Napping Kid 逆向誘拐 (2018) - Hong Kong
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Four years after director and writer Amos Why’s “Dot 2 Dot”, a lovely little film that I described as a love letter in a bottle to Hong Kong. If the first film is a love letter to the past, “Napping Kid” is certainly a smart and intriguing film about the current and future of Hong Kong. Wrapped around a detective story of hi-tech hacking and ransoming, is a film at its very core about Hong Kong, it social issues and its next generation struggles in a city where the entitled forgets the elevator for the upcoming. What Amos Why does extremely well is its execution and pacing of the story and plot line, never allowing the audience to be exactly in the know, keep us guessing as we twists and turns with the characters along the way. It’s refreshing to see a local Hong Kong film attempts something entirely fresh and approaching the dire subject matter and state of city with a way out and that’s a big deal for many.
Cecilia So continues her good run as the seemingly innocent young corporate worker disguised as the main culprit of it all. Ng Siu Hin makes a likeable turn as the rich IT whiz head representing the 80s and 90s generation mindset. With plenty of undertones in the gap that grows between generations. We have veterans David Siu play the lead police detective with a strong presence, meanwhile shares a chemistry with Candy Cheung who plays his ex-wife. Michael Wong for once manages to not overact as the CEO. We also get funny cameos the “Dot 2 Dot” cast from Moses Chan appears as service apartment manager, Kenneth Tsang as rich grandpa and Susan Shaw as Ng’s auntie is always a welcome presence.
All in all, “Napping Kid” is a step up from Amos Why’s previous film, it’s extremely ambitious and equally thought-provoking in its look on social issues, generational gaps, the big data era and existing society pressing concerns. All of these are cleverly wrapped up in a thriller-heist type of detective story within a hi-tech environment. What impresses me about this film is the manner Amos approaches the subject matter, by providing a way out for the next generation and future of Hong Kong, it gives up a glimmer of hope in a city buried in its own bleakness. Intriguing Hong Kong film showing a possible way out for all.
I rated it 8/10