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|Index||11 reviews in total|
Summer again and probably most of you think Flashpoint is the one to
watch this season. Maybe, but now it sure has its work cut out for it,
with an amazingly satisfying, over the top, touching and down right
honorable release from dear old Benny Chan.
Mr. Chan's New Police Story was an admitted wink at good action things past, and Invisible Target bears the same hallmarks of quality only much better implemented.
Ostensibly, it's a promising flick with a strong cast finally heralding the return of two of this reviewer's fave tough guys: enigmatic and oft crazed Shawn Yue and sulking, intellectual trouble maker Nicholas Tse.
Of course a lot could still go wrong but it dawns on one that Invisible Target is an awesome movie right from the first scene when they proceed to blow things up with extreme prejudice smack in the middle of Hong Kong's Central business area, namely Queen's Road.
Yes, Eye in the Sky had a heist taking place in the same locale, but that one was pale and forgettable. Here we have a ballsy depiction of crooks on the loose that brings a tear to the most jaded of eyes as you sit there reminding yourself that this isn't merely how they used to make them, here they are, making them like that in this day and age.
Oh yes, just like New Police Story, Invisible Target has kick ass villains, headed by martial artist Wu Jing, whose deranged but respectable streak was previously flexed in SPL. The guy's simply spectacular as a bad guy, as is cool dude Andy On. Andy shone in New Police Story alongside Daniel Wu, and here he's even better, adding a sensible, human side to his nefarious character.
Indeed, the antagonists here are all well done and conspicuously Putonghua speakers. Hmmm. Regardless, they help make Invisible Target an excellent release you must not miss out on.
As we behold, the baddies wreak havoc in jolly HK, setting in motion a storyline that has Inspector Tequila-inspired Shawn and Nicholas go after them with a vengeance, aided by Jaycee Chan who for once is truly impressive and adds much to the story.
The three cops engage with the demented robbers across a variety of locations, using fists, feet, guns, cars and a variety of other tools. This movie is a field day for makers of breakaway glass everywhere, as literally not a single sheet remains intact for more than a second.
Invisible Target isn't a dour-faced, overly serious affair, it gets the balance between crime drama and lunatic fantasy just right as cops and robbers leap huge heights and take more punishment than your average WWII battleship could ever hope to withstand.
With good supporting appearances from Sam Lee, Lam Suet and even Aaron Kwok, this is out and out a fun, thrilling and gripping film. It's aggressively cartoonish at times but always professional and never coming across ridiculous. It's also atypically long for its genre or for Hong Kong releases in general, coming in at a hefty 130 minutes, which still isn't close to enough.
In the end, good triumphs but there really isn't any evil here, as even the vilest of people seen in the story has an explanation for what they do and a tale to tell, which is an added bonus not to be overlooked.
Plus, how can you say no to the first SDU sighting in a long, long, long time? Yes, they return to battle Wu Jing and his crew, and of course promptly get their posteriors handed to them.
Invisible Target is a frenzied, beautiful assemblage of classical themes (there's even a British cop in the briefing room like in the good old days), gorgeous stunts, mind-boggling explosions, intricate fight scenes and ever-shattering glass partitions.
The macho-sensitive cast is a perfect fit and we're delighted to see them together and on screen again. In fact, aside from giving logic and physical reality as we know it the finger, there's nothing wrong with Invisible Target and I, for one, can't wait to get my hands on the DVD version.
Invisible? Anything but! Don't wait for Flashpoint, get your summer kicks right here, right now.
There's nothing invisible about the target in Benny Chan's latest movie
Invisible Target. And in actuality, it seems that the constant target
for everyone in the movie here, be they the bad guys or the good cops,
are the plenty of glass lying around, getting smashed into smithereens
by hurled projectiles, or more frequently, human bodies. See that nice
looking glass window? It'll be smashed soon. Or that double panel glass
facade? Yup, as soon as you notice it, the next scene will show it in a
million bits on the floor with a writhing body. It could be aptly
titled Glass Target.
