Saturday, June 26, 2010

Invisible Target Review

Invisible Target, 2007
Reviewed by Dan S.
Directed by: Benny Chan
Written by: Benny Chan, Rams Ling, and Melody Lui
Starring: Nicholas Tse, Shawn Yue, Wu-Jing, Jaycee Chan
Language: Cantonese, Mandarian.

Liberally lifting ideas and scenes from such genre classics as Hard Boiled, Die Hard, Lethal Weapon, Ong Bak, and The Matrix to name a view…Benny Chan’s buddy cop yarn Invisible Target is a two plus hour marathon of action movie clich├ęs. Seemingly on a tight budget, the movie has a cheaper look than its Hong Kong contemporaries and is mostly located in abandoned low budget standbys that wouldn’t be out of place in an Amercian direct to video production. While Chan does manage to string together a couple of fun downtown chase sequences its nothing you haven’t seen before, and done much better.

Nicholas Tse and Shawn Yue share leading man duties but the script doesn’t really give either actor much to do except chase bad guys and beat them up. Despite this emphasis on action, both men prove to be lackluster martial artists, showing little personality and relying heavily on wire assisted kicks. As the villainous gang leader Wu Jing is the film’s most experienced martial artist, staging and carrying the film’s better fight scenes. As a rookie cop living with his grandmother, the youthful awkwardness of Jaycee Chan gives the movie its only emotional pull, providing some good laughs and touching moments. Seemingly aware of these two performers’ value, Chan is smart enough to give his supporting talents a most unusual amount of screen time, elevating an otherwise average production as a result….but one wanders why he just didn’t trim out the unnecessary fat all together and focus the movie on them.

Two Fists Out of Five

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