together.

If you are looking for a good mystery, this would not be the best choice. Go for "Conspirators" only if you feel a need to finish Oxide Pang's trilogy of Detective Chan Tam.

Cinema Online, 10 April 2013
   
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Classification
Effective 15 July 2011
G - Suitable for all ages
PG - Suitable for all ages, but parents should provide guidance to their young
PG13 - Suitable for persons aged 13 and above, but parental guidance is advised for children below 13
NC16 - Suitable for persons aged 16 years and above
M18 - Suitable for persons aged 18 years and above
R21 - Restricted to persons aged 21 and above only
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