Xi yang tian shi [So Close] (2002)

(On DVD, May 2007) Three beautiful Asian women in a CGI-heavy action movie. Sound promising? It is, but don’t expect too much from the end result. It’s not bad, but as the film twists and turns into something tragic, it’s not hard to see where audiences would have been more satisfied with a few more conventional storytelling choices. At least the action scenes are competently executed and the three lead each hold their own. I suspect that most guys will pant over Lynn and Sue, but as far as I’m concerned, it’s Karen Mok as a gum-chewing tough cop that hold the movie together. Among the action scenes that leave an impression, I count one remote-controlled car chase that feels ripe for a Hollywood rip-off, and a climactic sword fight that’s as good as it feels out of place with the rest of the film. As for the rest, well, viewers familiar with Chinese action movies will feel at home with the stylish action, lacklustre plot, silly MacGuffin and uncertain pacing. It’s still a fine DVD rental.

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