HOME |  CULT MOVIES | COMPETITIONS | ADVERTISE |  CONTACT US |  ABOUT US
 
 
 
Newest Reviews
Dolce Vita, La
Pig
I Am Belmaya
Lodger, The
Show, The
Beta Test, The
Medium, The
John and the Hole
Survivalist, The
Ape Woman, The
Black Widow
Cop Secret
Dark Eyes of London, The
V/H/S/94
Fay Grim
Night of the Animated Dead
Freshman Year
Escape Room: Tournament of Champions
Anne at 13,000 Ft.
Even Mice Belong in Heaven
Death Screams
Freakscene: The Story of Dinosaur Jr.
Demonia
East, The
Mandabi
Seance
Green Knight, The
Beasts of No Nation
One of Our Aircraft is Missing
Picture Stories
Another Round
Tape, The
Limbo
Supernova
Man Who Sold His Skin, The
Sweetheart
No Man of God
Gaia
Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Scenes with Beans
   
 
Newest Articles
Fable Fear: The Singing Ringing Tree on Blu-ray
Gunsight Eyes: The Sabata Trilogy on Blu-ray
Bloody Bastard Baby: The Monster/I Don't Want to Be Born on Blu-ray
Night of the Animated Dead: Director Jason Axinn Interview
The ParaPod: A Very British Ghost Hunt - Interview with Director/Star Ian Boldsworth
On the Right Track: Best of British Transport Films Vol. 2
The Guns of Nutty Joan: Johnny Guitar on Blu-ray
Intercourse Between Two Worlds: Twin Peaks Fire Walk with Me/The Missing Pieces on Blu-ray
Enjoy the Silents: Early Universal Vol. 1 on Blu-ray
Masterful: The Servant on Blu-ray
70s Sitcom Dads: Bless This House and Father Dear Father on Blu-ray
Going Under: Deep Cover on Blu-ray
Child's Play: Children's Film Foundation Bumper Box Vol. 3 on DVD
Poetry and Motion: Great Noises That Fill the Air on DVD
Too Much to Bear: Prophecy on Blu-ray
Truth Kills: Blow Out on Blu-ray
A Monument to All the Bullshit in the World: 1970s Disaster Movies
Take Care with Peanuts: Interview with Melissa Menta (SVP of Marketing)
Silent is Golden: Futtocks End... and Other Short Stories on Blu-ray
Winner on Losers: West 11 on Blu-ray
Freewheelin' - Bob Dylan: Odds and Ends on Digital
Never Sleep: The Night of the Hunter on Blu-ray
Sherlock vs Ripper: Murder by Decree on Blu-ray
That Ol' Black Magic: Encounter of the Spooky Kind on Blu-ray
She's Evil! She's Brilliant! Basic Instinct on Blu-ray
   
 
  So Close They're no angels
Year: 2003
Director: Corey Yuen
Stars: Shu Qi, Vicky Zhao Wei, Karen Mok, Song Seung-Hun, Michael Wai Chi-Ho, Yasuaki Kurata, Wan Siu-Lun, Sek Sau, Ricardo Mamood, Ben Lam Kwok-Bun, Josephine Lam Gei-Yan, May Kwon Man-Chung
Genre: Action, Martial ArtsBuy from Amazon
Rating:  7 (from 1 vote)
Review: Columbia Pictures’ Asian division concocted this Hong Kong cash-in on their American hit Charlie’s Angels (2000), although So Close easily trumps the admittedly good-natured Hollywood romp. Ai Lin Chen (Shu Qi, at her loveliest) and her kid sister Sue (Vicky Zhao Wei, fresh off her star-making turn in Shaolin Soccer (2001)) are beautiful high-tech assassins for hire, having inherited control over their late father’s invention - the World Panorama satellite able to tap into any closed circuit video system across the globe. When Lin kills a corporate criminal Chow Lui (Sek Sau), the siblings’ activities are uncovered by ace policewoman Kong Yat-hung (Karen Mok), who is every bit as smart, sexy and skilled at martial arts as they are. As a series of cat and mouse games ensue, Chow Nunn (Wan Siu-Lun), having anonymously ordered his brother’s murder in the first place, tries to clear up any lose ends by killing all three gun-toting girls.

