All the Wrong Clues for the Right Solution (1981) Poster

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Early Tsui Hark Winner
rcoates-661-2224919 August 2010
A hundred and eighty degrees from Tsui Hark's film of the previous year, the grimly realistic and uncompromisingly violent Don't Play with Fire, 1981's All the Wrong Clues is a cartoonish comedy-mystery-thriller set in the 1930s.

Starring Hong Kong singing stars George Lam and Teddy Robin Kwan as childhood buddies and rivals who have become, respectively, a police inspector and a private eye, the story follows their alternately bumbling and ingenious adventures in relation to a convoluted con game involving a big time gangster played by Karl Maka. Along the way there are slapstick shootouts, romantic foolishness, and twists to maintain interest. (Also, watch for the ubiquitous Hong Kong heavy Bolo Yeung as a thug in a barroom brawl.)

Ultimately frivolous, but fun and stylish enough to be worthwhile.
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Tsui Hark's goofy comedy
Leofwine_draca12 April 2020
Warning: Spoilers
ALL THE WRONG CLUES FOR THE RIGHT SOLUTION is another oddball movie from Tsui Hark, taking a break from his grim thrillers and outlandish martial arts fables to deliver an inane comedy that quickly loses steam after it opens. It's the kind of film which is mired in mindless rather than witty humour, with random jokes throughout. I'd say about half of them work but it's the other half that seem to go on interminably; when he's good, Eric Tsang is on fire, but here he's just an annoying dim-witted idiot.

The film is posited as a detective spoof but instead plays out as a gangster comedy, with everyone overacting and mugging for the limelight. Of the cast, I found George Lam a bit staid as the straight man lead, Karl Maka goofy as the baddie, and Teddy Robin Kwan a delight as the diminutive, butt-kicking chief inspector. Stick around for a bar brawl/custard pie fight featuring cameos from Bolo Yeung and John Sham, no less.
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Pretty dull film-noir.
OllieSuave-00724 September 2013
This film stars George Lam and Teddy Robin Kwan as a private investigator and a police detective, assigned to prevent a notorious gangster from taking money and stocks from an old millionaire. Along the way, they meet some off-the-wall characters like femme fatales and slapstick gangsters. Made in the style of film noir, the story is set in Hong Kong, circa 1930s-40s. Although the cinematography is good and gives you an old-Chicago-mobster like atmosphere, the story is pretty boring and acting is sub-par. Slapstick and childish humor from the supporting and extra characters try to help to make this into an enjoyable comedy, but, unfortunately, they didn't deliver an exciting movie. Therefore, I prefer to watch this film's sequel, the more funny and intriguing All The Wrong Spies, over this one.

Grade D-
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Slapstick Gangsters Shoot Sharp!
shiyosunderland4 July 2017
"All the wrong clues" is Tsui Harks departure from his gritty new wave roots into a more mainstream body of work. I never really got why genre comedies in Hong Kong are usually marketed with pretty kitschy posters and overly long and quirky trailers for this is basically a pretty straight noir gangster spoof featuring George Lam as private detective and Teddy Robin Kwan as chief inspector. The story revolves about triad super bosses trying to outsmart each other with Lam and Kwan constantly sabotaging their schemes and themselves being played by mastermind Ah Capone. As you might have guessed, the story isn't all that important in a slapstick inferno like this. Tsui Hark delivers a million punches, some of them miss gloriously but you're never left hanging, the next joking is already homing in on you. If you do despise slapstick, please avoid this movie at all costs. Although the script and ideas are pretty strong in the first and last quarter of the movie, it really indulges in seemingly improvised mass brawls and chase scenes that try the viewers patience quite a bit, especially if you're not in the mood.

I have to say, I really really like the lead actors, especially Teddy Robin Kwan. That man is a comedy genius! I have a soft spot for his larger than life antics (I mean, the guy is 1.47 m).

The film is shot in wonderful Panavision (it must be, it's written pretty big in the opening credits) and pushes even this slapstick gangster romp into Hollywood standards. That's what Tsui Hark does best! It's nicely shot and he really knows how to make movies that people all over the world can enjoy although I don't think it was ever released anywhere outside HK or Japan.

PROS: - Great Slapstick in the vein of "Lupin the 3rd" (it really feels like old school cartoon comedy) - Great actors - Solid music - Mo lei tau 101: I guess Stephen Chow really liked this movie.

CONS: - Wow, so much slapstick. - Could have been a bit shorter. - It's a gangster spoof. It's supposed to have cons in it!
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