But don't get me wrong. Invisible Target is still enjoyable, in that it brings to you the flavour of a typical Hong Kong action movie, with Benny Chan at the helm. As we slowly get nauseated by the frequent mole versus mole plots that Hong Kong crime thrillers formula usually adopted (no thanks to the success of you know what), I thought Invisible Target was reminiscent about an old John Woo movie Hard Boiled, except that it's minus the guns, and instead you get plenty of fisticuffs. A similarly long drawn out ending was a little too tedious to sit through, though it had its fair share of big bangs and segmented action sequences which tried hard to hold your attention. Teahouses remain perfect locales for fights to break out (as in Hard Boiled), and here, it serves as a male bonding moment for our three heroic cops Chan Chun (Nicholas Tse), Fong Yik-wei (Shawn Yue) and Jaycee Chan's Wai King-ho.
But in between the action, are the woefully painful monologues that the villain Tien Yeng- seng (Wu Jing) and his merry gang of 7 (which includes Andy On as brother Yeng-yee) dish out, trying to philosophize their actions as "I'm a villain so I kill", and about justice-injustice in the world. Wu Jing again never failed to disappoint, as he has this charismatic aura around him which doesn't dissipate when he whups everyone's rear, hard! We've seen what he can do in SPL, now watch him do that with double the speed and intensity, and on thrice the number of victims. If anything, Invisible Target is a Wu Jing movie, and one in which I'm not surprised if many actually throw their weight of support behind him. It's a movie that the villain outshines the heroes easily.
With three distinct cops, Invisible Target actually spends a considerable amount of time introducing them one by one. Nicholas' Chan is always brooding, and a reckless one in that he's mourning the loss of his fiancée. He's out to get Tien because she happened to be collateral damage. Shawn's Fong is arrogant, until he's made to eat lead (in a scene you have to see to believe) by Tien, and his bruised ego says he must take the villain down. And Jacycee's Wai is probably the wimpiest of the lot, being a by-the-books street cop who's investigating the disappearance of his brother (do a double take on that cameo!), who might have fallen into Tien's hands. It's no doubt too that all of them are skilled in martial arts, and at any time would prefer to holster their weapons.
Nicholas and Shawn are no newcomers to action, having starred together in recent movies like Dragon Tiger Gate, and thank goodness they've ditched their long locks in that movie for contemporary shorter crop here. And while the two of them are relatively old hands in the industry, I can't help but wince each time Jaycee is on screen. For starters, he's the son of the legendary Jackie Chan, and in Invisible Target, I can't help picture it's a younger Jackie being beaten , battered and bruised. It didn't help that his character, the most naive and innocent of the lot, is in total contrast to the classic cop characters his father portrayed, and I surely think it was deliberate that he remains the least buff of the lot, with many goody-two-shoes scenes occasionally played out for comedy, or to reinforce that he's basically a cut above the rest of the good cops in terms of having a good natured character. Characters like his are hard to come by in an age where grittier cinematic cops roam the street.
So while big brothers Nicholas and Shawn get some fantastical set action pieces to show off their mettle, Jaycee got the shorter end of the stick by being quite a deadweight at times. Oh, and what of Elanne Kwong's role? Sadly there isn't too much for a pretty lass to do since her character Leung works in the Police Intelligence department, and doesn't get directly involved when the going gets tough. A typical flower vase role unfortunately, for a combined screen time of less than 5 minutes.
Despite its reliance on hard hitting action dished out by the actors themselves, and in all purpose are as realistic as they look with the obvious wire work seen in the trailers drastically reduced, a few noticeable continuity errors marred the enjoyment of the movie at times. Invisible Target had all the ingredients for a classic action movie, but the run time of more than 2 hours was due to an overindulgence with the slower moments which were fused with a couple of "I'm a cop" moments, and feel good messages rammed down your throat.
And what do you know, Invisible Target still can't shake off the mole versus mole type plot line, unfortunately. If it could have been a little more compact, and gotten to the point faster than it did, it would have been a tad more enjoyable, given the wealth of cameo/ supporting talent at its disposal, like Sam Lee (Dog Bite Dog) and the evergreen Lam Suet, rather than feel the need to tie up all the loose subplots it introduced, and exposing some technical loopholes in some action sequences.
Sometimes I'm a bit surprised when IMDb ratings jive with what I'd rate
a movie on a 1-10 scale. I think this movie is a pretty solid 7 so I'm
glad to see that's pretty much where it is. But enough of that, onto
the movie itself.