Watching Shu Qi melt hearts and blow bad guys away here as the guilt-ridden, acrobatic assassin only makes it more galling to see her wasted as simpering Chinese totty in The Transporter (2002). Rumour has it the great Corey Yuen Kwai, with veteran filmmaker Jeff Lau on scriptwriting duties, came up with this role at least in part reaction to Qi’s boredom on the set of that Jason Statham actioner, which he also directed. She kicks things off on a high, blasting villains to the strains of a Cantopop cover version of The Carpenters’ Close to You (a typically quirky Jeff Lau touch and from whence the movie takes its name). Yuen Kwai, Hong Kong’s master of fighting femme fatale flicks from Royal Warriors (1986) to She Shoots Straight (1990), pulls off a winning facsimile of a slick Hollywood techno-thriller. Set in a glossy world of mile high skyscrapers and high-tech hardware, the film is laced with breathless gunplay, showy computer graphics and high-wire stunts.

Although Lin’s romantic subplot with Yen (Korean pop idol Song Seung-Hun) is a tad too syrupy it remains true to Jeff Lau’s preoccupation with star-crossed romance (see also his script for Yuen Kwai’s marvellous Saviour of the Soul (1991) and his self-directed classic A Chinese Odyssey (1995)), while the payoff evokes winning memories of A Better Tomorrow II (1987). More than the love story, it’s the female bonding that proves compelling, done with typical HK movie gusto via a suspenseful sequence that begins with the sisters sharing a lift with Kong. It erupts into a blisteringly balletic duel wherein Kong and Lin are handcuffed and, as an added bonus, try to rip each other’s clothes off. All three leads look marvellous and put their all into the dramatic and action elements, though Karen Mok arguably steals the show. You can’t take your eyes off her live wire tomboy cop, from her great intro doing the splits in mid-air to pin two crooks either side of an elevator, to her amusingly filthy sex talk with geeky partner Siu-Ma (Michael Wai Chi-Ho) and quasi-flirtatious banter with an appealingly pixyish Vicky Zhao Wei.

Yuen Kwai loses sight of the whole corporate intrigue subplot, but pulls off a trio of top-notch set-pieces including the aforementioned four-way standoff, a superb scene where Lin fends off a house invasion whilst instructing Sue how to evade the pursuing cops, and Vicky Zhao Wei and Karen Mok’s climactic sword duel against martial arts legend Yasuaki Kurata. Karen Mok also contributes a couple of soul numbers over the end credits.

Reviewer: Andrew Pragasam

 

This review has been viewed 2495 time(s).

As a member you could Rate this film

 

Corey Yuen  ( - )

Hong Kong director and actor. His earliest work was an uncredited director on the cheapo Bruce Lee sequel Tower of Death, but it was stylish, popular martial arts hits like Ninja in the Dragon Den, Yes Madam, Jackie Chan's Dragons Forever and the action fantasy Saviour of the Soul that made Yuen's name.

In the nineties, he directed Jet Li in films like The Legend, The Defender and The Enforcer, which led to work as action choreographer on many of Li's Hollywood films, including The One, Kiss of the Dragon and Cradle 2 the Grave. Most recently, Yuen directed the Luc Besson-produced action hit The Transporter.

 
Review Comments (0)


Untitled 1

Login
  Username:
 
  Password:
 
   
 
Forgotten your details? Enter email address in Username box and click Reminder. Your details will be emailed to you.
   

Latest Poll
Which star probably has psychic powers?
Laurence Fishburne
Nicolas Cage
Anya Taylor-Joy
Patrick Stewart
Sissy Spacek
Michelle Yeoh
Aubrey Plaza
Tom Cruise
Beatrice Dalle
Michael Ironside
   
 
   

Recent Visitors
Graeme Clark
Darren Jones
Jason Cook
Enoch Sneed
Andrew Pragasam
  Desbris M
  Paul Tuersley
  Chris Garbutt
   

 

Last Updated: