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Overall Rating
4.62

Awesome74.26%
Worth A Look: 19.8%
Average: 1.98%
Pretty Bad: 1.98%
Total Crap: 1.98%

2 reviews, 89 user ratings


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So Close
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by Chris Parry

"Only the director knows if this was really intended as a parody"
4 stars

SCREENED AT THE 2003 SEATTLE FILM FESTIVAL: The only real question is why it took so long to happen; a pair of gorgeous female kung-fu fighting assassins pair off against a gorgeous female kung-fu fighting supercop in a Matrix-like fight to the finish, complete with crotch shots, plenty of torn clothing and enough supercharged estrogen to power a tugboat. Corey Yuen directs So Close, a movie that’s notable not so much for actually being well made, but for being exactly what a large chunk of the audience lives for – explosions, fighting and girls in next to no clothes.

Lynn (Shu Qi) and Sue (Vicki Zhao) are a team in every sense of the word. Lynn does the fighting and handles the big weaponry, while Sue stays back at HQ, mans the computers and gives Lynn pinpoint satellite-driven directions as to how she can escape. This is all important, because Lynn and Sue kill people for a living. Having been saved by a kind-hearted assassin when they themselves were supposed to have been killed, they now bring in a high price for their life-stealing ways. And they’re hot.

Hong (Karen Mok) is also hot. She’s a rookie cop, looked down upon by her male counterparts and generally mistrusted by those she works with. Little do they know she’s like a freaking superwoman with fists and feet, and not too slow in the upstairs department. Oh, and she’s hot. Did I mention that already? Well, it’s important.

So when Lynn’s employers frame her with a murder in a Ghost Dog/Branded To Kill styled plot twist, it’s every man.. uh… woman… for himself. Or herself. Let’s just say ‘themselves.’

What follows is the sort of tidal wave of improbable action that Corey Yuen has become known for. In this era where every fighting scene has to outdo The Matrix and every effect has to be bigger and better and every actress has to have a tighter backside than the last, Yuen has gone hell for leather after each and every one of these new standards and if not surpassed them, at least come close.

Witness the gadgets: Lynne goes for a run up a wall, activating a blade I her stiletto heel (that’s right, she’s running up walls in stilettos) that sticks into the ceiling and allows her to hang there while she shoots at people… upside down. When all are dead, she deactivates the heel and flips back to her feet.

Witness the set pieces: Hong enters an elevator and proceeds to beat the hell out of two guys in a six foot by six foot space, ending proceedings by delivering a ‘splits kick’ that leaves her with one foot pressed against each of their chests as they’re held against the elevator walls. When the elevator hits the ground floor she drops to her feet and wanders off as they slump.

Witness the booty: Continuous crotch shots of hot Asian women in daisy dukes, with legs spread wide as they kick each other’s asses, not to mention brawls where it seems the intention is more to disrobe the other person than beat them up. There’s even a bathtub fight, where the dropping towels conspicuously cover what the all-male audience is DYING to see.

But while many movies that took this route would be considered awful, it’s hard to cast So Close aside as simply bad filmmaking. In fact, Yuen seems to take great pride in throwing out jokes that seem to indicate he not only knows he’s taking a low road, but he’s doing it as a parody of such films. Whether that’s a sly move to try to save a little face or a calculated move that sets the tone for the film is hard to say. It doesn’t happen often enough to make So Close a comedy, but it’s definitely there enough to stop you from taking things too seriously.

And truth be told, the acting is pretty good, with the exception of any actor portraying an American. For some reason, Hong Kong movies never seem to hire actors who can act for the English-speaking parts. In So Close, the only American actor is so bad that he gets the biggest laughs in the film - without intending to. As for the leads, they’re all great. Shu Qi has a tough of the Ming Na’s about her and is so attractive she steals every scene she’s in. Vicki Zhao doesn’t let the side down, and Karen Mok delivers some surprising comedy. While some of the dialogue is beyond laughable, these actresses manage to keep things ticking along so well, and their fight scenes are so well executed, that you just don’t care.

It’s a funny thing, but I seem to remember a lot of conversations with younger western guys maybe five or ten years ago in which it was often said that Asian women were basically considered ‘not their thing’. For whatever reason, be it a matter of taste, bigotry, cultural bias, a lot of American males just didn’t dig the oriental appeal even a few years ago. But that was then - this is the age of Lucy Liu, Ming Na, Zhang Ziyi and, if this film is any indicator, Shu Qi.

