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You really have to wonder how a film like "Special ID" (2013) gets an
average IMDb rating of 5.3 out of 10 while something like "The Hobbit"
(2012) gets an 8.0. People have truly lost their sense of priorities
while watching action films. Read some reviews of "Special ID" and
you'll see all kinds of petty criticisms, from language dialects to
overly decorated restaurants! Here's a newsflash for you. For an action
film to satisfy, it needs a minimum of two things: good action and
brisk pacing. Guess what. "Special ID" easily meets this standard and
in fact surpasses it with some truly memorable action sequences. Sure,
the script is boilerplate and basic (even a bit clumsy in spots), but
that doesn't automatically tank the enjoyability of a film that focuses
first and foremost on the action anyways.
A cop (Donnie Yen) and his team of comrades go undercover in one of
China's most ruthless underworld organizations to stop a gang leader.
Andy On plays a good villain, while Tian Jing is a likable female lead.
The action in this film is spaced out nicely, which assists the pacing
quite well. The fight choreography is less "showy", opting to reflect a
realistic, scrappy form of fist-fighting with some mixed martial arts
peppered in. The finale lasts a whopping 15 minutes and showcases a
suspenseful car chase. This actioner definitely satisfies.
The director here is Clarence Fok, who has a hit or miss filmography
but has given us some fun movies in the past "The Iceman Cometh"
(1989) and "Black Panther Warriors" (1994) being two fairly brainless
crowd-pleasers that stand out. He has also contributed some truly
riveting dramas. For example, his crime drama "Century of the Dragon"
(1999) is one of the best triad films of the past 15 years. Overall,
the direction in "Special ID" is solid during the action, with some
very cool sweeping shots during the lengthy car chase.
Unfortunately, Clarence should have vetoed some of the scoring choices
in "Special ID" because the background music got intrusive at times.
The sound design of this film feels amateurish and cheap early on, but
get better as it progresses. This shouldn't be too much of a problem
for fans of old school Hong Kong action flicks from the 80s and 90s,
which many times had consistently poor production values but
nevertheless succeeded at providing pure entertainment value. At the
very least, "Special ID" looks nice while it gives the viewers its
Tags for Special ID Full Movie
, Donnie Yen
, Ronald Cheng
, Tian Jing
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