So Close

"Very Good"

So Close Review


They're beautiful sisters. They're high-heeled hackers. They're ruthless assassins. What more do you need to know? In So Close, Lynn (Qi Shu) and Sue (Vicki Zhao) kick serious ass all over Hong Kong while the equally gorgeous (though somewhat mannish) cop Hong (Karen Mok) tries to track them down before they strike again. Whether they're bringing down a global network of banking computers, shooting two dozen black-suited security goons, or poisoning a corrupt CEO with a pair of cyanide-emitting sunglasses, Lynn and Sue are big trouble. Either one of them could easily dispatch all three of Charlie's Angels before breakfast.

Artfully orchestrating the action is legendary Hong Kong director Cory Yuen, who shows no signs of tiring with this, his 34th directing job in 21 years (in addition to his 32 gigs as an action choreographer). Yuen, whose credits include most of Jet Li's best films, including High Risk and The Enforcer, has more recently entertained Western audiences with The Transporter (also starring Qi Shu). A genius in his cinematic genre, Yuen knows how to make screen action look fantastic, with just the right pacing and skillful editing. His films are visual feasts, even if the plots sometimes fall by the wayside.

In So Close, for example, the plot is really one long chase. Lynn and Sue are orphans whose parents were murdered by bad guys looking to steal their father's invention: a worldwide eye-in-the-sky surveillance system called the world panorama. Their quest for revenge has morphed into lucrative murder-for-hire and blackmail-by-hacking businesses. Older sister Lynn is the fast-kicking, fast-shooting brawn, while little sis Sue is the brains behind the hacking.

After the murder by cyanide, forensics expert Hong studies Lynn's stiletto heel marks for clues, and soon enough, she's hot on the sisters' trail. Her search leads to a series of spectacular girl-on-girl fights, including one in a parking garage where she and Lynn are handcuffed together and kicking the hell out of each other while dodging a hail of bullets being fired by a phalanx of black-suited gangsters.

Much of the action takes place in a futuristic 90-story skyscraper with plenty of vertiginous balconies for leaping, plate glass for smashing, and elevator banks for firebombing. At one point, the indomitable Lynn finds herself at home fighting off yet another invading army of black suits while simultaneously trying to stay close enough to her computer screens to guide her sister in a wild Hong Kong car chase via satellite tracking.

American audiences increasing exposed to action flicks that look more like messy music videos or video games (Torque, anyone?) will immediately appreciate Yuen's expert touch. The action in So Close is elegant and comprehensible. Each woman's fighting style seems to reveal something about her personality. There's method behind the mayhem. Yuen even finds time to deliver a subtle feminist message, as the pursued and the pursuer join forces to attack the no-good men who are hatching their no-good schemes in the skyscraper penthouse. Meanwhile, the rest of the Hong Kong police force seems to do little more than sit around the station house making fun of women or screwing up car chases.

Nominated at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2002 for best action choreography (where it lost to Jet Li's spectacular Hero), So Close is a must-see for Hong Kong action aficionados, especially those who like to see girls rule.

Aka Chik yeung tin sai. So close to the ground.



Facts and Figures

Run time: 111 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 12th September 2002

Distributed by: Strand Releasing

Production compaines: Columbia Pictures Film Production Asia, Eastern Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 3.5 / 5

Rotten Tomatoes: 81%
Fresh: 30 Rotten: 7

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director:

Producer:

Starring: as Ai Lin, as Ai Quan, Karen Mok Man-Wai as Kong Yat Hung, as Master, Song Seung-Heon as Yen, Deric Wan Siu-Lun as Chow Nunn, Sek Sau as Chow Lui, Ki Yan Lam as Alice, as Ching

Also starring: , ,

Contactmusic


Links



Advertisement

New Movies

Wind River Movie Review

Wind River Movie Review

After writing the superb Sicario and Hell or High Water, Taylor Sheridan moves back into...

The Vault Movie Review

The Vault Movie Review

Filmmakers Dan Bush and Conal Byrne attempt a mash-up of a frantic heist movie with...

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

Goon: Last of the Enforcers Movie Review

The 2012 Canadian comedy Goon was one of those surprising little films that snuck up...

Detroit Movie Review

Detroit Movie Review

After The Hurt Locker and Zero Dark Thirty, Kathryn Bigelow and Mark Boal reteam to...

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Logan Lucky Movie Review

Good news: Steven Soderbergh's well-publicised retirement from directing only lasted about four years. He's back...

American Made Movie Review

American Made Movie Review

An enjoyably freewheeling tone and Tom Cruise's star wattage combine to make this an entertaining...

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power Movie Review

It's been a decade since Al Gore's wake-up-call documentary won the Oscar. And here he...

Advertisement
The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

The Hitman's Bodyguard Movie Review

It really doesn't matter that this movie is utterly ridiculous, because the central pairing of...

Final Portrait Movie Review

Final Portrait Movie Review

A relaxed, amusing true story about noted Swiss painter and sculptor Alberto Giacometti, this sharply...

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Tom of Finland Movie Review

Finnish artist Tuoko Laaksonen used the name "Tom of Finland" as he drew explicit illustrations...

A Ghost Story Movie Review

A Ghost Story Movie Review

Filmmaker David Lowery reunites the stars from his offbeat Western Ain't Them Bodies Saints for...

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

Atomic Blonde Movie Review

From the co-director of John Wick, this similarly styled action romp puts Charlize Theron front...

Girls Trip Movie Review

Girls Trip Movie Review

This movie's premise basically sounds like The Hangover with added black girl power. But it's...

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie Movie Review

There's so much manic energy in this animated action comedy that it can't help but...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.