Three people - a criminal, a bank officer and a cop - end up in a catastrophic situation in the midst of a global economical crisis and are forced to betray any morals and principles to solve their financial problems.
With the nickname Peggy, a new recruit is mentored by Dog-Head, while undergoing on-job training while tracking down a gang of well organized armed heist robbers. The police use the surveillance cameras trying to track their identities.
Accident might just be the most refined and intelligent piece of Hong Kong cinema since 2002's Infernal Affairs. The film probably won't prove as popular with mainstream audiences due to its almost meditative, slow-burn pacing - but for anyone with an interest in inventive genre cinema, Soi Cheang's newest outing is a must-see.
Taking its cues from Jean-Pierre Melville, Accident revolves around a group of assassins who stage their murders like accidents. The group is led by Brain (Louis Koo in a career-defining performance), who grows increasingly paranoid when one of the group's accidents goes awry and kills another member.
Thankfully, while the actual "accidents" are impressive and cleverly put together, Soi Cheang doesn't make the mistake of letting gimmicky set pieces dominate his film. Instead, Accident becomes a fascinating character study of a man who gradually destroys himself through paranoia and guilt. As such, the film largely depends on Louis Koo's performance - and what a performance it is; with this film, Koo finally deserves to be elevated from the hotpot of mediocre HK-popstars-cum-actors people used to include him in.
Add to this an elegiac score by Xavier Jamaux, elegant cinematography and you end up with the most compelling film to come out of Asia in the past 2 years.
If there is any problem to be found in this, it's that Accident is purely a Milkyway Image film, not a Soi Cheang film. Anyone hoping to find the director's trademark relentlessness here will be disappointed
although it could be argued some of the nihilism found in works like
Dog Bite Dog was carried over into Accident's finale.
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