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|Index||21 reviews in total|
Infused with Taoist cultural beliefs, placed in the middle of Taiwan's politically-sensitive social environment, and with a keen eye for the international audience, Chen Kuo-fu has created an intelligent film with the best actors from Taiwan including Tony Leung, Rene Liu, Yang Kuei Mei and Dai Liren, with American actor David Morse as the Hollywood selling point. Well-shot, beautifully-crafted and highly intelligent, this masterpiece elevates itself above the ranks of normal staid Asian ghost films. In particular, Tony Leung executes himself well as a troubled cop. The cultural clashes between himself and David Morse are witty and funnily-scripted. The supporting cast is great too. A must-watch.
A Perfect cast in an Evil Intention Plot Thriller
With Double Vision, multi-talented director Chen Kuo-fu pierces the evil of the unexpected whereby he has taken a typical corny Hollywood story line, infused it with millennia-old Chinese mystical beliefs and placed it in the sweat soaked, politically charged atmosphere of 21st -century Taiwan.
This thriller is about a troubled police detective Huang Huo-to (Tony Leung Ka Fai) whose is about to suffer from a severe mental breakdown as his life is falling apart. The reason for this is as payback for blowing the whistle on corruption in the force. He's then relegated to a do-nothing job as a Foreign Affairs Officer. His fellow policemen colleagues have turned on him and his wife Ching-fan (Rene Liu) is filing for divorce. Then suddenly three grisly murders shake up the department. The victims are unrelated but the coroner (Yang Kuei Mei) finds a mysterious black fungus in their brains, along with evidence that they had all died in a hallucinatory state. Clearly there is a serial killer on the loose, but the first in Taiwan's history whereby the police are unequipped to handle the case. With the public on the verge of panic, the high command of the Republic grudgingly calls on the United States for assistance. The FBI comes into the picture and sends its top expert, Kevin Richter (David Morse) to help Huang to wrestle these mysterious cases. The suspenseful ride is now on..... sit tight!
Besides its suspense and thrills that you would find in this movie, the perfect cast of Double Vision is also worth a mention. Tony Leung who shot to international stardom in the box-office hit The Lover, plays a demanding role as well as the main foundation bearer of the movie. His role is certainly worth a nomination in the Best Actor category in the coming Film Awards in Taiwan and Hong Kong. As for the graceful, azure-eyed David Morse who is in his debut Asian Film, plays a FBI agent who is sympathetic as well as a lovable character. As for the supporting cast, each and everyone is also a heavyweight in the Taiwanese film industry like Rene Liu, Lung Sihung, Leon Dai Li Ren and Yang Kuei Mei. Therefore it is a perfect cast in an almost perfect movie.
Working with Oscar-winning production and costume designer Tim Yip of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon fame and Arthur Wong, one of Hong Kong's great cinematographers, director Chen Kuo-fu takes danger and suspense to a new level of dimension. In fact, just making the film is a venture into a new territory. Double Vision is a very brave effort indeed for a Asian production. It would also open a few eyes of the Hollywood producers on Chen's credibility as well as catapult him to the ranks in the likes of Ang Lee or John Woo.
I am not a devotee of Hong Kong or Asian movies. What initially attracted my attention to Double Vision was the presence of David Morse. Over the years he seems to have had a knack for showing up in interesting, if offbeat, films. This movie is no exception to that pattern. The acting of the leads is good to above average. I don't want to duplicate the comments expressed so well by others. Let me just say that I concur with the general opinion that the film goes offtrack in the third act. Up to that point it relied on the characters of the leads and exposition on Taoism. After that point it veered off into supernatural confusion. However, all in all, worth the viewing.
Double Vision is definitely one of the best Asian horror films I've
seen in the last few years, and definitely the best out of
A dark film with a good storyline (though yes, the last part of the film is a bit hazy), and excellent characters and actors. A real unexpected pearl, far better than what I had expected from promotional material when it was first released.
A very refreshing change to the usual Korean/Japanese/Thai ghost films, it is genuinely frightening without being deliberately gratuitous.
The temple scene mid-way through the film remains my favourite scene, so fast and well done that you're left utterly shocked by the time its over.
For a good dark supernatural horror film, or for something completely different to the increasingly done to death Asian ghost/horror film with long black haired ghosts, see this one.
When Edgar Allan Poe wrote Rue Morgue and other Dupin stories, he is said to have created two branches of the detective-novel: the sensational and the deductive. Trying to reconcile elements of the detective with the supernatural the way traditional Taiwan has married Westernization, DOUBLE VISION--quite the adequate title--is a hybrid worth watching for its bastardy. The detective part suffers when the movie ventures into the supernatural, and the former has holes of its own without the latter. However, once you've taken the Red Pill and bought the protagonist's story about his daughter, these holes in logic somewhat become intrinsic to elements of the supernatural, and the unexplained becomes the unexplainable that is plainly accepted. This fallacy grows on the film like the hallucinatory mold the plot revolves around, and DOUBLE VISION gains dreamy and poetic dimensions. Undoubtedly, this is not the deductive type of mystery--the cancer of sensationalism is as terminal as a brain tumor better left not operated: it is the entire charm of the movie.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This flick is worth seeing simply becase the plot stays pretty unpretentious throughout the whole movie. The two main characters, Huo-tu and Kevin, are living, breathing humans, a refreshing change than those of most East-Meets-West stereotypes, where the local cop is a kung-fu god and the FBI agent/US cop cares only about the mission and nothing else. Here, every character has human problems, even the inhuman enemy behind it all. Even in the mind-trip ending, the actor manages to retain that human touch to what would otherwise be a melodramatic performance. Check it out if you want to see some interesting and original character dynamics.
