A crooked businessman hires a high-tech professional assassin team of two sisters to kill his elder brother. Fearing exposure by an undercover policewoman who has been shadowing the sisters, the businessman has the older s... more »ister killed and implicates the policewoman. The grieving younger sister and the framed policewoman must now form an alliance to bring down the businessman. Great high-kicking action in the tradition of Charlie's Angels and The Matrix.« less
Miguel B. Llora | Bay Point, California USA | 07/14/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"In So Close sisters Lynn and Sue (Shu Qi and Vicki Zhao respectively), are a pair of high-tech (and high priced) assassins who inherit, from their late father, a secret weapon: a satellite based surveillance package called World Panorama. World Panorama allows them to hack and use any closed-circuit camera system worldwide. Predictably, or there would be no movie, their current job has its share of complications. Chow (Deric Wan) hires the duo to assassinate his brother in a corporate takeover bid. To add spice to the mix, Hung (Karen Mok) completes the trio of beautiful (and strong) women as the creative but misguided detective investigating this case. There is a tinge of a homoerotic subplot between Hung and Sue that arguably does not satisfy on any level -- but let us not let it detract us from the action scenes, cinematography, and almost impossible high tech wizardry. The character of Lynn, conversely, is pulled in another direction.
Lynn is involved old love Yen (Song Seung-Hon), which makes her re-examine her chosen vocation. Lynn decides she wants out but there are, of course, complications. Sue, not having had any experience doing anything else and eager to prove herself to Lynn sets out to complete the contract -- which Lynn asked her to cancel -- on her own. Not to do a spoiler here but to Lynn's credit she has been protecting Sue from that side of the business in an effort to protect her from possible future guilt. I guess I can indulge in a little bit of cynicism here -- as being an accomplice would not give Sue night chills -- I need to constantly remember -- it is light. In a move that reminds of the Last Samurai (too many mind) leaving the trade might not be that easy for Lynn after all. For what impact that has on Lynn -- you will really need to watch the movie.
Okay, let us keep focused on the movie's plus side -- the action is entertaining. It has the predictable wire-work that Hong Kong action films are famous for. There is a ton of slow-motion as well as fast-cutting action thrown in the mix. I agree with some out there that arguably the most creative scene comes about halfway through the movie, when Hung finally meets the Lyn and Sue in an elevator. The bathroom scene early on with the two sisters going at it is pure exploitation -- but it is fun. The climax scene with Sue and Hung is not to be outdone as it is fast moving but nothing beats the close proximity type scenes to really create a sense of tension. There is the inevitable comparison to Corey Yuen's The Transporter -- which I have seen but am now really curious about after having seen So Close.
I am, of course still recovering from a Naked Weapon hangover and am worried I am paying to much attention to this genre. While Naked Weapon did not pull any punches -- such as a really disturbing rape scene. So Close does not suffer from this very disturbing misogynistic tendency. The slow-motion shots of Shu Qi's allow us to focus on her -- but who can complain, really. I certainly did not see the same type of exploitation here so in a fun sort of way we can ascribe some form of female liberation in this movie despite the hypersexualized characters of Lynn, Sue and Hung.
Similar to Naked Weapon, So Close is one of those movies that should enjoyed for what it is, pure entertainment. Now, if a critic is trying to make a name for him/herself (current writer excluded, of course) it is easy to try to make more of this movie and then shoot it down. That would be wrong. Realistically, about 95% of all the movies out there are light on the social commentary and heavy on the entertainment factor. Corey Yuen's So Close is one of those movies and to call attention to or to ask for a sophisticated plot is simply manipulation. I say see it for what it is and enjoy the special effects and decent action sequences -- for a simple fellow like me, it IS enough.
A good chick flick
E. Laway | Temecula, California United States | 01/02/2004
(4 out of 5 stars)
"First you need to forive a couple of things before you can truely enjoy this movie, like the thin plot and the pluasibility of the characters, other than that, this movie is pretty good, for obvious reasons- the well-cheographed fight scenes and it's a fresh change having chicks do the fighting.Shu Qi gets top billing and yes, she's gorgeous, but I think you'll be more impress with Karen Mok. She might not have the lucscious lips or the obvious sex appeal, but she has an edgy, gritty physical presence which is important if you're gonna be an action movie star ( maybe she already is, this is the first time I've seen her in a movie). You can believe it when she's punching, kicking and flying thru the air because physically she is convincing. Unlike Shu Qi, who seem a tad bit fragile and she looked like she was hung on a wire a lot for the more demanding fight sequence. I also like Vicky Zhao. She's terrific as the younger, less competent sister and the heavy acting was all left to her. The handcuffed fight scene with Qi and Mok is something to marvel at and will undoubtedly be copied. The clean high tech cinematography is hard to ignore. It is a study in geometry, angles and physics, specially with the flying bullets and glass everywhere. This is well illustrated in the last shot out by the stairway.
