What You Need To Know:
(HH, B, Acap, Ro, HoHo, L, VVV, S, MM) Predominantly humanist worldview about a female cop trying to stop two female assassins, which includes slight moral worldview with themes of anti-Capitalism, Romantic idealism and stronger homosexual issues raised; two mild obscenities; violence includes martial arts fighting, many assassinations, graphic shootings with much blood, skin bubbling from poison, long sword fights with excessive blood, explosions, car chases and crashes, and man hit by car; homosexual elements, kissing and brief sexual dialogue, but no sex or nudity; women shown in modest undergarments, some cleavage, and woman in bubble bath (but nothing explicit); drinking; smoking; and, remorse shown by assassin, lying rebuked, themes of revenge and blackmailing, respect shown for deceased parents, poor attempt at spiritual allegory with characters called angels (Computer Angel and Virus Angel), and references to heaven, an evil dragon, and reaping what you sow.
GENRE: Martial Arts/Action
SO CLOSE is about two sisters operating as assassins and a sharp policewoman hot on their trail. The sisters, originally motivated by taking vengeance on the “ruthless businessmen” who murdered their parents, now operate a successful murder-for-hire website. Soon, an evil corporate mogul kills one of the sisters. Therefore, the surviving sister and cop must team up for one last spectacular battle (at least, that’s what the production notes called it). Breaking glass, explosions, shootings, more breaking glass, martial arts fighting, pieces of glass tinkling in slow motion across the floor, sword fighting, and glass shards flying through the air (again in slow motion) fairly sum up this story. It is a sappy, awful movie with, regrettably, only one or two impressive fight scenes for the action aficionado.
SO CLOSE is so bad it boggles the mind. Directed by celebrated martial arts choreographer Cory Yuen (with previous fight-sequence success in ROMEO MUST DIE, KISS OF THE DRAGON, and X-MEN), the film is an ultra-violent mish-mash of style over substance with fighters posing over practicality. Relying on three talented and beautiful actresses, SO CLOSE is a sort of Chinese CHARLIE’S ANGELS without the storyline. It may be a hit in Hong Kong, but this action flick just doesn’t translate well to American audiences.
It cannot be emphasized enough: SO CLOSE is painfully and laughably bad. There are ludicrous pace changes, and many scenes and critical dialogue that appear as cultural gaffes. Evidently, the Chinese director does not understand that American audiences do not, under any circumstances, want to sit through martial arts slow-motion action while a sound-alike singer warbles through the Carpenter’s version of “Close To You.” Yet, this is what we must endure, and, worse yet, two more times. Honestly, it took great will power to not run screaming into the lobby. In addition to this bizarre audience cruelty, the movie score alternates between great-sounding techno-pop and terribly bad elevator music. Funniest of all, the elevator music sounds like 4th generation pirated songs from records purchased in a street market in Shanghai. Concluding narration wraps up the story with a Chinese proverb that, once again, makes no sense to Western viewers: “A gun is like a bird…”, something about gripping it and holding feathers. It was beyond comprehension.
SO CLOSE is filled with excessive violence, murder, blood and revenge. At its close, one of the main characters concludes she is a lesbian and tries to persuade the other female lead to give up men and stay with her. This bizarre revelation is another in a long string of disjointed storylines and absurd rabbit trails. SO CLOSE desperately wants its assortment of genres and characters blended together into a tasty high-energy box office drink, but it looks like pureed seaweed with artificial purple yogurt.
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Jon Gerrans & Marcus Hu
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SUMMARY: SO CLOSE is about two sisters operating as assassins and a sharp policewoman hot on their trail. When an evil corporate mogul kills one of the sisters, the surviving sister and cop must team up for one last spectacular battle. Filled with excessive violence, murder, blood and revenge, SO CLOSE is so bad it boggles the mind.