Released around the same time (and probably competing for much of the same audience) as the fantastic Donnie Yen movie Flash Point, Invisible Target provides some legitimate competition, albeit in the same sort of tired fashion of OCB cops doing the wrong things for the right reasons. If you're at all a fan of HK cinema you've no doubt seen this plot done to death but for some reason you're still a sucker for it. The fight scenes are very well done (would you expect any less from Jackie Chan's son?), the movie seems for the most part well paced, and it's got a solid story.
Now for the bad news. There's not much mind you, but there's some. First of all, for me, the movie seemed too long for it's own good. Yeah, it's only 2 hours but at points it feels stretched and padded for time. Where Flash Point is quite a bit shorter, it leaves you wanting a little more whereas Invisible Target makes you feel like you got too much. And the glass, oh the glass! Don't get too attached to anything breakable in this movie because it will invariably be punched through, kicked through, or fallen through. HK glass makers no doubt loved this movie...it's putting their kids through university.
All in all I'd definitely recommend this movie to anyone who's a fan of contemporary kung fu...just make sure you've got a good chunk of time set aside to watch it.
What can I say that the other rightly so positive reviewers haven't
said? Not a lot really.
This was such an enjoyable film. It was reminiscent of the days of old for an Hong Kong action flick....crazy stunts with a second replay (like the old Jackie Chan flicks), plenty of excellent martial arts, explosions and gun play. I felt as if I was watching an early 80/90's film.
What impressed even more was that there was a very strong story to this film. Everything blended nicely. The main leads has good character development and were very likable. The bad guys.....they were bad!! No messing about, no morals...just downright bad.
With some of the so called action movie tosh that America churns out today, the west should start looking to Hong Kong and Korea to take a leaf out of their book to see how things are done (Flashpoint was also very good).
Watch this and you won't be disappointed.
"Invisible Target" ("Naam Yi Boon Sik") was really an adrenaline rush
like none other. And it is well-suited for anyone who went through the
late 1980s and early-mid 1990s watching Chow Yun Fat movies. There is a
lot of action in the movie, in the likes of gunfights, martial arts and
The story is about three very different police officers in the Hong Kong police who are chasing after a group of criminals on a wild chase taking them wide and far around Hong Kong. The officers are heartbroken Detective Chan Chun (played by Nicholas Tse) who lost his fiancée in an explosion during a robbery of an armored truck, the arrogant Inspector Carson Fong Yik Wei (played by Shawn Yue) and fresh-out-of-the-academy officer Wai King Ho (played by Jaycee Chan). Who is the mastermind behind the well-orchestrated robbery, and whom can they trust?
"Invisible Target" is driven by a great story that comes off a very plausible and realistic, but it is also driven by the non-stop action, not to mention the vivid and detailed characters.
The people cast for the various roles really did good jobs with their given roles, and that really helped the movie well along.
Being a fan of Hong Kong cinema and having lived there myself, I found this movie very enjoyable, especially because it does show off a lot of aspects of Hong Kong, not just showing the glamour, fluorescent lights and the rich and famous.
I will say that that music score for the movie wasn't all that impressive, and it was not standing out in anyway. It was mostly just faded into the background and hardly noticeable. But towards the end, it ticks over and becomes rather irritating.
"Invisible Target" is highly recommendable for people who enjoy Asian movies and action movies in particular. It is a worthy movie in any movie aficionado's DVD collection.
Director Benny Chang's fast paced crime thriller follows three Hong
Kong cops relentlessly pursuing a ruthless gang of highly skilled
crooks and murderers.
More entertaining and absorbing than you might expect, it's not often that action films which are over two hours long can hold the audience's attention for the duration, but in this case the film rarely retreats from the explosive opening scene. Perhaps it dwells for too long on the inherent good nature of the police officers, and there are no strong female characters worth noting. However, if it's violence, explosions and a possibly interpretive subtext you're after, this is a film you are more than likely going to enjoy.
Guns, martial arts, explosions, stunts and a pinch of philosophy: Invisible Target is a film almost as thought provoking as it is entertaining. IT
Nan Er Ben Se is criticized for it being too typical, and the good guys
too naive too stereotype, blah blah blah...... But in my opinion, it's
uniquely valuable for being positive in information.
Basically it's a story about 3 cops after a gang of robbers, consequently got involved deeper and deeper, and inevitably dig out dirty secrets of the police station. One would definitely be reminded by its storyline of many crime classics, like L.A.Confidential. However, the director didn't invest everything in promoting this one as the HK version of L.A. Confidential, mainly because the sense of social responsibility motivates the makers to create a story of growing up in good directions instead of dirty cop stories.
