Saturday, November 9, 2013

The Noble Review: SPECIAL ID

Yen requires on the function of Zilong Chen, an undercover police officer deep inside the ranks of a single of China’s most ruthless underworld gangs. The leader of the gang, Xiong (Collin Chou – JET LI’S FEARLESS, THE FORBIDDEN KINGDOM, THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS, THE MATRIX RELOADED), has created it his priority to weed out the government infiltrators in his midst. Struggling to keep his family collectively and his identity concealed, Chen is torn amongst two worlds. 
Upping the stakes, as Chen’s undercover comrades are getting dealt with, a single by one particular, Chen fears his days are numbered. Now, he must risk almost everything to take down the organization and reclaim the life he lost when he took on this perilous assignment. As the action mounts, Chen have to do everything he can to protect the Particular IDENTITY he wishes he never had ahead of it’s too late.

Specific ID is a single of the most anticipated Hong Kong action films for a long time. There was a lengthy delay for its release and these days I had the opportunity to watch the film in the cinema. I reside in Xi’an, China and I watched it at the ten:20am showing there have been only 6 other individuals in the cinema. The version I saw was in Mandarin (the original film was shot in Cantonese), but it did have English subtitles, so I was able to comply with the film with out any troubles.

The film has been labeled, "the subsequent Flash Point". This excited me greatly due to the fact the final fight scene in Flash Point is my favourite fight scene ever filmed (and I have a collection of about 1,000 Hong Kong films). I wanted more…and we’ve waited 6 years.

I will say that Special ID has much more fight scenes than Flash Point and I will admit that I enjoyed Specific ID a lot more as a film than Flash Point. Even so, I am hugely disappointed with the film. Why? The fight scenes were average. They pale in comparison to the fights in ‘Flash Point’ and even SPL. There are about three big fights in the film, with several very short fights throughout the film also.

The first fight is a very strange duel between Donnie Yen and Ken Lo. Two actually wonderful on screen fighters but the fight is quite negative in my opinion. Ken Lo appeared to be carrying out some Thai boxing and there was an absence of crisp hand exchanges. Also, there was limited leg work. Two great kickers creating very small kicking? Strange.

There is a good fight in the middle where Donnie fights a group of guys. This is undoubtedly the best fight in the entire film because Donnie gets to show off some impressive trademark moves of his like some good flashy kicks. Good use of slow motion throughout periods of this fight too. Some of his opponents are armed with various weapons, but this in fact makes it fairly intriguing. No lengthy exchanges here, but some good looking moves.

The final fight scene is amongst Donnie and Andy On. It lasts about 6 minutes and at least half of the whole fight is MMA grappling, some thing that I do not like. If you adore this, then you will enjoy this fight. However, if you like Hong Kong style hand exchanges with some impressive kicking, then you will be greatly disappointed (like I was). Andy On is an typical screen fighter and Donnie looks far superior right here. Donnie throws some excellent kicks but exactly where is the hand choreography? Quite small on show.

All round, I enjoyed the film because the characters were exciting and likeable. Donnie’s partnership with his mother and his female colleague was nicely-written and exciting to watch. As a film, the story and character development/relationships are quite powerful. Even so, most of us will be watching the film for some spectacular fight scenes, and it fails to provide on that front. Collin Chou is completely wasted in this film, Ken Lo failed to impress here and I wish Vincent Zhao had played the villain instead of Andy On. It’s absolutely worth watching, but I was a lot a lot more satisfied soon after watching Flash Point, and Special ID would struggle to get into my best ten Donnie films.

Written by FCSyndicate Asian Cinema contributor Graeme Noble (18/ten/13). Noble is an acclaimed independent filmmaker and actor, and represents a single-half of his award-winning independent film organization, Noble Brothers Productions with brother John-William Noble. For much more info on his function, visit
The Noble Review: SPECIAL ID
9out of 10 based on 10 ratings. 9 user reviews.

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