Twist upon twist makes for exasperating viewing

Kaiser Chuang plays the ambitious reporter and Hsu Wei-ning his colleague in Who Killed Cock Robin.
Kaiser Chuang plays the ambitious reporter and Hsu Wei-ning his colleague in Who Killed Cock Robin.PHOTO: SHAW ORGANISATION

REVIEW / THRILLER

WHO KILLED COCK ROBIN (M18)

117 minutes/Opens tomorrow/2/5 stars

The story: Ambitious society reporter Chi (Kaiser Chuang) gets into an accident and finds out that his car was involved in another incident nine years ago - a fatal one that he had witnessed. As he digs deeper into that old case, he finds that many questions remain unanswered.

Taiwanese director Cheng Wei-hao (The Tag-Along, 2015) has a very dim view of human nature. Everyone is looking out only for himself or herself in this movie.

That can make for a darkly compelling study of morality and consequences. Too bad this is not that film.

It is too convenient how everyone and everything is so neatly connected here, from Chi's mentor, newspaper editor Chiu (Christopher Lee), to his colleague Maggie (Hsu Wei-ning) and even the mechanic who repairs his car.

It does not help matters that director Cheng seems to be a fan of surprise revelations.

The effect of piling on twist upon twist is to have the viewer totally wrung out and exasperated by the end.

The more viewers learn about what happened nine years ago, the less things make sense, including why Chi would want to look into the cold case in the first place.

A needlessly gruesome scene thrown in for shock value in the finale serves to further sour the viewing experience.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2017, with the headline 'Twist upon twist makes for exasperating viewing'. Print Edition | Subscribe