I like a good kung fu action flick, and since Hong Kong cinema thrives on an adrenaline kick like no other film industry in the world, it's always a good place to spend a few hours. One gem from Hong Kong is So Close, a babes-with-guns romp from 2002 directed by Corey Yuen.
I loathe plot holes or situations which simply do not make sense, so I have only disdain for films which fail to achieve this modest goal. But there's an exception to almost every rule, and So Close is mine. It's my favorite bad movie. If you've ever wanted to know the difference between story and plot, watch this film; it's a perfect example of a great story with a plot so terrible there isn't a word adequate enough to describe it.
I adore this film. I've watched it dozens of times. Why? Because it's fun. It has a bounce to it. It's extremely slick and stylish. In one sense it doesn't take itself seriously at all, and yet in another sense, it is delivered with conviction, passion and perfect straightforwardness. I can feel Yuen's love for this film in every scene. If you've ever wanted to see a martial arts movie featuring assasins and kick-ass fight scenes framed within a story that looks like it came straight from All My Children, this is the film for you. Cheese drips off the screen, but it tastes oh so good.
In addition to Yuen's passion, the three leads make this story work. Shu Qi, Zhao Wei, and Karen Mok are the lovely ladies who play the starring roles, and the fine acting of Zhao and Mok, in particular, covers a multitude of sins and carries the movie seamlessly over an awful lot of rough ground. Yuen's tight direction and fast editing take care of the rest. The music runs from decent to pretty good.
But still...there's that plot.
There's also lots of bad-to-average CGI; several characters have birthdays within a period of a few days; about half a dozen scenes take place inside elevators; and the title of the film, loosely related to a trivial aspect of the story, is stupid and vague.
The film is available both dubbed and with subtitles. I prefer to watch the film in Mandarin with subtitles, and that is the version I discuss in my analysis.
It is rated R. There is a brief sexual conversation, a few instances of profanity, some implied nudity in one scene when a woman takes a bubble bath, and loads of violence. Much of the violence consists of lengthy gun fights.