Sunday, 13 June 2010

Wongdoers Beware!

The Mystery of Mr. Wong
1939 US Directed by William Nigh
Monogram/VCI Home Entertainment DVD Region 1

Okay... so the second Mr. Wong film doesn’t play as well as the first one. The pace is still a bit Monogram-lumbering on this but in this instance it’s very much to the detraction of the film itself. In fact it feels a little like the script is a bit padded to make the duration longer.

Again, Boris Karloff makes absolutely no attempt to imitate an oriental accent (and I rather liked what he did when he played Fu Manchu) and, to kind of give this approach credence other than (perhaps) sheer laziness, it’s mentioned a couple of times that Mr. Wong studied at Oxford University in England.

Although the script heavily pushed the scientific angle in the detection of the perpetrator of a couple of murders, there isn’t really a lot of science justifiably involved other than to ascertain that the gun which everyone assumes was used in the first murder was not the weapon in question. No real interesting science elements like the sound activated shattering globes of poisonous death in the last movie.

I didn’t guess the identity of the killer in this one (and to be fair I really didn’t have a much of a chance) but by the end of the picture I couldn't have cared less. Wong’s sidekick Chief inspector character is retained but his girlfriend is not... which is a shame because it gave the first film an unusual dynamic.

Bit of a dull and plodding entry in the series and not really one I can recommend.

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