review by Neo

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Simply unconvincing…
Love is all about timing and it’s no good meeting the right person at the wrong place and the wrong time. Well, at least for a good 100 minutes of Daisy it seems to be heading towards that way, but then all of a sudden director Andrew Lau takes a complete U-turn and goes for anything is possible – “the future can be changed”. The result is weird, confusing, unbelievable and a tad too long. Running at 110 minutes, Daisy is at least 20 minutes too long, and the effect on the audience is straining and dragging on and on, which isn’t exactly the right type of emotions to have. Without doubt, this is an Andrew Lau film, the director who helmed a production called Infernal Affairs, but somehow, it plays more like a typical melodramatic Korean film and adding some spices of Johnnie To’s Fulltime Killer. The end product isn’t original and the overall feeling is pretty much unconvincing and when the only pros are the beautiful backdrop of Amsterdam, the pretty painter and good production values, you can tell that a lot of things are heading the wrong direction.

The movie goes like this: "Daisy" is a story about the inevitable showdown between a detective and a killer who fall in love with the same woman. In the story, Jeon plays a street artist who dreams of opening her own exhibition someday, while Jeong portrays a killer who loves her but cannot confess his love to her because of his profession.

Sometimes, you wonder how the hell a director like Andrew Lau can co-direct films like Infernal Affairs and Young and Dangerous, and then go on and create crap like The Park, Wesley’s Mysterious Files when left alone.
Whatever the case, in Daisy, Lau isn’t just unconvincing, but also disappointing. It is extremely unfortunate that the bright spot of Korean cinema is now resorting to cliché and Lau does nothing new, but reinforces that fact. Adding to the wound is the casting of hugely popular Jeon Ji-Hyun from My Sassy Girl, further enhancing the fact of how the hell did this movie turned out so boring.

Jeon Ji-Hyun is alongside, Ha Ji-won and Song Hye-kyo as Neo’s favourite Koreans and while her performance here is hugely different from her loud mouthed fame from My Sassy Girl. She offers nothing new or fresh to the mute role and frankly it is a role that can be done by any other actresses. Muting a talkative girl is as much a pain for her to stop talking, let alone for the audience to endure through it. Nonetheless she is an extremely likable character and possessing pretty face to go with it. Lee Sung-Jae performs far better than the Andy Lau wannabe - Jung Woo-Sung. Lee shows some good acting chops and his chemistry with Jeon is romantic to watch. Perhaps it is the moment that he disappears from the screen that the movie becomes a tad too long and leaning towards boredom. In some way, his eyes resemble a Tony Leung Chiu Wai with a Korean flair and in an ironic contrast, Jung parallels an Andy Lau. Perhaps it is Andrew Lau’s fault in filming them as if they are HK superstars, rather than letting them be themselves, but nonetheless, it is a shockingly crap performance from Jung and his encounters with Jeon is stupid and utterly unbelievable.

As I mentioned before, there is a spice of Fulltime Killer within this film, and certainly Jeon’s role is not unlike Kelly Lin and Jung being the Andy Lau and Lee as the cop. However, despite Fulltime Killer being flawed itself, it was still highly enjoyable and utterly and stylishly cool, but Daisy is just far too uneven and more importantly unconvincing. Sure, there are bits and pieces in the first 90 minutes that is worth watching; especially the scene where Lee encounters Jeon in the middle of the beautiful backdrop of Amsterdam, their awkward moment of romance is a beautiful moment to endure. Unfortunately those moments are far and in between and the rest is just predictable and unconvincing.

All in all, Daisy isn’t bad movie, but it is utterly unconvincing. Even typing this review, right now, I realise that I have been typing one word over and over again – unconvincing. It is rare that I keep using the same word over and over again to describe a movie, but it is exactly the reason why the movie didn’t work. Andrew Lau has yet to prove that he can handle a movie by himself, and if it takes a co-director for him to have any success, then he should stop directing alone. Sometimes, a director really needs to know what the hell he is aiming to achieve, so that the audience can understand the message that he is trying to put across. It is no good, emphasising the point of missed opportunities and meeting the person at the wrong time and place for a good portion of the movie, then all of a sudden turning 180 degrees saying that it doesn’t really matter. The effect is that of leaving the audience feeling stupid and more unbelievable than believable. Perhaps one word can sum up the whole film and you probably already know what word it would be – unconvincing…

I rate it 6/10

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Starring: Jeon Ji-Hyun, Jung Woo-Sung, Lee Sung-Jae, Chun Ho-Jin
Directed by: Andrew Lau
Genre: Romance/Cops/Robbers