David morse is a underrated actor that is for sure. He and Tony lueng
balance alot of this film on there shoulders which is ok since they can pull
it off. Between them and the director they did a good job creating sympathy
for the main characters.
This is dark and brooding some times brutal serial killer mystery that has a few really well crafted surprises. I missed a chance to see this on the big screen at the SD asian film fest and i regret missing it. Too bad it played at the same time as giant live action transformers in the returner.
Good pick for fans of asian horror but in that genre nothing beats tell me something and the eye.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
This is an amazing film. *minor spoilers*
Gory, depressing and goddamn confusing at times, but it had the power of keeping me balanced on the edge of my seat for about seventy per cent of it.
Seriously creepy stuff.
As a warning though, there is nothing uplifting, hopeful, happy or optimistic in this film, so NOT something to watch if you like happy, resolved endings or need an emotional boost. It's more something to watch when you want your brains racked.
Oh yes, it's an 18 due to a highly graphic fight between police and a cult. Numerous limbs and heads go flying. You have been warned.
***** for suspense *** for comprehensibility and * for optimism
Stylish hybrid of serial killer and supernatural horror flicks is well shot and fairly slick, with mostly good acting and some mild suspense. Tony Leung Kar-fei is soulful and very effective as the troubled police officer who is partnered up with FBI agent David Morse. While usually a fine actor, Morse seems out of synch with the rest of the cast--which seems appropriate for his character, at least initially, since he is the unwanted lone American lending his expertise to resentful Chinese police. Unfortunately, as is usually the case with English language characters in Hong Kong movies, his dialogue sucks and the director doesn't seem to have a clue of how to direct his non-Chinese cast member. The murders are kind of ridiculous, colorful but impossible unless the supernatural is involved, making the movie's early attempts to provide a scientific basis for the deaths seem like a ludicrous waste of time. Still, Double Vision is fairly creepy and effective for most of it's length, building to a shockingly violent confrontation in a Taoist Temple that was constructed within the walls of normal looking office building. The scene is good but would have been even more effective without several obvious and not very good computer effects that are both unnecessary and distracting. (Why do a decapitation with a computer effect and make it look like something out of a Playstation game when old fashioned make-up effects look so much better?) Unfortunately after this scene Double Vision goes completely off the rails, going on for an unnecessary twenty minutes more filled with trippy effects and seemingly endless scenes that make no sense. All in all this one's more than worth a look, but it could have been a lot better.
Double Vision is a horror movie from Taiwan that may be "The Next Big Thing"
amongst Asian film lovers. It stars Tony Leung Ka-Fai as an intense,
troubled Taiwanese detective and David Morse as an FBI agent sent to assist
the Taiwanese cops in the investigation of a serial killer (since America
produces more of those than any other country, the FBI are considered to be
the world's experts).
It doesn't take much to discover that there's something very strange about the killings. The first victim is a business man, found frozen to death in his office on a hot day when the air conditioning was off. The second, a politician's wife is found burnt to death in her home - which shows no signs of fire damage.
The Taiwanese cops are convinced the case is simply insolvable, as it is clearly the work of devils or demons. David Morse, sceptic that he is, is quite convinced the deaths are the work of human hands.
Playing out rather like a multinational episode of the x-files, the film is infused with Taiwanese Taoism and the notion that there is more to the world than the ordinary human eye can see. Well, what good horror movie isn't?
Tony Leung gives a fantastic performance as the intense, haunted cop, and David Morse fares better than most Western actors do in Asian productions. The film is very slick, with high production values and great cinematography (from Hong Kong legend Arthur Wong). It doesn't all make a lot of sense, if you try to think about it too much, but that's just an aspect of horror movies I guess I will get used to one day. Scares are not constant, but are effective.
The script mixes together a large number of elements, and in particular contains far more political content than usually makes it into horror movies. Although clearly made with the international market in mind, it is very much focused on Taiwanese culture and history.
Although the film tries to be smart, and perhaps by horror standards is, the presence of several lapses of logic frustrated me quite a bit. I never seem to get it, but I always wish a horror movie would actually make logical sense. I guess this is usually compromised for "I didn't see that coming" type scares and twists, and so it is in DOUBLE VISION. This is the primary reason why I'm not a horror movie fan, and was never going to *love* DV. For those that enjoyed THE RING and its ilk, I'm sure DOUBLE VISION will be perfectly satisfying. It's certainly a glossy production that attempts to cover a lot of ground, sometimes with success.
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