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Fantasia Festival Review: ‘A Witness Out of the Blue’

August 22, 2020Ben MK

Hong Kong crime thrillers are a dime a dozen, but how many of them can be said to feature a parrot as the main witness to a murder? In A Witness Out of the Blue, that's exactly the scenario — and it's up to bumbling police detective Larry Lam (Louis Cheung) to crack the case.

After getting injured on the job two years earlier, Larry hasn't been the same, and everyone from his colleague and friend, Charmaine (Cherry Ngan), to his boss, Inspector Yip (Philip Keung), have noticed. But when the elusive mastermind behind a daring jewel heist three months earlier, Sean Wong (Louis Koo), becomes the primary suspect in a brutal murder, Larry must muster up the courage to uncover the truth. Convinced that the colorful bird is the key to solving the crime, he ends up in a game of cat and mouse with Sean — but he soon discovers that the line between good and evil isn't as clear-cut as he once thought.

With a terrific supporting cast that also includes such familiar faces as Fiona Sit and Jessica Hester Hsuan, the result is tense and thrilling yet also lighthearted at times, making A Witness Out of the Blue a prime example of the best that Hong Kong cinema has to offer.

A Witness Out of the Blue makes its Canadian premiere at the 2020 Fantasia International Film Festival. Its runtime is 1 hr. 45 min.

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