Review: Laughs never stop in ‘Detective Chinatown 2’
“Detective Chinatown 2” is absolutely crazy.
The comedy — the sequel to 2015’s “Detective Chinatown,” which grossed $125 million in China — brings straitlaced genius crime solver Qin Feng (Liu Haoran) and his wild man “uncle” Tang Ren (Wang Baoqiang) to New York where a new mystery requires solving. And so begins a madcap, slapstick journey across the Big Apple, with director Chen Sicheng throwing everything he can at viewers to keep the laughs coming. One of the characters breaking into a Michael Jackson impression during a fight sequence in the middle of a New York City traffic jam? Sure, why not?
Feng is a Sherlock Holmes-type, able to assess a situation in seconds through his keen detection skills. “Detective Chinatown 2,” like its predecessor, takes that character and sets him in the middle of what is essentially a live action cartoon, with sidekick Ren hamming it up at levels so nuclear even Larry, Moe and Curly would tell him to tone it down a notch.
But if you can catch the vibe it’s an incredibly fun ride. The New York setting (Taylor Swift’s “Welcome to New York” is played on the soundtrack no less than four times, a repeating gag that becomes its own punchline) makes the story more accessible to Stateside audiences than its predecessor, and the cast traipses through some iconic New York landmarks, including Grand Central Station and Times Square.
Michael Pitt is on board as a shady doctor, only adding to the surreal feeling of the whole film. At two-plus hours, the joke goes on for way too long. But “Detective Chinatown 2” is a case worth taking.
‘Detective Chinatown 2’
Rated R: for brief language
Running time: 140 minutes