In his directorial debut, Francis Ng Chun-Yu essays Smash Head, an emotionally bankrupt cop who began his downward spiral when he accidentally killed a hostage during a shootout. Though it has its rough edges, Hong Kong actor Francis Ng's directorial debut is a striking work: very much performance based and with a distinctively woozy feel that parallels the main character's feeling of dislocation from his surroundings.
Though it has its rough edges, Hong Kong actor Francis Ng’s directorial debut is a striking work: very much performance based and with a distinctively woozy feel that parallels the main character’s feeling of dislocation from his surroundings.
“Smash-Head” (Ng) is a maverick cop whose universe is rapidly spinning out of control: he smokes dope, hangs out in a regular bar, and occasionally has sex with a girl there (Amanda Lee). Following a shootout on the cross-harbour Star Ferry, he is officially carpeted by his superiors; meanwhile, he starts a slow-burning relationship with a cool hypnotherapist, Carmen (Christine Eng), who could bring some stability to his life. However, lurking unresolved in the past is the mystery of the shooting incident which resulted in the death of his partner and first sent Smash-Head into a spin. Co-produced and photographed by Herman Yau, Hong Kong’s best-known Category III director (with whom Ng has worked in the past), the movie manages much on a small budget, with nervy editing, use of slow motion and other visual tropes. Though Eng and Lee are impressive as the two women in the cop’s life, Ng dominates the film with a performance that’s not far from Harvey Keitel’s in Bad Lieutenant
Thanks to Far East Film Festival