Not without many of the usual cliches, but still well worth seeing.

by Martin Hafer

After you’ve seen quite a few television detective shows, you start to notice a few clichés that keep repeating themselves. Well, the Korean film, The Accidental Detective, is filled with many of these familiar story elements…yet still is satisfying and worth your time.

When the story begins, a police detective is being arrested for the murder of his wife. However, his friend just can’t accept it. Why would Jun-su kill his wife? After all, he’s a gentle man…and Dae-man has known him all his life. So Dae-man decides to investigate the case himself to prove his friend is no killer. There is a slight problem with this plan, however….Dae-man is not a detective and he’s just some guy who owns a failing comic book store! At the same time, Detective Noh of the police force is in trouble with his boss. Noh isn’t a particularly bright or accomplished policeman and is being pressured to quit the force. Can he team up with Dae-man to bring the real killer…or killers…to justice?

The Accidental Detective
Directed by
Jeong-hoon Kim
Sang-Woo Kwon, Dong-il Sung, Young hee Seo
Release Date
24 September 2015
Martin’s Grade: B-

The idea of a private citizen solving crimes is ludicrous….but so common in police shows like Murder, She Wrote and Diagnosis Murder that we accept the idea. So a comic book man solving crimes is something, while completely impossible, is something most viewers can readily accept. Likewise, the bickering mismatched partners is a cliche practically as old as time…and what you’ve already seen in many films over the years (48 Hours quickly comes to mind). Even the solution to the crimes is something we’ve seen before in a Hitchcock film! So don’t expect a lot of originality in The Accidental Detective. Yet, despite all this against it, the overall film is rather enjoyable and filled with tension…so it might still be worth your time.

I liked some of the story elements and the solution to the crimes kept my interest. Not a brilliant film by any standards, but worth seeing despite its flaws.