The Great Buddha+

In this deadpan Taiwanese comedy, two small-town layabouts uncover a stash of surveillance camera videos that implicate a local government official in criminal behavior. Eventually their discovery embroils them in an underground conspiracy, but in the meantime writer-director Huang Hsin-yao (making his feature debut) lingers on the town’s day-to-day routine and the protagonists’ ennui. He also interrupts the action at times to interject wisecracks on the soundtrack, and this device heightens the sense of bonhomie engendered by the two leads. The good cheer goes a long way in countering the knee-jerk cynicism, which grows tiresome well before the end. In Taiwanese and Mandarin with subtitles.