Sam hoi tsam yan
- 1h 58min
After her husband is killed in a mysterious accident, a widow is haunted by images of things she has never seen or experienced.After her husband is killed in a mysterious accident, a widow is haunted by images of things she has never seen or experienced.After her husband is killed in a mysterious accident, a widow is haunted by images of things she has never seen or experienced.
- Old Funeral Parlor Staffas Old Funeral Parlor Staff
- (as Poon Cheuk Ming)
I normally wouldn't bother writing a review for a film I rate a 6/10, but the sheer level of abuse this film has received from IMDb reviewers is surprising. "Missing" is so unpretentious and harmless that I question how someone in their right mind could hate the film to the degree of giving it a 1/10 rating. Then again, these are the same people who gave Jet Li's pretentious, over-dramatic fluff piece "The Warlords" (2007) a 10/10 (as well as Woo's pathetic "Red Cliff") so maybe I'm expecting a little too much individuality when dealing with the bandwagon jumpers that infest IMDb. In all honesty, I find that the average ratings on this website have become almost completely useless.
After calling "Missing" a complete mess, one reviewer claimed that only those who liked "Diary" (2006) could buy into this movie. This was an obvious attempt to indirectly trash both films by drawing a parallel between two "convoluted" story lines with "copout" endings. One can only assume that this guy has no idea what he's talking about. "Diary" is a masterpiece of horror cinema that is on a level far higher than that of "Missing." The twists and turns in "Diary" are well-executed with little in terms of ambiguity; almost every single event is adequately explained. "Missing", on the other hand, includes a twist that tosses a good portion of the film into subjective interpretation. I say this in defense of "Diary" so that readers understand that the comparison is completely unwarranted and misguided.
I do find it ironic that overpraised directors like David Lynch can operate within a universe where virtually everything is tossed up to subjective interpretation, yet receive heaping amounts of praise for being original and innovative. How is this any different from what Tsui Hark does in "Missing"? Sure, the big twist that's revealed during the latter third of the film basically forces the viewer to interpret the preceding events in a symbolic light, but some of it does have very specific psychological meaning. That still leaves the final third of the film to operate within objective reality, which is far more than what Lynch provided in the abhorrent "Eraserhead." So what's the problem? "Missing" is not nearly as weird as "Eraserhead", but it sure makes a LOT more sense, yet it somehow is excluded from receiving credit for using ambiguity to provoke thought and introduce originality. I'm not understanding this double standard.
Now, I'm not saying that "Missing" is a great film. It's got some healthy doses of cheesiness and some of the events that take place during the opening hour may not hold up well after a second viewing, but there is a constant aura of interest that is maintained from start to finish which is more than one can say for the seemingly endless barrage of carbon-copy Chinese historical epics like "The Warlords" and "Three Kingdoms" that quite frankly have NO originality, NO enjoyability, NO artistic integrity, and NO purpose for existing other than to ape Hollywood with soulless garbage masked behind a veil of massive budgets.
I'll take a film like "Missing" over those pathetic projects any day of the week. I may not recommend a blind buy, but a rental with reasonable expectations is not something to run away from.
- Oct 17, 2008