Accident 2009 Review: A perfect crime movie

If you wanted to get away with murder, then wouldn’t it make sense to make the person’s death seem like a bizarre accident? And if you could get away with murder, then wouldn’t being a high paid assassin seem like a reasonable lifestyle? This is the intriguing premise for the movie Accident. This movie goes further though by depicting what could happen if you were almost killed in an accident. And began suspecting someone was out to get you!

In 2009,  Accident (Sat Thu Thu Sinh) was selected to be shown at both the Venice and Toronto International Film Festivals. I understand that the director, Soi Cheang, is acquiring a solid reputation for his directorial style with ample backing from this film’s producer, Johnnie To, who has a directing reputation of his own. Despite these credentials, and the intriguing premise, I was unimpressed with this film. But I am willing to allow that the fault may lie with me and not the film. Let me explain.

To create an accident that leaves no questions. It seems reasonable that you might string together a sequence of coincidental events that would make no one believe that all of it was planned. If you’re thinking that it might be difficult for one assassin on his own to stage an accident, then this film is one step ahead of you by having you work with three other assassins. To protect your identities, you would probably only want to use nicknames. So let’s call yourself Brain (Louis Koo or Co Thien Lac). This is probably a bad nickname, because it identifies yourself as the brains of the operation. But maybe your lawyer could try to explain it as being meant ironically. The other nicknames are better in that they’re descriptive. But they don’t indicate the role in the team: Fatty (Suet Lam), Uncle (Feng Tsui Fan), and Woman (Michelle Ye).

Now my first quibble has to do with your assembled team.

From what is shown in the film. I don’t quite see the expertise that each member brings to the team although Uncle seems to have some technical expertise. Also the interactions between the members seem quite unprofessional and awkward. From the amount of money we see in Brain’s safe. We can suspect that Brain has been doing this successfully for a while. Granted, we don’t know how long this team has been together and that maybe the filmmakers wanted to establish Brain’s suspiciousness quickly. Perhaps the filmmakers were defying the convention of films to show awesome teams. Perhaps I wanted to see a Mission: Impossible type team doing bad things together.

As for the Rube Goldberg accidents shown in the film. I don’t think they’re clever at all. They’re too reliant on chance. Granted the film does show an accident that reasonably takes multiple attempts in order to accomplish. Maybe this does make the accident really seem like an accident. The accidents are filmed and edited with a certain flair. But I couldn’t help thinking that the accidents shown in the Final Destination films were done much better. Perhaps Death is a better coordinator than any human.

So you might have intuited some defensiveness on my part with regards to my non-appreciation of this film (phim hanh dong Hong Kong). Please treat anything I have written plot-wise in this review as not necessarily correct since I wouldn’t want to taint your viewing experience if you haven’t seen the film and find the premise intriguing enough to see the film despite my reservations. After you have seen the film, we can surely agree to call this film a “perfect crime” movie. But not necessarily a perfect “crime movie”.

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