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3 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Very low-budget, but some fantastic fights!

Author: Mary Kae from United States
19 November 2006

Two main reasons to see "Close Escape": Dick Wei and Yukari Oshima. If you're a fan of either one, this is a must-see.

Dick Wei, cast in his usual bad guy role, actually brings a considerable amount of charm to his ruthless businessman character; there are a few brief glimpses of the nice guy Wei reportedly was offscreen. Of course, it wouldn't be a Dick Wei performance without some astonishingly great kicks. The makers of "Close Escape" clearly realized this too, and they give Wei ample opportunity to be the badass we all know and love.

Yukari Oshima, meanwhile, very nearly matches Wei kick for kick; I dare say their brutal showdown at the end betters Cynthia Rothrock's fight with Wei in "Yes, Madam!"(Sorry Cynthia!) There's a brief sparring match set in a harbor, between Wei and Oshima, that is simply beautiful to watch. On the acting front, she brings a good amount of charm and even some depth to her role as the film's femme fatale. Watching this film, it is easy to understand why Oshima inspires the fanatical devotion she does.

As for the rest of the film, it is primarily a silly revenge plot involving some stolen diamonds. "Close Escape" won't win any awards for screenplay, but the plot is fairly basic and easy to follow, and serviceably gets us from Fight A to Fight B. Max Mok and Philip Kwok, portraying the two main characters, are better actors than you might expect from such low-budget fare. They too get their share of cool moves during the film's final anarchic showdown.

Having said all this, "Close Escape" was quite visibly made on the cheap; it lacks the polish of a good Corey Yuen or Sammo Hung film. Nevertheless the talent of its performers, both as fighters and actors, does make the film quite enjoyable. Additionally, although "Close Escape" is cheap, I am happy to report that it avoids the sleaze and exploitation that so often accompany low-budget films.

Bottom line: If you're not into fight scenes, skip this one. But if you're like me and you love a good kickfest - particularly involving Wei or Oshima - "Close Escape" is a forgotten gem.

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