Entertaining Film - MAYBE. Quality Film - NO.

Tagline: Looks can be deceiving.

Corey Yuen, 2002

So Close is a film about two assassin sisters who are hunted by their employer and a determined policewoman.

I wish I can have the chutzpah to kick the a** of everyone involved in So Close. Aside from the preposterous action stunts and the hot actresses, So Close has nothing more to offer. In my humble opinion, So Close is a mediocre film. It's so overrated it makes its audiences stupid — stupid to like a film that is full of impossible stunts but is actually lacking in substance.

Beautiful kung-fu fighting women are not enough to make a great film. Thanks to CGI, So Close was able to offer quite entertaining action sequences, which are absolutely unbelievable. I get annoyingly drowned in CGI whenever I watch films like this. What if So Close didn't have those three hot actresses as the lead characters, would audiences still love this ludicrous piece of filmmaking?

Unlike Luc Besson's Nikita, So Close doesn't have panache, it lacks style and originality. I don't want to watch what I've already seen in Nikita and Charlie's Angels (the TV show). If you want to see sexy women kicking some a** and a plot that has no credibility, So Close is for you. But if you want films with exceptional plot, endearing characters, and outstanding action sequences, check out films by Luc Besson and John Woo, or those films starring Bruce Lee (specifically Enter the Dragon).

Zhao Wei's character, Sue, is as annoying as the action stunts. All she did during the first half of the film was to act like a spoiled brat who wants to get her break in their assassination career. She wants to be like her older sister, Lynn. Or should I say, she's jealous of her sister's "success" in the assassination business. Sue, honey, if you're going to dream, dream of a more decent job, okay? Why the hell should I care about Sue's inferiority complex?! For God's sake! During the second half of the film, we discover that Sue has more to her than inferiority complex. She's actually as good as Lynn. Then why the hell conceal her incredible martial arts skill until the second half of the film?! It just goes to show that this film's writer does not know how to dissect his characters.

The film's excessive use of CGI overshadows its cinematography. So Close is like an over-Photoshopped picture. It loses its natural beauty because of excessive retouching. The musical score might be the salvation of So Close. It has that adrenaline-pumping feel to it. Very nice.

As for the acting, it's not that bad but it's not Oscar-worthy either. So Close has three of Hong Kong's top stars in it: Shu Qi, Zhao Wei, and Karen Mok.

Shu Qi as Lynn is incomplete, it seems like she didn't want to give it all. And she makes it look like she's forced to be in this film. Shu Qi is undeniably alluring but her performance could have been better. Besides, she's in a film to show her acting abilities, not her hotness.

Zhao Wei is quite good as Sue, but she usually makes her performance look like an anime antic — with all those whining and anime-like facial expressions.

Karen Mok's performance is what I liked the most. She's not overcooked or half-cooked as Kong Yat-Hung. Performance-wise, Karen Mok is in the middle of Shu Qi (half-cooked) and Zhao Wei (overcooked).

So Close has its own market (audiences). Unfortunately, I'm not one of those audiences who bought this film's power. On the other hand, I am proud to say that I was once stupid to like So Close. The film was a huge hit when it came out in 2002.

So Close might be a stupid and overrated movie, but it still didn't fail to entertain its target audiences. I guess I can call this film a cult favorite. So Close is ridiculous for the wrong reason, but it still has an audience impact.

My rating: 3/10

Trailer for So Close:

DISCLAIMER: No copyright infringement intended. I don't own or claim to own any of the photos used.


Kyle said...

I fell in love with Shu Qi in Hou Hsiao-Hsien's Three Times and have wanted to see some of her non-Hou work, but haven't yet. Too bad this wasn't the movie to check out, the trailer makes it look kinda fun (glad you included that, by the way).

That Film Enthusiast said...

So Close can be fun, but one just can't help but see its bad side. It's still worth checking out though, especially if you're a fan of the three lead actresses ;)

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