Issue #248a         HOME          E-mail: mail@dighkmovies.com        BACK ISSUES           January 24th, 2005

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So Close
(2002; Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia Limited/Eastern HK Film Production)

Cantonese: Jik yeung tin si
Mandarin: Xi yang tian shi
English: Twilight Angels

 

RATING: 7/10

REVIEW:

Columbia’s big screen edition of CHARLIE’S ANGELS enjoyed large returns, prompting their Asian division to undertake this variation, one of the most winning of recent HK actioners. Siblings Lynn (Shu Qi) and Sue (Vicky Zhao Wei) are improbably beautiful high-tech killers in possession of a device that can tap into the closed circuit video system of any building. When Lynn assassinates untouchable corporate criminal Chow Lui (Shek Sau) in his techno-fortress office, their activities are noticed by ace policewoman Kong Yat-hung (Karen Mok Man-wai), who is the girls' equal in looks, brains and fighting ability. After much cat-and-mousing, Yat-hung almost succeeds in arresting them, prompting Chow's traitorous brother (who engaged Lynn and Sue for the murder, so he could assume control of Lui's empire) to attempt the elimination of all three.

Shu Qi Vicky Zhao Karen Mok

The storyline barely holds together (not a surprise, as Jeff Lau Chun-wai is responsible for penning this nonsense) and the tempo lags whenever the saccharine "B" story (involving a romantic interest for Lynn, played by South Korean star Song Seung-hun) is given center-stage. Heavy reliance on CGI also results in some uneven effects, but the actresses are appealing and perform well under the guidance of veteran action director Corey Yuen Kwai (who re-teamed with Shu for THE TRANSPORTER). The choreography is inspired (particularly a sequence where Shu and Mok battle while handcuffed) and the climax is surprisingly exciting, with excellent use of veteran heavy Yasuaki Kurota. The supporting players include the ever-weird Tats Lau Yee-tat, Deric Wan Siu-lun, Ben Lam Kwok-bun, and Henry Fong Ping (seen in flashback as the girls' brilliant father).

Shu Qi Vicky Zhao Karen Mok


PRESENTATION:

The High Definition presentation looks first-rate and the mix offers some lively surround touches. The Cantonese version has less dubbing but only the Mandarin track includes the three leads' real voices; both are effective. English and French dubs (the latter in 2.0) are also included (but certainly not recommended), along with subtitle options in seven languages, a trailer, and trailers for six other titles.

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Images in this review courtesy of Columbia Tristar. To read captions, hover mouse over image.


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DVD Specifications

  • U.S. Release
  • NTSC Region 1 Only
  • Columbia Tristar Home Entertainment #09868
  • Dolby Digital 5.1 & 2.0
  • Mandarin, Cantonese, English, and French Language Tracks
  • Subtitles (Optional): English, French, Traditional Chinese, Korean, Portugese, Spanish, Thai
  • English Closed Captioning
  • 28 Chapters
  • 16:9 Enhanced (1.85:1)
  • 111 Minutes

Ratings & Consumer Information

  • Australia: MA 15+
  • Canada (video): 14A
  • Germany: 16
  • Great Britain: 15
  • Hong Kong: IIB
  • Manitoba: 18A
  • Nova Scotia: 14
  • Ontario: AA
  • Poland: 15
  • Quebec: 13+
  • Singapore: PG
  • United States: R
  • Contains moderate violence

FILM REVIEW RATINGS KEY:

  • 10 A Masterpiece
  • 9 Excellent
  • 8 Highly Recommended
  • 7 Very Good
  • 6 Recommended
  • 5 Marginal Recommendation
  • 4 Not Recommended
  • 3 Poor
  • 2 Definitely Not Recommended
  • 1 Dreadful