So Close (2002)
Reviewed by: Arshadnm6 on 2005-04-15
Summary: So close, yet so far!!........
A cool action-choreographed movie with plenty of over-the-top stunts and silly humour, and obvious western-influenced storyline. Corey Yuen Kwai decides to take a vacation, back from the USA, and directs probably an obvious clique of genre that spawned the young movie stars careers with other movies like the much better and older ‘Gen-X-Cops’, ‘Downtown Torpedo’s’ and even the occasional crap like ‘Skyline Cruisers’.

Shu Qi (from better roles in ‘Storm Riders’ and ‘Visible Secret’) and Vicki Zhao Wei (again from better roles in ‘Shaolin Soccer’ and ‘Chinese Odyssey 2002’) are Lynn and Sue respectively, who are high-tech assassins with a very high price rate, possessing a satellite surveillance system, designed by their late parents, called the unimaginatively named ‘World Panorama’. It allows them to hack into any type of surveillance system, throughout the world, as well as the obvious cool looking monitors placed creatively all over their house, like their running some kind of global military satellite. This satellite’s most important use is to keep track of the enemy and the police so that their escape plan is 100% full-proof. Unfortunately their last mission goes awry, where they leave some small but evident clues to their identity. No sooner a quick-witted and perhaps over-zealous cop Hung (played by ‘Karen Mok’) picks up onto these clues alongside her quirky and sometimes shy partner, played by ‘Leo Koo Ka-Kui’, both are on track with Lynn and Sue, knowing they had something to do with the assassination. Meanwhile the Brother, Mr. Chow, of the recently assassinated member, has taken over the company, and with his Japanese trustee (played by Yasuaki Kurata, from better roles in ‘Fist of Legend’ and ‘Millionaire’s Express’) they are meticulously planning to assassinate Lynn and Sue, before the police find out that Mr. Chow was the person whom had financed the assassination.

Corey Yuen Kwai, should have seriously looked back at all those years he spent in the USA, and wondered whether this was the kind movie an average Chinese person would want to watch on his/her occasional journey to the big picture, and let me just tell you, no it isn’t. This movie has very little emphasis on character development and the storyline is weak, especially the point where Karen Mok is shown to be Super Cop, where she can pictorially memorize an entire file cabinet of Police Records and automatically conceives whether a person has an outstanding crime warrant or not. In my personal opinion if Corey Yuen Kwai wanted to show this, he could have shown Karen Mok to be some kind Model Police Officer, with an outstanding crime-solving record and even a few complementary medals wouldn’t have been far-fetched, but let’s forget that, a simple two minute scene to show this should be enough for the movie, I Don’t Think So.

Even the love interest of Shu Qi, which happens to be some Korean Chap from abroad (played by ‘Song Seung-Hon’), was given very little role, where occasionally he pops in and out of the movie more than someone in the Mens Room after eating a dodgy take-away. This should really be considered a Pan-Asia movie, since we have the well-respected Yasuaki Kurata taking a back role to the main bad guy as his enforcement bodyguard (I say this with the most respect). In fact the last fight, which takes place in a Japanese Style Dojo, is probably the only thing worth seeing in this movie. Vicki Zhao and Karen Mok team up together to take down Yasuaki, and here’s the best part, with samurai swords. The action sequence is so well done and timed, that it would probably represent one of Corey Yuen’s best pieces of work to date.

Overall the action and car chases are entertaining, but only those are worth watching, and we have the one-off lesbian romance with Sue and Hung, which at best is unconvincing and poorly directed. There is too much wire-assisted stuff with some slow-motion thrown in to hide the stuntmen / stuntwomen (or doubles, as they prefer to be known). Corey Yuen Kwai should have thought more about the direction he wanted this poor excuse of a movie to go into, before hiring a camera crew and going straight to work. Although, with as much respect as I have for ‘Corey Yuen Kwai’ from his past movie making, all I can say is, that this is probably the writer’s and cast fault as well as his. To the Reader: Don’t let your hopes go down, I’m sure Corey Yuen Kwai would choose a much mature and better team to work alongside next time round!!

Overall Rating: 6.9/10