To's meta-intentions are signaled at the start, when Tok voiceovers, "I like watching movies, especially action movies." My general feeling on Fulltime Killer, from a later Tok observation: "Not the best movie, but I like the style." For an even more bizarre Lau performance, 2003's Running on Karma is recommended; the star plays a psychic bodybuilder turned stripper. A muscle suit that eclipses even Love on a Diet's stunt-costume gimmickry is prominently featured.
The series' local premiere, 2007's Mad Detective, is unfortunately non-noteworthy. The rubber-faced Lau Ching-wan, a To favorite, stars as the titular detective. He hears voices! The voices are embodied by actors who follow him around! The conceit gets old fast. For a better Lau-To pairing, pick up 1999's Running Out of Time not part of "Hong Kong Nocturne" but worthy enough to be. *
"HONG KONG NOCTURNE: THE FILMS OF JOHNNIE TO"
May 29June 27, check Web site for schedule, $9.50 $13.50
Pacific Film Archive
2575 Bancroft, UC Berkeley, Berk
(510) 642-1412, www.bampfa.berkeley.edu