So Close is a pop culture barometer: the film that marked when it became okay to dig Asian girls, cheer loudly when they kick a white guy’s ass and leer quietly as they slip a strap off the shoulder. With flying bullets, shattering glass, explosions aplenty, big guns, women so hot you could fry eggs on their behinds and, of course, the requisite awful Hong Kong-based American actor, So Close is one dumb movie but it is undeniably fun and most definitely worth a rental.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=7560&reviewer=1
originally posted: 06/03/03 07:34:40
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Edinburgh Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 Seattle Film Festival. For more in the 2003 Seattle Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2003 San Francisco Film Festival. For more in the 2003 San Francisco Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

3/06/08 B_nadz I really Love this film. Its GOOD!!!!!!FANTASTIC!!!! 5 stars
5/04/07 kay 2 thumbs up 5 stars
12/15/06 julie fe superb!!! awesome 5 stars
10/18/06 Brian Super movie, is very well made. 5 stars
8/31/06 mharcyeo so galing ng duo sisters!!!! 5 stars
3/05/06 Justin good 5 stars
2/07/06 irish millama verry nice bravo! 5 stars
11/18/05 Phil M. Aficionado Stupid me for trying to watch. Slick stunts and photography are not NEARLY enough. Boring 2 stars
8/16/05 joyce this ifilm is great! esp the kiss! wow! 5 stars
8/14/05 Shirley It was really GREAT.... 5 stars
4/11/05 Genevieve its great 5 stars
4/08/05 ivy excellent 5 stars
3/12/05 chirs sachize it was fucking cool 5 stars
3/09/05 jasmine this movie is somewhat creative and great.. girl power!!..i really love it! 5 stars
3/09/05 eumaui good 5 stars
3/08/05 elea it rocks yeah i want to see it again and again 5 stars
3/08/05 april its good!! 4 stars
3/07/05 Rosanne Joy M. Chiong Its the best movie 5 stars
3/07/05 lovelyn eboña the best movie ive ever watched!!! i love the cast especially shu qi,, shes very beautiful 5 stars
3/05/05 Rio Vianca M. Carias a wonderful story 1 stars
2/28/05 martyt i love to watch every second of it 5 stars
2/02/05 BabyAiz it's incredible...i love it! 5 stars
2/02/05 Pink I need the list of moral lesson we picked in the movie So Close 5 stars
2/02/05 minutka u wanna see the most beautigul fight? then see it!!! 5 stars
2/01/05 rhazmhinne lhou la pierre perfect movie 5 stars
1/08/05 Bhadz It's the best, the panorama is cool!! 5 stars
12/28/04 vin great movie! the scast are beautiful! i love them huh! 5 stars
12/25/04 theiy the story and the casts are very good.. 5 stars
12/12/04 yham ruiz nice film, very good actresses 5 stars
12/07/04 ponjie fantasticmovie 5 stars
12/03/04 katrina blancad A Fantastic movie.....!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/30/04 argie this is very great and worth remembering... 5 stars
11/22/04 Hsu Qi Lover I LOVE HSU QI!!!! 5 stars
11/21/04 kitten_25 i love the movie..the BEST 5 stars
11/18/04 kataru I like this!!!!!! 5 stars
11/16/04 Renzokuken Battousai Shu Qi is HHOT!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
11/06/04 maylyn20032003@yahoo.com wow!!!the girls are fantastic!!! 5 stars
11/05/04 katrina wow! its DEFINITELY a must seen movie!!! 5 stars
10/23/04 tiffany ward this movie is the best (it totaly kicks ass) 5 stars
10/05/04 sheena borlongan it's fuckin' cool!!! 5 stars
9/19/04 Killua Zoldyek greatest movie, fantastic and girls do kick ass 5 stars
9/19/04 arvie cool! 5 stars
9/13/04 kristhudass rabert Its really superb film I never such movie ....... 5 stars
9/04/04 jean diaz fantastic, it was a worthi't movie 5 stars
9/02/04 nightmare_stalker Damn,both girls are gorgeous!! I love them! 5 stars
