Chen Sicheng’s action comedy ‘Detective Chinatown 3’ – Deadline

With alleged Western blockbusters such as Black widow, no time to die, and The Eternals delayed until later this year the uproar Chinatown Detective the franchise has jumped into the void in a very, very big way. Few, if any, films have already grossed so many plays in such a short time.

The numbers speak for themselves: The third entry in the wacky animated Chinese action series starring a bizarre cop squad of a young brain and reckless wild man sets an all-time record at the box office with a three-day opening weekend of $ 398 million, leading to an opening week total of $ 621 million.

Other landmark accomplishments include the $ 150 million ticket presale and $ 163 million opening day take. And all this was achieved even with theater capacity restrictions of 50 and sometimes 75% in some situations. After closing in early 2020, cinemas in China reopened in July.

How Detective Chinatown 3 became a box office sensation and what the resurgence of the Middle Empire means for the global theater industry

In tone and ambition, the Chinatown Detective the entries were compared to the American Peak hour and Deadly weapon franchises and it’s clear that the producers have gone the extra mile to bring it high-end, Hollywood-level production values. The last opus was shot entirely with IMAX cameras and each film was shot in a different world capital; Bangkok, New York and now Tokyo have served as the main sites so far, and London will be next (beware, Mr. Bond).

Seeing Detective Chinatown 3 on a very big screen it was a very big problem; it was the first time I had attended a movie theater in a year, and I have to thank IMAX for inviting me to see it at the company’s screening room in Los Angeles. It was a very welcome experience, but also a strange one. I had the room perfectly sanitized to myself, so the feeling of separation from greater humanity was pronounced and strange since the Chinatown Detective the entrances are nothing if not superb images of the public. This franchise is aimed at the widest possible audience, from children to geriatrics, so it was weird to feel like you were watching it in something akin to a seclusion room.

For the uninitiated, the Chinatown Detective movies are hyperactive entertainment overflowing with a raspy sympathy; they are loud, manic, tireless, rowdy, rude but not too vulgar, sometimes Three Stooges-like in their stupid physical pranks and painful difficulties, and always on the move; nothing stands still here for more than a few seconds. It’s Laurel and Hardy on speed, physical opposites that are almost always in overdrive.

Young and slim Qin Feng (played by Liu Haoran) is a straight arrow detective with the mind of a computer who, in the first film, in 2015, was paired with Tang Ren (Wang Baoqiang), an uncle allegedly distant from the back streets of Bangkok with a chunky frame, a gilded front tooth, and a hysterical disposition that results in lots of screaming and exuberant physicality. They are a top-notch odd couple who engage in a lot of wacky physical actions that become more and more contagious as they go.

Liu Haoran, Wang Baoqiang The second part, Detective Chinatown 2 (2018), has become more ambitious and of significantly higher quality. The action switched to New York and this was absolutely not an example of a crew spending just a few days on a foreign location for local color; the action spreads all over town, with a slew of locations, vehicles, and extras involved.

This second entry is the most entertaining of the trio and one that makes the most of the cultural differences between the central characters and the location. However, the film’s ignorance of its attitudes towards Americans in general – blacks in particular – will not go unnoticed by Western viewers. For example, a scene involving the two Chinese chefs and a tall black man using public urinals is not something you would see in a contemporary American movie.

The franchise is the brainchild of Chen Sicheng, who spent 12 years as an actor before breaking through as the writer-director-lead actor of the 2012 Beijing television series. Love story, which went to 39 episodes, and a follow-up version of 2014, which was a huge hit.

Despite its huge box office numbers, I have to assess Detective Chinatown 3 like a disappointment after the first two loudly engaging entries. The films in the series are structured around the extensive uses of digressions, as Qin, in particular, uses his brilliant intelligence and memory to extract information and develop theories that will help resolve cases being pursued by their relationship.

This approach then reaches beyond the realm of reductio ad absurdum in the third installment. Once the set-up for the murder of a Japanese crime boss is established, the film grows – or perhaps more accurately descends – into a seemingly endless realm of conjecture and hypothesis about what might have happened. pass.

The movie becomes such a veritable heap of speculation and surprising unknowns that at one point you are forced to give up and ride the wave of theories and polls that arise in Qin’s fertile mind. You just think this brilliant kid will figure things out eventually because you won’t be able to.

This degree of devotion to conjectures, assumptions and unknowable information might be overlooked by audiences eager to go with the flow, but the ‘anything goes’ approach increasingly irritates viewers with a normal desire to be able to keep up. what is happening. The director makes a point of keeping everything alive, punchy and entertaining at all times, but nothing holds the ship together here; At the end of the day, you just need to check out and go with the flow, just like a ride through an amusement park.

The first two installments didn’t take this attitude and were better for it. Additionally, the goofy Tang doesn’t have as many opportunities for inspired insanity as it did on the first two outings, which further reduces the fun quotient. Tokyo is also not as widely or as well used as Bangkok and New York; most of the time you are stuck at Shibuya Crossing, probably the busiest intersection in the world. Look for extended street closures at Piccadilly Circus in the coming year.

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