Saturday, December 21, 2013
Drug War. A-
Johnnie To is such an interesting filmmaker that he can take on what on paper appears to be a formulaic narcotics police procedural and make it something entirely strange and unpredictable. Drug War is one of the most unusual crime films of the last few years because it's very serious and dark, but also at crucial moments feels almost like a comedy. Don't be thinking crime film with comedic elements, like an Elmore Leonard story, but rather a dead-serious thriller that inexplicably brings in characters and situations that are just so unexpected and weird that To's tonal intentions can't help but be questioned. Drug War ends up actually being a fairly challenging film, not because it has big ideas or terribly complex characters, but because To's motives are never transparent. It doesn't so much want to blow you away, but rather to leave you thinking when it's over, what exactly is this movie?