The movie is very effective in editing the fighting sequences. All the fantastic actions are well paced and deserved a nod only for that. The scenes are very "Hollywood", but it's acceptable. HK movies need change. After all these years, the producers reflected on many mistakes the HK movies have made and all the unsuccessful productions. Although the completely westernized producing pattern may not be accepted, the industry has accepted many concepts of Hollywood. You can definitely sense that from Nan Er Ben Se.
Back to the most important point of the movie. Nan Er Ben Se doesn't enforce any unbelievable values or character relationships in the entire movie. The "good cop" is morally sound but physically incompetent to other ones, while the dirty cops are tough but without much credits to the society. When they mix together, this balance or imbalance has created a sense of social duty. And finally the dirty cops become clean, at the cost of the life of the good cop. Fair enough? Not really. But it's the right way to do. It's simple and not enforced.
Good information can make a bad movie a good one, except that Nan Er Ben Se is not bad at all.
There's smashing glass a-plenty in this Hong Kong action flick that's
almost one long running battle between a criminal gang and a trio of
upstanding cops. It's a film in which the plotting is completely tired
and predictable, pitting the flawed-but-human good guys against an
array of almost superhuman and sadistic crims in a variety of arresting
chases, shoot-outs and martial arts sequences.
Such stories are by-the-by when it comes to Chinese action cinema. These films fall or stand on their action, and in that respect INVISIBLE TARGET doesn't disappoint. There are some outstanding free-running sequences to tie it in with European fare like DISTRICT 13, excellent choreography in the various combat scenes and plenty of explosive destruction. In many ways the action's a throwback to Hong Kong cinema of the 1980s, with an emphasis on the destruction of scenery and props and in particular glass.
Director Benny Chan delivered the goods in 2004's NEW POLICE STORY and he does so again with the spectacular stuff on display here. Inbetween, the dialogue is fairly leaden and the pacing slow as we watch more tired stuff about corrupt cops and villainous plots. Nicholas Tse and Shawn Yue can do this type of stuff in their sleep: they play one dimensional characters but are great when it comes to fighting, and the same can be said of Wu Jing's ultra-villain. Jackie Chan's lad Jaycee is given plenty of emoting which is slightly tiresome when contrasted with the otherwise great action. INVISIBLE TARGET gets 1/10 for its storyline and 10/10 for the fights.
I'm generally a fan of Benny Chan's movie. The characters portrayed in
his movie have charm only he can infuse into them, and this one is no
exception. The story is about an outrageously nice cop played by Jaycee
Chen who is now under surveillance because his brother who is also a
cop is suspected of turning bad.
The fight scenes are pretty brutal, and you'd wonder why a nice guy like Jaycee has to be involved in a situation like this, but he is. Two other undercover police officers along with him battle for their lives against crooks who are trying to carve a living in society.
Jaycee Chen has all the charm, and character of both his mother and his father. He has looks that resembles them also, but the personality is all his own.
This level of brutality is unusual for Benny Chan, but along with the story and its characters, the movie is highly experimental, but it comes together in the end with pretty outrageous fight scenes.
Good movie even if you're not a fan of Benny Chan movies.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Good, but too long story of three different cops coming together to
take on a band of really nasty robbers who like to blow things up. One
cop wants revenge since his fiancé was killed in an earlier robbery,
another is a hotshot cocky cop, and the third is a by the books guy who
is looking for his missing brother. They are out for a band of bandits
who know they are the bad guys and act accordingly, not hesitating to
kidnap a bus load of kids or blow up a whole block of buildings to get
The story is clichéd and you can pretty much guess how its going to come out. What is not cliché is the action sequences which are truly amazing and are amped up versions of the sort of stuff that Jackie Chan used to do, which isn't surprising since director Benny Chan is a close relative (I've read his brother and I've read his son I'm not sure which). The action is whats key here and its of the sort that induces you to say "Oh wow" out loud frequently while you watch it. You'll want to see it for the fight scenes (pick one) and chases (The roof top)that will amaze you didn't leave anyone broken or dead.
If there is a flaw its that perhaps its too long at 120 minutes. The story isn't strong enough to support it and the final battle which good becomes almost too much of a good thing. Still this is one to search out if you like big action.
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