三岔口
Divergence (2005)


Reviewed by: steve_cole1
Date: 05/13/2007
Summary: Conned by the trailer

I baught this on the quality of the trailer and ignored what people had said about this film but i thought the first hour was good but then i lost intrest in the film Aaron Kwok dare i say it is improving in his acting ekin is as wooden as usual and daniel does what he has to do.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 07/11/2006
Summary: Agree with j crawford

A completely agree with the over acting statement, but suprise suprise, i didnt know what would happen at the end. I am not that naive i dont think, a lot of movies i have seen recently i could tell what direction it would take and guess the ending, but i didnt for this movie.

Aaron Kwok was over the top, almost silly. A bit hard to watch actually
DAniel Wu's character reminded me a little with his role in "new police story"
Ekin has the smallest role of the 3, and its almost like he doesnt have to act

I did find this movie a little confusing too

There is cameo's everywhere, and i feel yu rong guang could of been more untilised!! He probably could beat all the 3 main actors in a fight!!

While a lot of the reviews have gave this a average score, i will have to too, but i did enjoy it a little more than the others

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 04/11/2006
Summary: three men and lady...

aaron kwok is a policeman, escorting a key witness back to hong kong from canada. daniel wu is an assassin, sent to kill the witness. ekin chen is a lawyer, defending the man who is accussed of money laundering, that the witness is set to testify against. as the scope of the narrative widens, the paths of the three cross...

this is a pretty solid thriller from hong kong, that seems to reject the over-stylisation (particularly editing) that has bogged down a few recent hong kong thrillers; character and narrative take precendence. kwok, wu and chen put in fine performances and there's some pretty well executed action sequences thrown in.

all in all, it's not outstanding, but it's still pretty good stuff.


Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 01/15/2006

Extremely stylish, well crafted film from director Benny Chan that allows top actors to ham it up. Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng do great battle in their scenes together to see who could be more corny and over the top. No clear winner in that fight. Meanwhile, Daniel Wu continues to shred scenery in an unusual bad guy role.

Overacting by the three lead actors aside, the film is loaded with delightful performances from supporting players Eric Tsang, Sam Lee, Lam Suet and Yu Rong Guang. Clever screenplay by Ivy Ho could have benifited from a somewhat subtler approach.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Libretio
Date: 10/12/2005
Summary: High-class, high-gloss action drama

DIVERGENCE (2005)

Aspect ratio: 2.39:1 (Super 35)
Sound format: Dolby Digital

Three disparate individuals - a heartbroken cop (Aaron Kwok), an assassin-for-hire (Daniel Wu) and a corrupted defence attorney (Ekin Cheng) - are drawn together by a series of murders which unite them in unexpected ways.

Benny Chan's disappointing blockbuster owes something of a thematic debt to INFERNAL AFFAIRS (2002) in its combination of hard-pumping action and mournful drama, though the elements are weakened by a lop-sided plot which fails to gel in a satisfactory manner. Ivy Ho's screenplay juggles three separate narrative strands, building slowly and surely to a climactic intersection, though much of the running time is given over to Kwok's obsession with his absent girlfriend (she disappeared under mysterious circumstances a year earlier), relegating Wu and Cheng to support status in underwritten roles. As usual, the female characters don't really amount to very much, though Angelica Lee and Ning Jing do their best with the flimsy material, and there are guest appearances by Eric Tsang and Yu Rong-guang.

However, the movie isn't a complete wash-out: There's a terrific set-piece in which Kwok stumbles on Wu at a crime scene and pursues him through busy traffic to a crowded marketplace where they engage in brutal combat, an electrifying sequence which rouses the entire production. All the actors play to their strengths, though Cheng is stoic to the point of redundancy, and the film concludes on a predictably tragic note. High-class, high-gloss stuff, no more or less.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: evirei
Date: 07/25/2005

Movies with 3 good looking guys in it... I expect it would be good. But well... things are not as expected.

Too many things to tell in this 2 hour show. Normal plot like good cops vs bad people thingy. And well there are people who are suppose to bring justice to life but in the real world.. everything needs evidence and work by the rules which is also a flaw.

