Official synopsis - An undercover agent is assigned by his corrupt chief to infiltrate a rival department and sabotage their investigation of counterfeit currency. What he discovers is the counterfeiter’s real plan. To overthrow the capital. Not by flooding it with funny money, but .... I dont want to ruin it like they do in all the other write ups anyway
Not a bad watch at all, as long as you can forgive some sub par CG...which, as asian film fans Im sure we all can!
Fairly straightforward story with a classic romantic triangle thrown in for the ladies :)
"Features Liu YiFei (刘亦菲) as Heartless (无情), Deng Chao (邓超) as Cold Blooded (冷血), Collin Chou (邹兆龙) as Metal Hand (铁手), and Ronald Cheng (郑中基) as Life Chaser (追命). Set during China’s Northern Song Dynasty, the film is about four detectives with unique professional skills."*1
These skills are not deeply explained, but to a traditional martial arts practitioner they are higher levels of qi manipulation (ie.SUPERPOWERS!!). In the version I saw they even refer to people having strong qigong which I thought was a nice touch. It is within this element that you get a fair amount of CG, but I found it appropriate & not overused.
The main story arc revolves around 2 groups of officials (one not so official, but directly linked to the king!) investigating a sinister plot to flood the streets of this (unnamed to my viewing recollection) city with counterfeit money. A corrupt businessman weilds the power to pull this off, & you kind of know what his endgame is. It is the ultimate move he makes to achieve this goal that is the clincher to this films zany element. To be honest, saying more would take away from your viewing experience, & I rate it worthy of a watch for all.
To say the actors involved made it more worth watching would be an undestatement. With a lesser cast I doubt I would have enjoyed this quite so much. In that sense I place it alongside Detective Dee, which also touched on the 'supernatural'...although it was debunked in that one! It also fits into the older supernatural film mould of greats like the Mr Vampire series or Spooky Encounters etc...
Gordan Chan's direction was well executed, although at times I felt the film was a little rushed & TV like.
The few action pieces are fun & Im sure a better copy would not only reveal more detail, but show them to be as well choreographed as they appeared in my viewing. Some wirework was involved, but not in any way that made me upset. With all the Qi sorcery element you dont care about some of the OTT stuff going on.