Invisible Target

"OK"

Invisible Target Review


Although I'm not totally sure why the Hong Kong film industry seems to have fallen into an irreversible funk, I'm starting to develop a theory after watching Invisible Target: There are no more new ideas. It's all been done. This action-heavy police drama is helmed and co-written by the venerable Benny Chan, who has several memorable Hong Kong flicks to his credit, but this time around it's just one more toss of a very familiar salad. All the elements are there -- the armored car heist, the rooftop chase, the grenade-filled duffle bag, the hijacked school bus full of cute kids, the appalling HKPD body count, the rogue cops -- but what's the twist?

To add some psychodrama, Chan gives each of his three lead cops a different motive for chasing the bad guy. Chan (Nicholas Tse) is mad because his fiancée was killed when the bad guys blew up the armored car. Carson (Shawn Yue) is mad because the bad guys humiliated him. Wai (played by Jaycee Chan, Jackie Chan's son) is mad because the bad guys kidnapped his brother, who was also a cop, and probably killed him. Of the three, Chan and Carson are rule breakers who can't stand authority, while Wai is by the books all the way.

The main bad guy, Tien (Jacky Wu), is also in a foul mood because the armored car money was stolen from him, so away we go, with Tien chasing the money and the three cops chasing Tien and his goons. Cue the car chase. Cue the gun fights. Cue the kung fu. Cue the insanely dangerous rooftop chase. To their credit, the entire cast works extremely hard, as Hong Kong casts always do, stepping in to do their own stunts and suffering through them multiple times, as the entertaining making-of featurette aptly shows. A-list American stars would never put up with being dangled by a wire while being hit by a double-decker bus or enduring a fist fight while standing in a flaming pool of gasoline, but these guys live for it. (If I ever have lunch with Nicholas Tse, I'll ask him two questions:1) What does it feel like to be thrown through not one, not two, not three, but four plate glass windows? And 2) How did it feel to be cuckolded by fellow Hong Kong star Edison Chen?)

All roads in Invisible Target eventually lead back to police headquarters, where a final bloody showdown results in the deaths of countless cops and the near total destruction of the skyscraper, thanks to that duffle bag full of grenades. When the smoke clears, the survivors lick their wounds, congratulate each other on surviving, and live to fight another day in another movie.

There has to be a way to put some new spin on these very old tropes. Do we need to commission the Coen brothers and send them over there to breathe new life into the genre? (Actually, that's kind of a nifty idea.) At their best, Hong Kong actioners are totally fun thrill rides. At their worst, they're boring as hell. Let's find a fresh way to keep those cops busy.

Aka Naam yi boon sik.

Need invisible water!



Invisible Target

Facts and Figures

Run time: 129 mins

In Theaters: Thursday 19th July 2007

Distributed by: Genius Productions

Reviews

Contactmusic.com: 2.5 / 5

IMDB: 6.8 / 10

Cast & Crew

Director: Benny Chan

Producer: Benny Chan, Cary Cheng

Starring: as Detective Chan Chun, Shawn Yue as Inspector Carson Fong Yik Wei, Wu Jing as Tien Yeng Seng, as Officer Wai King Ho, as Ronin Tien Yeng-Yee, as Ho Wing Keung, Lam Suet as Loan Shark Cheng

Contactmusic


Links


Advertisement

New Movies

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Movie Review

After the thunderous reception for J.J. Abrams' Episode VII: The Force Awakens two years ago,...

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Daddy's Home 2 Movie Review

Like the 2015 original, this comedy plays merrily with cliches to tell a silly story...

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

The Man Who Invented Christmas Movie Review

There's a somewhat contrived jauntiness to this blending of fact and fiction that may leave...

Ferdinand Movie Review

Ferdinand Movie Review

This animated comedy adventure is based on the beloved children's book, which was published in...

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Brigsby Bear Movie Review

Director Dave McCary makes a superb feature debut with this offbeat black comedy, which explores...

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

Battle of the Sexes Movie Review

A dramatisation of the real-life clash between tennis icons Billie Jean King and Bobby Riggs,...

Shot Caller Movie Review

Shot Caller Movie Review

There isn't much subtlety to this prison thriller, but it's edgy enough to hold the...

Advertisement
The Disaster Artist Movie Review

The Disaster Artist Movie Review

A hilariously outrageous story based on real events, this film recounts the making of the...

Stronger Movie Review

Stronger Movie Review

Based on a true story about the 2013 Boston Marathon bombing, this looks like one...

Only the Brave Movie Review

Only the Brave Movie Review

Based on a genuinely moving true story, this film undercuts the realism by pushing its...

Wonder Movie Review

Wonder Movie Review

This film may be based on RJ Palacio's fictional bestseller, but it approaches its story...

Happy End  Movie Review

Happy End Movie Review

Austrian auteur Michael Haneke isn't known for his light touch, but rather for hard-hitting, award-winning...

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Patti Cake$ Movie Review

Seemingly from out of nowhere, this film generates perhaps the biggest smile of any movie...

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

The Limehouse Golem Movie Review

A Victorian thriller with rather heavy echoes of Jack the Ripper, this film struggles to...

Advertisement
Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.