There's a lot to be admired in this movie like the many imaginative ways of shooting a gun; upside down, downside up,sidedays, by ways, falling down, twisting and the overall imagination of the filmakers. As a Hong Kong, over-the-top action flick--- It delivers! Just don't think too much when you're watching this movie. Concentrate more on the gun fights, sword fights and kung fu fights. I did find a few things annoying though. For example, the Mok and Zhao characters- were they suppose to be attracted to each other, and what was that kiss about? they could have at least done it right and gone for a full on lip lock titaliting threatment it deserved, outherwise why bother throwing in this little sublot at the end. Also a couple of the fight scenes were so techinical and crisp that you feel like picking up your supernintendo control pad and playing along. Ultimately I give this movie a generous rating because it doesn't fail to deliver its promise- ACTION and lots of it. The DVD doesn't have any extras but be thankful it offers a lot of language and subtitle options for some of us that wish to see the movie in its original sound. If you're not too uptight and don't sweat the little details, you'll enjoy this movie."
I was so close to not buying it.........but I'm glad I did!
Aaron K. Hawkins | Mt Laurel, NJ United States | 02/26/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I'm a movie addict who's been getting tired of the same old Hollywood crap, so I decided to try some cool looking asian films. Take it from me, it's a refreshing experience. I saw the "So Close" trailer on the "Returner" DVD, & I wrongly assumed it would be a cheesy movie with girls, guns & Karate. I was so wrong! This has officially become one of my new favorite movies. - Excellent Action (Best sword fight in recent history) - with a good P L O T! Try that Hollywood!"
A perfect example on why looks can be deceiving
Jenny J.J.I. | That Lives in Carolinas | 02/07/2008
(4 out of 5 stars)
"I admire woman who can hold there own and this film says it all. While watching this I couldn't help but to think of Charlies Angels plus the opening scene with Lynn easily marks out the style of this film. "So Close" revolves around a computer program that can hack all the security cameras on earth. Developed by their dad, the program was inherited by Shu Qi and Vicky Zhao after his death, and rather than sell it and make lots of money, they use it to become career assassins - follow your dreams! But after years of busting caps, Shu Qi has become a hurting-on-the-inside kind of lady. Her passion for being a super cool hit woman has cooled and she's starting to feel sorry for the thousands of people she took away. Unable to bring herself to do more than kneecap the legions of goons she used to blithely blow away, she's started to think about getting out of the game, finding a guy, and settling down. Little sis, Vicky Zhao, on the other hand, wants to be like big sis and open many cans of whup a** on veritable armies of henchmen. Karen Mok, a cop who has run into the glass ceiling so hard she's got a concussion, unwinds from all the razzing she gets from her sexist colleagues by pursuing Vicky and Shu Qi and maybe, just maybe, falling for Vicky in the process. Cop/criminal romances are, historically, really bad ideas but it works really well here.
Flying bullets, spinning sidekicks, supercomputer balderdash, car chases, and shattering sheets of glass tumble off the screen like an all-you-can-eat action feast and it takes a fight with Japanese screen legend Yasuaki Kurata to bring this whole buffet to a close. Corey Yuen deploys the pop ballad "Close To You" all over the soundtrack and here's a chance for a whole new generation to get it stuck in their heads, associating it with images of Shu Qi dealing out death from nickel-plated 9mm's.
"So Close" is a movie that manages the neat trick of being simultaneously super-silly and super-cool. With Corey Yuen bringing years of being Jet Li's action director to the table; and Vicky Zhao, Karen Mok and Shu Qi bringing perfect hair, perfect clothes, and perfect roundhouse kicks, it's like a fashion shoot that cant be beat.
So Close is everything Charlie's Angels wished it could be!
Ronnie Clay | Winnsboro, Louisiana | 08/26/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
[WARNING: THIS REVIEW MAY CONTAIN A SPOILER]
That pretty much says it all. True, an important character dies during the film, but this is a very daring move on the part of the director. I do not care for main characters getting killed, but once in a while it's okay. It gives my "film reality" a jolt, something it needs. As a female assassin, Shu Qi ranks at the top rank of cinematic killers. I have no doubt that she could kill Arnold, Clint Eastwood or Mel Gibson in any film roles. She is also so easy on the eyes that her anti-social job is acceptable. The action is top notch, as is the cinematography. Hong Kong Cinema is far ahead of any other and it shows here. Rating: 8 out of 10."