Clearly, 2009 was Louis Koo’s year, appearing in two films that I recently watched in my own personal Louis Koo double feature, Accident and Overheard.
Let’s take Accident, or as I like to think of it, Look Both Ways Before Crossing the Street, which also stars Richie Jen. Louis Koo plays the leader of a group that stages murders to look like accidents, you know, for a fee. I think it’s a solid film, nothing spectacular, but by no means something crappy. Koo’s performance is good, if what we are going for is an emotionally detached character, which I think is the goal. Sufficient twists and everything, but I was particularly impressed with the camera work. Soi Cheang really paid attention to the use of elements and light in this urban setting.
I found Overheard to be much richer in terms of narrative, tho. Starring the trifecta of Koo, Lau Ching Wan and Daniel Wu, it took turns I did not anticipate. Again, nice camera work by Alan Mak. This film is about three surveillance cops presented with the opportunity to profit from overhearing a stock tip from a company they are investigating. What I like is the way the personal lives are interwoven into the professional lives of these men, which provides a depth to their motives, especially Koo’s character. Dang! Koo really does desperate well.
What both films share is the theme of surveillance: people who look at other people, people who think others are watching them, and the impact that has on the way people live their lives and make decisions. It seems timely, with technology invading privacy and altering the ways in which we deal with one another.
Can I just say, tho, that I’m never buying it when they try to age Koo. That man will always be forever young to me. And can we please get him some better quality glasses if he must portray characters who wear glasses? Go back at other films and look! He always wears these not-attractive glasses!