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When Aryong, the daughter of a triad boss from Hong Kong is accused of killing the boss of a competing triad, she is goes into hiding in Korea. Upon arriving, she is guided by a nimble but loyal Gi-chul and his motley crew, who are assigned to protect her until her return.
The brothers Chow Nunn and Chow Lui's giant computer company is facing a tense crisis - a powerful computer virus is rapidly wiping out their computer network. At the last minute a cyber-friend arrives to join the battle. The mysterious 'Angel.com' battles the virus and saves the company. Invited by Chow Lui for a visit in person, Angel.com arrives in the form of the beautiful Lynn. But it turns out Lynn is a professional assassin with amazing high-tech and kung fu skills. She kills Chow Lui with cyanide hidden in a pair of sunglasses. She's aided by her sister Sue, who operates the pair's World Panorama surveillance system, which allows them to tap into any video security system in the world. Young cop Kong Yat Hong and her partner Mark are put on the case. Hong has a brilliant mind and immediately senses she's dealing with a killer with very special skills. Realizing they are facing a tough adversary, Lynn and Sue become fascinated with Hong as well. Lynn runs into Yan, the cousin ... Written by
"So Close" is a terribly unremarkable and uncharismatic title for a movie that should have been called, simply, "Sexy Action Chicks!". There's a lot of cool action and style, mostly to do with wire-aided martial arts and the three immensely appealing leading ladies, who were obviously having fun doing this. So if you like Asian action and kick-ass heroines, this is a must-see.
The premise with two girls being an action team, one a computer whiz and the other a field agent, is extremely similar to the comic book "Birds of Prey", which was also a short-lived (but abominably bad) TV series recently. Being martial arts assassins, the characters can also be compared with other comic book action chicks like Elektra or Lady Shiva, or, for that matter, Danger Girl. This movie seems very comics inspired.
Unfortunately, there is also some bad news: the story is pretty awful. In fact, you hardly notice it. The film-makers almost appear to have forgotten about it. Once again Asian producers do not realize the importance of having a proper plot. This is formulaic assassin/police/revenge clichés ad nauseam, with nothing even remotely original or surprising. One of the girls has a crush on the female police officer, and while that's sure-fire fodder for male fantasies, it's also gratuitously voyeuristic. Oh well, peace be with that - I admit I enjoyed it! Also, this was the first time I saw Karen Mok (outside of cameos), and she made a great impression. She's not drop-dead gorgeous, but she makes what she has go a long way! And she's a very sympathetic kind of person.
The CG effects were a little grating, esp. all the smashing glass. You'd think it would have been cheaper to just use real glass - but I guess they didn't wanna clean up afterward! Some of the other effects, like the elevators and many of the shots of the office building, were very well made.
I would have liked to rate this movie very highly, but at the end of the day it doesn't have much substance. It does however have beautiful women, some cool fight scenes, and great style. The entertainment value is definitely not bad, but I can't rate it higher than a 7 out of 10.
(Edit: Actually, yes I can! In hindsight I think it has enough intriguing elements, also story-wise, to warrant an 8 rating, and that is what I have now revised my rating to.)
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