Synopsis by Mark Deming
A secret nemesis puts the skills of a part-time explosives expert on trial in this thriller from China. Yu Liqing (Ma Guowei) is a veteran police officer in Harbin who in his younger days was an engineer in the Army. As Yu whiles away his last years in uniform, he grooms his son (Song Wenchao) to take his place on the police force and tries to keep his cranky wife (Gu Erli) happy. One day, a bomb is discovered in a Harbin poultry plant; with the usual experts unavailable, Yu is pressed into service thanks to his engineering background, and while he's always been more of a tinkerer than an expert in high-tech explosives, he's able to disarm the device before it goes off. After examining the bomb, Yu is impressed with its sophisticated design, and comes to the sobering realization his success was more a matter of luck than skill. The next day, Yu and his new partner Hu Xiaolin (Pan Xingyi) are called in to defuse another bomb, and more are discovered in the days that follow; each one is a more challenging design than the last, and Yu begins to suspect someone with a grudge is putting his limited talents to the ultimate test. Qian Jun Yi Fa (aka Old Fish) marked the film debut of non-professional actor Ma Guowei in the leading role; his performance earned him Best Actor honors at the 2008 Shanghai Film Festival.