Watching the Detectives: Boris Karloff is James Lee Wong in The Mystery of Mr. Wong December 26, 2007Posted by Ian W in : Film Reviews, Thriller , add a comment
Karloff’s second outing as the Chinese answer to Sherlock Holmes follows a similar pattern to the first film – Wong is called in by a wealthy man who’s received a death threat, man dies leaving a plentiful supply of suspects, Wong solves the mystery and brings all the potential murderers together for a big revelation.
Given that this is the second time we’ve witnessed Wong called in only to have the man requesting his help die, you have to wonder why he’s held in quite such renown. Still at least if you call the master detective you can die knowing he’ll bring your killer to justice. It’s also a little surprising, given how he plays fast and loose with the evidence, that the police haven’t locked him up for interfering with an ongoing investigation. Instead they go out of their way to pick him up before going to a crime scene.
Karloff adds a touch of class to this poverty row production, even if, apart from a bit of make-up, he doesn’t do much to convince the viewer he’s Chinese. Grant Withers also returns from the first film as Sam Street, the somewhat less quick-witted police captain.
Like the first film the final revelation works quite well, we may have guessed who the killer is but the reason behind the murder comes as a surprise, yet it fits in with the information gleamed along the way.