I would say the selling point and what makes it a big shout out about is Ekin and Aaron, but well.. aaron's act in this movie is by far the most disappointing one. Ekin act is still as ever but well... is the best one overall.

The ending of the movie is so predictable. People dies, goes to jail.. what else is new?

Rating 5 out of 10

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: bkasten
Date: 07/18/2005

Ekin and Aaron back together again. But Storm Storm Riders this is not...which is both good and bad.

Plotwise, this at first glance seems pretty standard modern cops and robbers fare, that quickly devolves into multiple and somewhat confusing subplots about an assassin, a triad rivalry, multiple murders, a private investigator, and a particularly unbelievable obsession with a missing girlfriend that occasionally steps into the realm of a ghost story.

We seem to have gotten a script and a director that do not mesh here. And while the script may have worked on paper it doesn't seem to have translated properly to the screen. One gets the feeling that this Ivy Ho script was a bit too epic in scope for a 90-minute Benny Chan movie. Derek Yee's recent One Night in Monkok was similarly epic in scope, but with Yee doing both script and directing, Monkok not only worked but was truly a powerful film. This film just does not ever seem to completely work, as it's simply not believable. And given the movie has Aaron and Ekin playing the leads role, it's rather ironic to point out that the lack of believability stems from the Ivy Ho script, as indeed the movie has some solid performances, not the least of which was Aaron's.

This movie may be a first for Aaron in that it's his first attempt at acting. In the past, his successes seem to have been in roles where he plays himself...and/or any roles that do not involve a lot of dialog or emotion...but this film he actually has to act...and he came very close to making this believable, which for him is huge. His performance was better than Daniel Wu's whom some consider in line to be a top HK actor. Aaron's acting career is not over, and in fact may have entered a new phase.

Ekin, although effective, is as wooden as ever, but actually broke new ground by having to slightly emote while being choked with a piano wire...all without using his hair (which has been ever so slightly bobbed, greased and combed for this role.)

Daniel Wu plays somwhat the same role as in New Police Story, but was not given a lot of latitude here, and he comes off far too one dimensional.

The most disappointing aspect of the movie, performancewise, is Angelica Lee. Her acting and screen presence approach parody levels. And frankly just her appearance is spooky and inappropriate. It's hard to believe this is the same bubbly and loveable actress in Sylvia Chang's excellent 20:30:40.

Divergence selling point is Ekin/Aaron, and that's pretty much what you get...
less the flowing hair.

[Note the nice touch with the Storm Riders homage as Ekin (Wind) looks up at the clouds as Aaron (Cloud) stands behind him taunting. A screen capture of this has been added to the image gallery]

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 07/01/2005

Benny Chan's Divergence marks something of an abnormality for me. Normally, I'm not a big fan of either Aaron Kwok or Ekin Cheng, but when you put them in a movie together, the results are usually solid, such as The Storm Riders. Divergence is perhaps a bit too ambitious for its' own good, but it's an entertaining enough picture that both Kwok and Cheng fanboys, as well as more "serious" film buffs, should enjoy.

The plot is a little hard to explain without spoling the movie, but I'll try my best here. Aaron Kwok plays a cop named Suen, who has been depressed since his girlfriend Fong (Angelica Lee) disappeared ten years ago. While transporting an informant to the station, a sniper named Coke (Daniel Wu) takes out the informant, who was supposed to testify against a crooked businessman, Chung (played by Gallen Lo). Chung's lawyer To (Ekin Cheng, who cut his hair and donned glasses to, I suppose, look smarter) heads to court to unfreeze Ching's assets, so Chung can pay off his debts. Even after he is kicked off the force after a bothced attempt to capture Coke, Suen is still obsessed with arresting Chung, and takes to shadowing To in order to dig up evidence. Shockingly, To's wife looks exactly like Fong, and so Suen's obsession kicks into overdrive, which leads to a series of confrontations with both his enemies as well as the demons in his past.

