Three years ago, young director Ning Hao proved Chinese audiences do appreciate dark humour and self-deprecation with the release of his low-budget hit Crazy Stone. He does it again in the more upbeat, complicated but equally enjoyable Crazy Racer.
After losing a race by 0.01 seconds, the already frustrated cyclist Geng Hao (Huang Bo) is disqualified for failing a drug test.
Now a reluctant express deliveryman, he is just about coming to terms with his mundane life, when curious strangers start worm their way out of the woodwork. Ruthless businessman, nutty murderers, Thai drug dealers and merciless traffic cops all appear in an ever-growing web of crime.
Neat editing and clear storytelling tie the otherwise loosely-connected stories together and save the brilliant but complicated plot, subtle clues and multi-layered characters from going awry.
Ning captures this absurd life in urban China with an easy, comedic tone and from a sometimes satirical perspective. The exaggerated over-acting is strangely appropriate. Unfortunately, non-Chinese speakers may miss some of the clever lines and witty jokes in the translation.
If you like ensemble dramas and Guy Ritchie-style stories, you will find this crazy ride totally worth taking.
Now out on DVD