22nd Jan2017

Cine-Sunday: ‘Invisible Target’ Review

by Phil Wheat

Stars: Nicholas Tse, Jaycee Chan, Shawn Yue, Wu Jing | Written by Benny Chan, Melody Lui, Rams Ling | Directed by Benny Chan

invisible-target-dvd

The paths of a renegade cop (Tse), a rookie police officer (Chan) and a veteran detective (Yue) converge with explosive results, as they each take on their most deadly assignment to date: the arrest of Hong Kong’s most lethal mercenary gang and their ruthless leader, played by Kung Fu impresario Wu Jing. The city becomes a battleground, as both sides break all the rules to defy each other in the ultimate fight for survival, justice and revenge!

Director Benny Chan has made some of the best action-packed police dramas in modern Eastern cinema – Man Wanted, Big Bullet, Gen-X Cops, and the superb New Police Story. With Invisible Target he re-teams with Nicholas Tse for what may be his most gloriously over-the-top, action-filled extravangza ever! And like New Police Story, director Chan manages to successfully balance action with story – spending ample time on characterisation showing us just why our three protagonists really want vengeance on the movie’s villains. The movie also surprises by offering us three-dimensional villains as well, with just as complex a motive for the crooks doing what they do, as the cops that chase them.

As one of the three protagonists Jaycee Chan, son of action superstar Jackie Chan, does his father proud with his portrayal of the innocent and goodhearted young police officer Wai King Ho, who is torn between his respect for life and the need to sometimes kill criminals. Nicholas Tse offers a brooding, if somewhat slightly unhinged performance as the cop seeking revenge for the death of his girlfriend at any cost; whilst Shawn Yue, as the third of our intrepid heroes, gives the most interesting performance – keeping his emotional cards close to his chest, with a very introspective portrayal of a cop looking to redeem himself after being humiliated at the hands of the crooks.

Invisible Target is one of those films that reminds you why Hong Kong cinema is considered the grand-daddy of the action movie – the action is both breath-taking and jaw-dropping, combining traditional martial arts with stunning free-running and a hint of CGI (used only when necessary and only when it adds to the action) in a movie that puts most Hollywood action films to shame.

As for the DVD, Invisible Target features a whopping FOUR HOURS of extra features including an audio commentary and documentary on disc one, along with substantial interviews, tons of deleted and extended scenes which add even more to the story – these extra scenes also feature comments by Benny Chan, who discusses the meaning of each scene and also why it was cut – as well as three featurettes looking at the action of the movie – both stunts and effects; a storyboard comparison and the films Gala premiere.

Invisible Target really is one film, and DVD, no self-respecting action movie fan should miss!

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