I have always been intrigued by how directors from different countries approach the crime thriller. Their subtle tweaks can sometimes really reflect the local culture and make the film a fascinating watch. Which leads me to Crazy Stone, a low budget crime-comedy that shot to the top of the box office charts in China this summer. Produced and financed by Hong Kong super-star Andy Lau, the film shows some resemblance to UK director Guy Ritchie’s Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels and Snatch in its large canvass of characters and intertwining plots. Crazy Stone, however, offers glimpses into the contemporary working class so seldom seen outside Mainland China.
The Plot : a factory that is going bankrupt discovers a precious piece of jade hidden in its male lavatory walls. The factory owner decides to raise money by staging an exhibition of the magnificent piece of jade – but local petty criminals have set their sights on it. Add to the mix a highly “professional” heist artist, a hustler who happens to also be the factory owner’s son and a manipulative land developer who needs the plot of land the factory sits on and the shit literally hits the fan!!
With a rather scatological sense of humor, Crazy Stone was a hilarious romp from start to finish. The film features a cast of largely unknown actors (at least to Hong Kong viewers) that seem destined for bigger comic roles. The lone face I recognized was veteran Hong Kong TV actor Teddy Lin – who does a very funny mock Mission Impossible scene.
The verdict : highly recommended.