8/25/04 karl ashely its very cool movie i ever seen.... i love it 5 stars
8/19/04 shu the film is the greatest! girl power.. they're stunning! 5 stars
8/19/04 dianne valdez great!!! i love it 5 stars
8/15/04 hottie#17knoll its the best film i"ve ever seen! 5 stars
8/13/04 Lhanie Its very nice movie. wow...so very beautiful. 5 stars
8/12/04 Rolly Shu Qi and Vicky kicked ass, definitely one of the best HK movies I've seen 5 stars
8/12/04 Rolly Shu Qi and Vicky kicked ass, definitely one of the best HK movies I've seen 5 stars
8/11/04 farnz excellent 5 stars
8/10/04 leann it was fanastic!!!!! 5 stars
8/07/04 prunell ferrer cool. i love it. 5 stars
8/06/04 Hilarium A good solid femme fatale actioner, but pretty slim in places. 3 stars
7/30/04 Graeme This movie is on of my best - awsome 5 stars
7/25/04 smith I liked this movie very much 4 stars
7/08/04 Dorothy Herradura i like sue,she is cute!! and now she is my idol go girls power!!!hehe 5 stars
7/04/04 tere its very nice and cool 5 stars
3/26/04 Nomer R. Alvez The movie is really great. I like it! 4 stars
3/21/04 Michael William after i've watched it i'm so amazed,specially the soundtrack close to you! 5 stars
2/27/04 Lisa Movie was great!!! 5 stars
2/01/04 Linda Best action movie I've seen in the last year. Forget Charlies Angels. Gorgeous cast 5 stars
1/08/04 Cougar With all these cuties and no lucy liu? Still love these girls! Great Combo! 5 stars
1/08/04 Vicky all as expected and more! ...wish the kiss between Vicki Zhao and Karen Mok was longer... 5 stars
12/15/03 Edenne B. Cariaga The greatest movie i've ever seen!!! 5 stars
12/02/03 diana vicki zhao is the best in this movie 5 stars
11/30/03 Kim great movie! although ther was a sad part but the action was good 5 stars
11/24/03 Zargo shu qi is really the only great part of the movie. A wasted opportunity, but still ok 3 stars
10/30/03 kristal wow!a very entertaning film!the 3 girls did a great job in executing their moves! 4 stars
10/11/03 Joan Bayo i like the movie so much 5 stars
9/30/03 Sarah this movie is freakin' TIGHT!!!!!! the gurls are very pretty *_* 5 stars
9/19/03 amy awwwwwwwwweeeesomeeeee 5 stars
9/17/03 Fake Fakely This movie kicks arse. 5 stars
9/16/03 Gandalf Bear just because this is some obscure hong kong flick it deserves 4 stars?..come on! 2 stars
9/14/03 Wen Ti extremely entertaining.. forgive the continuity elements and minor negatives!! 5 stars
9/06/03 Maria Milca C. Andres very impressive stunts of Shu Qi(Computer Angel) 5 stars
9/05/03 senga Do go to see, A harder more real version of Charlies Angel 5 stars
9/03/03 choupel this movie is such a asshole 1 stars
7/20/03 LiL_gAnGsTa_SeXi_HoT_bIaTch_69 IT'Z FUKB GOOD MANZ!!!!!! I WATCH IT AL DA TYM!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/13/03 Dark Leader Very Good 4 stars
7/10/03 USA I love Karen. She is very good actress 5 stars
7/06/03 bel despite it's realy confusing plot, the scenes were amazing and the stunts was superb 4 stars
6/24/03 Sol my problem i dont understand their language 4 stars
5/23/03 Rui it's a really great movie! and also the actresses, hi to vicky zhao wei! 5 stars
5/21/03 Peachy Bunnes So cool! 5 stars
5/03/03 Zaharin Hamid aka The Movie Samseng A very cool and slick futuristic action film. Fun indeed! 4 stars
4/25/03 Huy Vicki Zhao shines as the naive little sister, much better than Charlie's Angels 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  12-Sep-2003 (NR)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  04-Mar-2003


Directed by
  Corey Yuen

Written by
  Jeff Lau

Cast
  Qi Shu
  Vicki Zhao
  Karen Mok
  Seung-heon Song
  Michael Wei



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