Special ID (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
May 11, 2014 by Dennis Amith
“Special ID” delivers in action and is an exciting, adrenaline pumping, popcorn action thriller from beginning to end! Recommended!
© 2013 Beijing Starlit Film and TV Culture Ltd. Co. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: Special ID
FILM RELEASE: 2013
DURATION: 99 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: Chinese and English 5.1 DTS-HD MA, Chinese and English 2.0, Subtitles: English, Spanish and French
COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment
RATED: Not Rated
Release Date: May 13, 2014
Directed by Clarence Fok Yiu-leng
Written by Kam-Yuen Szeto
Produced by Peter Pau, Zhang Wang, Han Xiao-Li, Donnie Yen
Executive Producer: Qi Daji, Sanping Han, Zheng Lu, Gu Shou-Bao
Music by Peng Dou
Cinematography by Peter Pau
Edited by Ka-Fai Cheung
Donnie Yen as Chan Chi-Lung/Dragon
Tian Jing as Fang jing
Andy On as Lo Chi-Wai/Sunny
Ronald Cheng as Captain Cheung King-Kun
Collin Chou as Cheung Mo-Hung
Terence Yin as Terry
Zhigang Yang as Captain Lei Peng
Hanyu Zhang as Daofeng/Blade
In Korea, murder has a statute of limitations and the time is up on a series of brutal slayings that left Lt. Choi (Jae-yeong Jeong) a broken and obsessed man, with a scarred face from their one encounter. Now, a handsome and beguiling young man has come forward, taking credit for the crimes. As the confessed-killer woos media and wins fans, Choi s rage spins out of control. Is he the killer? Can justice ever be served? And who is the mysterious J, who claims the author may not be the killer after all?
Filmmaker Clarence Fok Yiu-leng is known for his work in Hong Kong cinema in the ’80s and ’90s. Possibly best known for films such as the 1992 Chingmy Yau and Simon Tam film “Naked Killer”, but in 2013, Fok Yiu-leng has made his return to cinema with two films, “Together” and his martial arts action thriller, “Special ID”.
Written by Kam-Yuen Szeto (“Kill Zone – S.P.L.”, “Flash Point”, “Exiled”) and starring Donnie Yen (“Ip Man”, “Hero”, “Iceman”), Tian Jing (“The Warring States”, “Police Story 2013”) and Andy On (“True Legend”, “Three Kingdoms: Resurrection of the Dragon”, “Mad Detective”), “Special ID” will be released on Blu-ray courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment in May 2014.
“Special ID” begins with a gangster named “Dragon” Chan (portrayed by Donnie Yen) who goes to a rival mob HQ to pick up his men who have been captured. Dragon takes on the mob alone and manages to escape from them. But it is revealed that “Dragon” is an undercover name for Detective Chan Zilong.
For years, Dragon has hoped to return back to his life as a police officer but for years, he has been used to infiltrate a major crime boss, Xiong (portrayed by Collin Chou). Because of his undercover work, he hasn’t been able to live a normal life and his mother Amy (portrayed by Hee Ching Paw) knows about his true identity. But he is literally torn between the two worlds.
Meanwhile, Sunny (portrayed by Andy On) has been stealing from the head of the crime family and using the money to help create his own empire in mainland China and taking out one of the Xiong’s henchman, Blade (portrayed by Hanyu Zhang).
With Xiong concerned about Sunny possibly stealing money from him, he sends Dragon to visit him because Dragon is responsible for mentoring and helping train Sunny when he first entered the mob.
Because the Chinese investigators have been trying to catch Sunny and Xiong, Detective Chan Zilong/Dragon must work with Fang Jin (portrayed by Jing Tian), a by-the-book detective who can shoot a target with incredible accuracy and is not afraid to fight anyone.
But because Detective Chan Zilong feels he has to work his way in order to get information from gangsters, he and Detective Fang Jin do not get along.
But with Dragon in town, Sunny starts to become paranoid that Dragon is trying to kill him and now Sunny wants Dragon dead. And with criminals start to threaten people close to him, Detective Chan knows he must quickly end this case and work with Detective Fang Jin in order to put these criminals behind bars.
“Special ID” is presented in 1080p High Definition, 16×9 widescreen. The film looks fantastic with great clarity and detail. Colors are vibrant towards the outdoor scenes with great cinematography and capturing the action’s fast pace with no problems.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
“Special ID” is presented in Chinese and English DTS-HD MA and 2.0 Dolby Digital. Because the amount of action scenes are quite numerous throughout the film, the lossless soundtrack is strong and active throughout the surround channels. Dialogue is crystal clear through the center and front channels. Overall, a solid lossless soundtrack!
Subtitles are in English, French and Spanish.
“Special ID” comes with the following special features:
- Making Of – A short making of featurette for “Special ID”.
- Trailer – Theatrical trailer for “Special ID”.
“Special ID” comes with a slipcover.
Is there such a thing as a bad Donnie Yen film within the last decade?
So far, each film that I have watched from Donnie Yen, especially post-“Ip Man”, they have featured bigger production, great action choreography and while some Donnie Yen films are better than others, “Special ID” is rather fascinating, exciting and just a lot of fun to watch.
For one, Donnie Yen after all these years, manages to look very young, as he is an undercover cop and a gangster, the first thing the film wants people to see is that this character is humorous, fierce and totally kick ass!
The punches and kicks and the type of fighting showcased throughout the film is rather fascinating, for example, the opening fight scene features Donnie Yen’s character fighting while lying on the ground. And to see how the character utilizes this strategy to fight his opponent is very cool!
But as Donnie Yen is always awesome when it comes to action films, part of my enjoyment of “Special ID” was seeing actress Tian Jing in action. It has only been three years since she first debuted on screen but she has made an impact in the fashion world and also shows that she is not scared to take on various roles.
From “The Warring States” and “Police Story 2013” to “Special ID”, Tian Jing cuts off her long locks for this role and is also not afraid to take part in the action as she seen throughout the film, kicking a lot of butt! And also being a strong female character with a gun!
While I enjoyed the majority of the film, if there was one scene that irked me a bit, was the fact that this steel cold detective, is seen being emotional after her first kill. The emotional scene was out of place but no doubt was written in to showcase a turning point between her cold demeanor to a more softer tone as the two detectives would eventually start to work together.
As for the antagonist Sunny (portrayed by Andy On), in some ways, it reminds me of the old martial arts films from the ’90s (especially the films starring Michael Wong), playing the foreign guy who is the antagonist, speaks in English and little Chinese and kicks a lot of butt! But the fight scenes involving Sunny and Chan’s character were thrilling as the fight choreography and how it was structured, was done rather well.
And speaking of the ’90s, it’s great to have filmmaker Clarence Fok Yiu-leng back behind the camera. He has made some of those fascinating films back in the ’80s and ’90s and it’s great to see him back again as a director, especially for a big budget action film.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is fantastic. Outdoor scenes are vibrant, skin tones are natural and the cinematography is also well done! Because of it’s all-action soundtrack, the lossless soundtrack is also well-done and the utilization of surround channels worked very well! As for special features, you get your usual short “making of” featurette and theatrical trailer.
Overall, “Special ID” delivers in action and is an exciting, adrenaline pumping, popcorn action thriller from beginning to end! Recommended!
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