"Cartoonish Serial Killer Mystery"
What You Need To Know:
DETECTIVE CHINATOWN 2 never takes itself seriously. It’s a screwball, slapstick style similar to Japanese anime. Tang, the uncle, is extremely cartoonish in his high-pitched voice, mannerisms and dress. Quin is more down-to-earth, a nice counterpoint. Despite the movie’s lighthearted nature, it has a dark side. Eastern religion and philosophy are present throughout, and human sacrifice is part of murders. There’s also abundant foul language and extreme violence. Extreme caution is advised for DETECTIVE CHINATOWN 2.
DETECTIVE CHINATOWN 2 is a cartoonish murder mystery and comedy from China with an unacceptable superstitious worldview and slightly excessive foul language and violence.
Quin, a young, amateur detective from China, arrives in New York City to attend his uncle Tang’s wedding. When he arrives, he finds out his uncle goaded him to America under false pretenses. Tang’s not getting married at all. Instead, he wants to team up with his nephew to solve a murder mystery that has a handsome monetary reward.
The lord of New York’s Chinatown mob recently suffered the loss of his son at the hands of a serial killer. With a terminal illness threatening to take his life within a week, he promises his inheritance to whoever finds the person responsible before time is up.
Tang is desperate to win the reward money, but he and Quin are up against competition. Not only is the NYPD after the murderer, but a group of amateur detectives from the International Detective Alliance have all convened in New York City to get in on the chase. In the middle of all of it is a famous online detective game where players must solve elaborate mysteries; and, only those with a genius IQ reach the top. Quin is second place in the world and meets his first-place rival, who has also come to New York to participate. The competition seems stiff, and with the goofball Tang as his partner, Quin isn’t too confident of their chances.
Almost immediately, security cameras pick up a man who was at all the murder scenes. Everyone takes off in search of their suspect, but when Quin and Tang capture him, they realize something’s not right. Perhaps, they have the wrong man?
The duo becomes a trio as the suspect joins their team, explaining that he too was a detective who played the game. The three of them uncover more clues and try to predict where the next murder will take place, all while dodging the NYPD and the other detective groups who want them out of the hunt. Things get very serious when Quin and Tang figure out that the lead NYPD detective is the target of the next murder, and they have to stop it before time runs out.
DETECTIVE CHINATOWN 2 is a sequel that takes place in New York City instead of Bangkok like the first movie. Although knowledge of the franchise’s previous outing might be helpful in understanding the characters’ backstories, it isn’t necessary to follow along with this second adventure. One of the main characters, Tang, is extremely cartoonish in his high-pitched voice, mannerisms and dress. Quin is more down-to-earth, and is a nice counterpoint to balance out the movie’s antics. The movie never takes itself seriously, and is very much a screwball, slapstick, anime style presentation. Regrettably, it becomes obvious, who the murderer is about halfway through the movie, though they try to keep it a mystery until the end. They partly succeed, because there is a twist in the last scene that brings everything into question again.
Despite the lighthearted nature, there is a dark side to DETECTOVE CHINATOWN 2, especially the gruesome murders. There is also a suicide via stabbing to the neck, and the camera doesn’t cut away when it happens. Feng Shui and Chinese astrology are used moderately in the plot to find clues. Human sacrifice and organ harvesting also become central to the mysterious murders. One of the bad guys believes himself to be God, with the authority to save lives and also take them. This is quickly dismissed as the product of mental illness, but it ties into the Eastern philosophies present throughout the movie.
While there is justice for the murders in one sense, one bad guy gets away without any apparent consequences. There is also a fair amount of foul language and brief extreme violence. Extreme caution is advised for DETECTIVE CHINATOWN 2.