5.6/10
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25 user 45 critic

Te shu shen fen (2013)

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1:35 | Trailer
A cop goes undercover in a ruthless underworld organization to stop a gang leader, only to put himself in great danger after being exposed by his former protégé and best friend.

Writers:

Tai-lee Chan (as Tai-Li Chan), Kam-Yuen Szeto
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Credited cast:
Donnie Yen ... Chan Chi-Lung / Dragon
Tian Jing ... Fang Jing
Andy On ... Lo Chi-Wai / Sunny
Ronald Cheng ... Captain Cheung King-Kun
Collin Chou ... Cheung Mo-Hung
Terence Yin ... Terry
Zhigang Yang Zhigang Yang ... Captain Lei Peng
Hanyu Zhang ... Daofeng / Blade
Hee Ching Paw ... Amy (Chan's mother)
Cheung-Ching Mak Cheung-Ching Mak ... Brother Kun
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Pok Fu Chow Pok Fu Chow ... Party guest
Tony Ho ... Rascal
Wai-Kai Law Wai-Kai Law ... Party guest
Ken Lo Ken Lo ... Brother Bo
Frankie Chi-Hung Ng ... Bald gang boss
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Storyline

Chan Chi-Lung has been an infiltrator in Cheung Mo-Hung's Hong Kong triad gang for many years. After a failure of a recent negotiation by Lung with the other three local triad gangs on behalf of Hung makes the latter suspicious of Lung's identity. Hung sets to wipe out every undercover cop in his gang and as a result many cops are caught and wiped out. Sensing the danger, Lung requests to put an end to his undercover career from his captain, Cheung. However, Cheung sends Lung to Mainland China to infiltrate a business of "Special Identity" trading instead. The business is run by Hung's best protégé, Sunny, who was Lung's previous buddy in the gang. Cheung promises to reinstate Lung's police identity in conclusion of the mission once Sunny's business breaks down. Lung agrees, and joining him are local police officer Fang Jing and her chief Lei Peng from the Mainland Chinese police force. But before they can get to Sunny, the latter suddenly vanishes leaving Lung exposed and in great ... Written by DOK

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Crime

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence and language | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]

Country:

China

Language:

Cantonese | Mandarin | English

Release Date:

18 October 2013 (China) See more »

Also Known As:

Dak siu san fan See more »

Filming Locations:

Shenzhen, Guangdong, China See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The film was intended to be the first collaboration between Donnie Yen and fellow martial artist and popular TV actor Wenzhuo Zhao. But after a series of mishaps on set and badly influenced involvement of the press, Zhao left the set on February 27 2012 and rejected returning to follow up work. On February 29 2012, Zhao held a press conference expressing his disappointment in the script and the people involved in the film crew. He revealed that script changes were being made constantly without his consent and that contractual terms he demanded for his contract were violated. However, on March 15 2012 a controversy affecting Yen and the film crew as well as heated responses from both actors' fans broke out after Zhao held another press conference and claimed what really happened while the film was in production. Also as a result of Zhao's departure from the production, Donnie hired former co-stars Andy On, Collin Chou and Ken Lo as new cast additions. See more »

Connections

References Time and Tide (2000) See more »

Soundtracks

I'm Not As Strong As You Think
Performed by Kun Yang
See more »

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User Reviews

 
HK Auteur Review - Special Identity 特殊身份
24 October 2013 | by hkauteurSee all my reviews

The last time Donnie Yen officially put mixed martial arts on screen was Flashpoint, which arguably in my opinion was his artistic peak as an action choreographer and on screen fighter. He successfully made real martial arts combat cinematic. The choreography was shot in a way that allowed the viewer to visually break down why move A was countering move B. So with that said, my expectations of the MMA fights coming into Special ID were high.

My high expectations aren't out of place. Donnie Yen himself has said he wanted to go further with displaying MMA on film. In Special ID, Yen does this by integrating the urban environment into the choreography. The fights are set in tight spaces and narrow hallways, showcasing the physical precision it required from all the stunt performers. The group fights look convincing. Everything looks less staged and the moves don't land as cleanly, giving a gritty sense of realism. On pure cinematic terms, Yen succeeds. The choreography is another story.

The only wee complaint I had about the mixed martial arts choreography in Flashpoint was that Donnie Yen was the only one who fought with MMA techniques. Everybody else was essentially a kickboxer fighting the main character that had groundwork and wrestling skills up his sleeve. I let that go for Flashpoint, but in Special ID it has now officially become problematic.

This makes me think that Yen was solely concerned with making himself look good on screen. Yen has been guilty of this in the past but this is too blatant. Yen's fight with Ken Lo, a stuntman popular for being the villain from Jackie Chan's Drunken Master 2, is one such example. There were moments designed in their fight that purposely made Ken Lo look clumsy and stupid. Anybody who has seen Ken Lo in an on screen fight will know that he is anything but clumsy. Don't get me wrong, these are good fights. They are are tense and grueling, but it's too dramatically convenient if only the hero knows Brazilian Jujitsu and all the villains have no knowledge of countering it.

Much of the story problems -and there are many- with Special ID are the common problems I have with current Mainland-Hong Kong co-productions. There's a penchant for shooting dialogue scenes in a perfectly decorated restaurant or apartment. No matter what happened in the scene before, the actors are always seated perfectly still reflecting upon what happened. The dialogue is often on-the-nose that is stating things that the filmmakers are supposed to be showing. It is television-like and I don't know why it is the trend. The dialogue scenes in Special ID are plodding and murder every sense of dramatic tension. It's a narrative mess.

The female police officer character played newcomer Jing Tian was a severe plot contrivance and another example of a bad Mainland film trope. Her character Fang Jing was constantly spewing preachy dialogue about how police work should be ideally done, and acted too naive to be a convincing policewoman. It's like her character was written to secure an approval from the Chinese Film Bureau. She had too much screen time and it was like watching Hello Kitty fight crime.

I particularly hated the manipulative choppy musical score. It was in the vibes of "Hey, it's time to feel this emotion now!" One minute there's the metal music for the fights, and then the next minute it's pensive piano music when Jing Tian yaps on about following rules is the key to a good life.

Collin Chou shows up for what ends up being a disappointing role. It's actually a cheap marketing ploy to tease the martial arts film fans that there is going to be a fight at some point in the story. Collin Chou and Donnie Yen have fought before, so as fans we expect there will be something that will at least try to top the Flashpoint fight. But sadly, that didn't happen. After that, I was only half awake for the final showdown with Andy On.

I'd recommend people see Flashpoint again. Sure, the plot wasn't anything new, but Wilson Yip told a proper story. He gave little dramatic touches to the heroes and villains, which created proper stakes and made me care about the characters. Special ID has no developed characters, plot or any sense of flow or consistency. This was a perfectly marketed soulless product designed to take our money. And it was just plain mean-spirited.

I will probably watch Special ID again, but probably only the fight scenes in the form of online Youtube clips. I like these fights, but wished they belonged in a better movie. Special ID was just all flash, but without the "point".

For more reviews, please visit my film blog @ http://hkauteur.wordpress.com


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