Invisible Target (UK - BD RB)
Marcus is pretty sure that the bad dudes wearing black costumes are the targets
Three police officers, Detective Chan Chun (Nicholas Tse), Inspector Carson Fong Yik Wei ( Shawn Yue) and Officer Wai King Ho (Jaycee Chan), are thrown together through a series of events that all involve the same gang, led by Wai King Ho’s brother, who’s a cop turned criminal played by Wu Jing.
Invisible Target doesn’t really muck about. From the get go you know you’re not getting anything too original, but that doesn’t stop it from being enjoyable. Once you get through the heavy set-up to give the story the dramatic backdrop it needs, we’re off and running and you realise that the action on offer here is what’s going to keep it interesting.
With high kicks, subtle wire work and broken glass aplenty, Invisible Target delivers up some pretty enjoyable stunt work (you know it’s good because every major event is shown from multiple angles) and some pretty high paced martial arts action. There’s a splattering of free running to keep the kids happy and more than the movie's fair share of ‘look how cool I am’ glares from its stars and on the whole the movie takes an almost ‘best of’ approach to the action genre its inspired by.
However it’s because of this almost paint by numbers approach that Invisible Target sort of lost me in the middle. The story is engaging enough but it just felt like I was watching one giant homage to other movies and the characters started becoming amalgamations of other movie clichés as opposed to characters I could genuinely believe in.
It didn’t help that the action went from being cool (like a dude dressed in black jumping out of a car’s sunroof and kicking two people in the head only to finish up his battle by making a cop swallow his own bullets) to just a little too predictable (you could literally feel a fight coming, almost akin to knowing when a song is coming in a hokey musical).
At the end of it all, Invisible Target ends up being a thoroughly enjoyable romp through martial arts action territory but for me it could have done with a slightly lesser runtime and a little bit of streamlining with its plot threads. Its high points really do shine but it could really have done with being a little slicker for me to really get into it.
Sporting a 2.35:1 transfer the movie looks pretty impressive for the most part, with strong colours (especially the reds), natural skin tones and a nice level of detail. There’s a thin veil of grain over the image, which can sometimes look a little too gritty, but generally speaking Invisible Target offers up a well presented, sharp and detailed HD image.
Starting on the basics, the dialogue here is strong and clear and resides nicely in the front speakers. But we’re not here for the basics now are we? We want some high impact fights, right? Well Invisible Target really hammers home the goods even if it’s in fits and starts.
The opening truck explosion sets the tone with a solid bassy boom supported by multiple layers of gun shots and machine gun fire that any decent 5.1 systems thrives on. Fights also pack a punch (pun intended) with swishing clothing ripping through the air before a fist or foot finds its target with a solid smack. There’s also a nice spread when glass shatters (and man does it shatter a lot in this movie) or when someone bounces off of the furniture—all to add oomph to the action. Yes, it’s exaggerated for effect and it’s far from natural sounding but this is a proper action martial arts movie and it's effective considering the territory.
The audio commentary by Jaycee Chan, Shawn Ye, Andy On and Hong Kong cinema expert Bey Logan was quite enjoyable and surprisingly all in English. Logan leads a lot of the conversations and topics, which enables the stars to participate at their own pace, but it's really his enthusiasm and knowledge that makes the track exciting.
‘Orchestrated Mayhem: The Making of’ (24:59 SD) is a fast paced look at the making of the movie with plenty of interviews and raw footage of the filming.
The ‘Interview Gallery’, which is split down into seven selections ranging from the director to all the stars and co-stars expands on the making of and focuses on their individual experiences on the shoot.
There are seven deleted/extended scenes that all come with commentary by director, Benny Chan and rounding off this plentiful selection of extras are three featurettes ‘Fight for Glory: Constructing the Action Sequences of Invisible Target’ (18:57 SD). ‘Storyboard Comparisons’ (18:00 SD) and 'The Gala Premiere’ (09:51 SD), all of which take a closer look at the movie making elements.
Last up is the ‘Trailer Gallery’ offering the theatrical trailer (02:08) and teaser (00:59 SD) and the ‘also available’ section with a few other Cine Asia titles.
Invisible Target does everything you’d expect from a martial arts action flick of late and does it well, but it really doesn’t bring anything fresh enough to make it that memorable. The cast are all solid, the fight scenes are fast paced and entertaining, the stunt work all top notch but somewhere along the line, that same old, same old story just got a little too stagnant for me and I was set adrift.
Fan of the flick are getting a treat here though. Good audio and visuals and a great batch of extras really manages to provide the weight behind the ‘Ultimate Edition’ label.
* Note: The above images are taken from the Blu-ray release and resized for the page. Full-resolution captures are available by clicking individual images, but due to .jpg compression they are not necessarily representative of the quality of the transfer.
Review by Marcus Doidge
Suitable only for persons of 15 years and over
Release Date: 2nd August 2010
Disc Type: Blu-ray Disc
Audio: DTS-HD Mater Audio 5.1 Cantonese, DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1 English
Extras: Commentary, Featurettes. Making of, Interviews, Trailers, Deleted/Extedned Scenes
Easter Egg: No
Director: Benny Chan
Cast: Nicholas Tse, Jaycee Chan, Shawn Yue
Genre: Action, Crime, Drama and Thriller
Length: 130 minutes
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