Royal Medical Examiner (Film Review)

Royal Medical Examiner (御前法医大仵作2)- The story takes place during the historical Ming Dynasty. Late one evening, the cries of a baby were suddenly heard in Lin’an County Cemetery and two corpses lie in a grave one on the other. Murder is clear, but the means not so much and a local medical examiner Song Shao is called in to investigate. What’s wrong with the city hot springs and why is a pregnant mother lying dead on his autopsy table. These questions and more drive Song Shao, his apprentice, the commissioner, and Shao’s wife to dive into this dark and dangerous investigation.

Royal Medical Examiner (2018) poster

This film is actually a sequel to Post Mortem Examiner (we watched them out of order – oops😂). We were lucky enough to view this movie on IQIYI with English subtitles, but we have to admit the subtitles were not very good. It was enough that we generally understood the plotline, but there are perhaps some nuances we weren’t able to catch. To be honest, we re-watched the ending three times to make sure we understood everything – the end (especially the very last scene) went really fast and a lot was thrown at you at once. But in the end, we think we knew who did what and when.

Nonetheless, the film itself is an interesting watch, though quite squicky. The graphics are good, including the murdered bodies themselves. The autopsies are pretty vivid actually, so be prepared to cover your eyes – we had to look away quite a few times. The crime is also particularly gruesome and involves some cannibalism which made for a creepy, evil villain – that part was not shown, just referenced though. Thank goodness.

That said, the fact that the graphics were so well done as to be icky means the non-icky parts were also really well designed! The crime is fascinating and had a very unique aspect; the investigation was well done and the performances were well put together. The comedy seemed over-the-top occasionally, but the characters and storylines were good enough that it never triggers your suspension of disbelief.

The film actually centers around Song Shao and his female apprentice more than him and his wife, but there is no romance between them. It ends up being a cute ‘teacher-student’ training session as she shares his tips and practices with her.

Overall, the show isn’t going to win any awards as a top ranking film, but it was a really fun watch for an evening at home. Better than some mysteries we’ve seen – well produced and we actually were caught by surprise with the crime as the truth was revealed. 🕵️‍♂️

Mystery Rating

Unique Crime + Interesting Investigation

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