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
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 »
Action fans have completely lost their sense of priorities
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You really have to wonder how a film like "Special ID" (2013) gets an average IMDb rating of 5.3 out of 10 while something like "The Hobbit" (2012) gets an 8.0. People have truly lost their sense of priorities while watching action films. Read some reviews of "Special ID" and you'll see all kinds of petty criticisms, from language dialects to overly decorated restaurants! Here's a newsflash for you. For an action film to satisfy, it needs a minimum of two things: good action and brisk pacing. Guess what. "Special ID" easily meets this standard and in fact surpasses it with some truly memorable action sequences. Sure, the script is boilerplate and basic (even a bit clumsy in spots), but that doesn't automatically tank the enjoyability of a film that focuses first and foremost on the action anyways.
A cop (Donnie Yen) and his team of comrades go undercover in one of China's most ruthless underworld organizations to stop a gang leader. Andy On plays a good villain, while Tian Jing is a likable female lead. The action in this film is spaced out nicely, which assists the pacing quite well. The fight choreography is less "showy", opting to reflect a realistic, scrappy form of fist-fighting with some mixed martial arts peppered in. The finale lasts a whopping 15 minutes and showcases a suspenseful car chase. This actioner definitely satisfies.
The director here is Clarence Fok, who has a hit or miss filmography but has given us some fun movies in the past – "The Iceman Cometh" (1989) and "Black Panther Warriors" (1994) being two fairly brainless crowd-pleasers that stand out. He has also contributed some truly riveting dramas. For example, his crime drama "Century of the Dragon" (1999) is one of the best triad films of the past 15 years. Overall, the direction in "Special ID" is solid during the action, with some very cool sweeping shots during the lengthy car chase.
Unfortunately, Clarence should have vetoed some of the scoring choices in "Special ID" because the background music got intrusive at times. The sound design of this film feels amateurish and cheap early on, but get better as it progresses. This shouldn't be too much of a problem for fans of old school Hong Kong action flicks from the 80s and 90s, which many times had consistently poor production values but nevertheless succeeded at providing pure entertainment value. At the very least, "Special ID" looks nice while it gives the viewers its fist-to-face goodies.
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