When you add in subplots about a guy going around strangling people with wire, Chung's missing son, Coke's dealings (and double-crosses) with his "agent" (Ning Jing), and Suen's psuedo-father-son relationship with the head of the missing persons bureau (Eric Tsang), things get more than a bit complicated, and that's Divergence's main problem. While I admire a film in this day and age of dwindling output from Hong Kong and more reliance on simpler audience-friendly fare to get the patrons in the seats, it feels like the film-makers tried to squish three hours of content into ninety minutes. Perhaps it was because screenwriter Ivy Ho is better known for her more dramatic work like Comrades: Almost a Love Story and Benny Chan is a much more "commerical" director, with projects like Gen-X Cops under his belt. Divergence just never seems to fully know its' way -- is it a character-driven police flick, or a bullets-and-blood-filled shootout picture?

Each part of the equation is actually done well; it's just that they never seem to fully mesh together. For instance, it was very easy to buy Aaron Kwok in the action scenes. Of particular note is a brawl he has with Daniel Wu, which, outside of Jet Li's Danny the Dog (aka Unleashed), marks some of the best on-screen fighting I've seen this year. But, man, this guy really cannot act. I could tolerate him in the quieter scenes where he's supposed to be sullen, but in later scenes where he is supposed to come off as emotional, it looks like he's trying to pass a kidney stone, instead of being sad for the love he has lost. Kwok's performance is a good analogy for the film as a whole -- there are parts that represent some of the best Hong Kong cinema has to offer, but there are some others which remind the viewer of exactly why Hong Kong movie studios are only putting out about one-fourth of the productions that they did back in the "golden age" of the late 1980's to the early 1990's.

Despite the schizophrenic nature of Divergence, I still enjoyed it. Like I said before, the good parts are very good. Besides the Kwok/Wu fight, there is a solid shootout near the end of the film, so I think action fans will be satisfied here. On the dramatic side, Daniel Wu puts in an excellent performance. That statement might surprise some people, but keep in mind that Wu won a Hong Kong Film Award with his performance in last year's Jackie Chan "comeback" picture, New Police Story, which was directed by Benny Chan -- though, personally, I thought Wu did a better job in Derek Yee's excellent One Nite in Mongkok, and his work for New Police Story was selected more for that movie's success at the box office and the simple fact that it was a Jackie Chan film. A Jackie Chan movie not winning a few Hong Kong Film Awards is like me scoring a hat trick in game seven of the Stanley Cup finals -- it ain't gonna happen.

At any rate, a lot of people don't like Daniel Wu's work, due to his "pretty boy" looks and mis-handling of Cantonese at times, but he is one of the few young actors that has steadily improved, at least in my book. Sure, Wu's has had his share of clunkers, but it never feels like he just memorized his lines ten minutes before he started shooting because he was too busy making a commerical for Ex-Lax or Pocki sticks or breast cream or whatever the hell else most Hong Kong stars will slap their names on to pay the bills these days. Wu actually seems to like gettng into his roles, and fire like that is where I would like to see the future of acting in Hong Kong movies going towards, rather than companies like EEG planting every new pop star in a movie just to use publicity to cash in for a quick buck. And it is really on the strength of Daniel Wu's performance, along with some tight action and a story that's a step above your usual Hong Kong crime picture, that I recommend Divergence. While it might not be saying too much in this time of box-office stiffs and critical failures like Where is Mama's Boy, Divergence is the best Hong Kong film I've seen so far this year.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]


Reviewed by: xiaoka
Date: 05/08/2005
Summary: confusing, but not bad

I saw this at a theater in HK last week when I was there. The story line is a bit too crowded, there is enough for probably two films, maybe three in here, which ends up sort of getting in the way and making things a bit confusing.

Ekin and Daniel's preformances are good. Aaron does a good job and shows some range, but unfortunately his character spends a little too much time crying like a baby. gets annoying after a while and distracts from the story.

Fight scene between Aaron and Daniel is pretty good. I'd give this one a 7/10 or so. Too confusing to be great, but hits enough right notes to not be bad.

Reviewer Score: 7