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Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Saturday October 26, 2013 MYT 9:38:20 AM
Donnie Yen stars in cop action blockbuster Special ID.
Check out our mini reviews of movies that are showing in the cinemas now.
SINCE we just go to these things to watch Donnie Yen kick ass and chew gum, it’s only a matter of time before someone decides to just link all the fight scenes with test footage and out-takes and pass it off as a movie. Special ID is a sign that this day is not far away.
Yen is an undercover cop named Chen Zi Long who has infiltrated the triads. His cover is so deep that his handler and other cops wonder if he even is a cop any more.
This could have been the basis for some great drama to match the intensity of the fight scenes, but the characters just insist on shouting at one another all the freaking time. There’s a gangster named “Loud Jia” or somesuch, and he’s the quietest guy in the film, especially after he gets thrown out a window.
Forget subtlety, logic and common sense as the characters double-cross, threaten, stare down and out-shout one another for no apparent reason.
It’s puzzling, also, how everyone just sort of stands around wool-gathering when Chen’s mother is in deadly danger, a truly “WTF are they smoking?” moment.
The fight scenes are all right, if not the best we’ve seen from the star, and the car chase is quite exciting. The final confrontation, however, is unsatisfying – as is nearly everything else about the film. — Davin Arul (**)
The Reluctant Fundamentalist
Mira Nair’s adaptation of the acclaimed Mohsin Hamid novel takes artistic licence, but nevertheless addresses some important questions, including: how do you define yourself when what you thought of as your identity is stripped from you?
Nair excels at creating a vivid portrait of contemporary Pakistan, and these are some of the best scenes in the film. But it sometimes feels like this comes at the expense of other important plot points, which feel a little superficial. The ending, too, feels a little too neat for a story that is otherwise so beautifully ambiguous.
Brilliant performances, particularly by Riz, and a hauntingly realistic story make this a film worth catching. — Sharmilla Ganesan (****)
Make Your Move
These days, whenever I hear news of a new dance movie coming out, I’d be like: “Another one?” But as it turns out, Make Your Move is a little more than that. Originally titled COBU 3D, the movie stars the lovely Queen of K-Pop, Kwon BoA (of whom I am a huge fan) and Dancing With The Stars hottie Derek Hough as lovestruck dancers from opposite sides of an underground dance club war.
You see, their feuding brothers were former partners, and this makes things complicated for them (a hint of Romeo And Juliet in this tale).
While you can pretty much predict what happens, it’s worth saying that the filmmakers added plenty of neat touches that raise it above the average dance movie.
For one, I believe this is possibly the most interracial dance flick ever – BoA’s Aya and her brother are Japanese-born Koreans while Hough’s Donny is Caucasian with an African-American brother. There’s even an Irishman thrown into the mix! It’s also quite refreshing to see Asians take on central roles, and not just be the comic relief.
The most important element in a dance movie are the moves themselves, and Make Your Move delivers. The leads have excellent chemistry and in quieter, intimate moments they shine even more.
Some scenes are told entirely though dancing, and have to be witnessed to be fully appreciated. Kudos to the filmmakers for not going mainstream with hip-hop like every other dance flick out there. Instead, the film centres around Aya’s COBU Taiko drumming group and Donny’s tap dances.
So if you’re a BoA fan and you haven’t watched this already, what are you waiting for?
Now, if only they brought in the 3D version ... — Aris Zaril (****)
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