Invisible Target on DVD

Friday, 06 August 2010 07:42

“Invisible Target is an explosive martial arts action-thriller set in the bustling city of Hong Kong. It comes from director Benny Chan, renowned for energetic movies such as “New Police Story” and “Jackie Chan’s Who Am I?”. Chan has tried to outdo himself this time with even more daring stunts, and fight sequences that will surely make you wince once you have picked your jaw off the floor!

A gang is responsible for an armed robbery that results in the accidental death of a cop’s fiancée. The detective, Chan Chun (Nicholas Tse – “Storm Warriors”, “Dragon Tiger Gate”) goes all-out for revenge, accompanied by egotistical Inspector Carson Fong (Shawn Yue – “Internal Affairs”, “Dragon Tiger Gate”). During the investigation they are joined by rookie Wai King-ho (Jaycee Chan, none-other than Jackie Chan’s son).

Invisible Target on DVDA trail of destruction and chaos is left in the wake of both sides, with Wai King-ho the only one naively trying to stick to the letter of the law. An astonishing sequence of action set pieces takes us from the sparkling glass and metal business districts, through a dilapidated housing estate to an unbelievable showdown in the city’s police HQ.

In addition to several dynamic fight scenes, we also get a terrifying roof-top chase for the free running fans out there, and a “Heat”-like city shoot-out as the slick robbers bring assault rifles to bear on some under-equipped policemen.

The makers have tried to flesh out the movie with three-dimensional characters and a winding plot, but they are not entirely successful, at least not in comparison with the outrageous combat and stunt sequences. Tse and Yue spend too much effort looking cool, and are not given enough meaty material to properly develop their characters. Only Chan rises above the grey, macho tone of everything and everyone else. His wet-behind-the-ears but highly dedicated beat cop is cute and likeable, only resorting to violence when pushed.

The other two do not always get their own way, thanks largely to the audacity and dazzling kung fu skills of the gang leader Tien Yeng Seng (Wu Jing – “Fatal Contact”, “The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”).

Wu Jing is on cracking form as the principal villain. He somehow manages to look threatening despite his baby-like visage, a result partly down to the costume designer’s shrewd choice of cool outfits and sunglasses, but also because of his obvious physical confidence. In the making-of, the other actors mention being a bit wary of acting opposite him because they know how accomplished his martial arts abilities are, and as in “Kill Zone” he definitely does not disappoint. Certainly a name to watch out for, and a man not to be messed with!

The actors did all their own stunts as seems to be the norm in Hong Kong cinema, and even though a lot of the action scenes were filmed using supporting wires, the DVD special features make it clear that there was still a fair level of risk involved. Incredible moments include a fight where Wai King-ho and a baddie fight it out in a burning room (and carry on fighting even though the rookie is on fire!), the rooftop chase where Chan Chun makes a death-defying leap only to be kicked off the roof mid-flight, and sent tumbling down to the tarmac via a tree and a van parked underneath, and lastly a set piece where Chan Chun leaps off a tram stop into the path of an oncoming bus, which he bounces off, rolls over a car and carries on pursuing the fleeing criminals. Exciting and impressive stuff!

The only slight flaw in the action sequences is that some of the explosions look slightly fake thanks to green-screen work and some dubious compositing.

The special features on the two discs include a reasonable making-of, seven interviews, seven deleted or extended scenes, a featurette on the action scenes, coverage of the gala premiere, storyboard comparisons, a commentary track featuring three of the cast and genre expert Bey Logan, and some trailers. The English audio dub is competently performed for those who want to concentrate on the action rather than subtitles.

The jewel in all of this extra material is a great twenty-minute interview with the very amiable Jaycee Chan, whose English is far better than his Pa’s. He is primarily a singer/songwriter/musician as well as an actor, and he says he did not set out to be an action star but seems to be inexorably drawn in that direction. Either way, Jackie should certainly be proud. In total, the special features bump the running time up from 125 minutes to an impressive 364!

“Invisible Target” (2007) is out now on DVD (2 discs) and Blu-ray (1 disc), courtesy of Cine Asia. The running time of the main feature is 125 minutes approx, certificate ‘15’ and the movie retails for £17.99 on DVD, £24.99 on Blu-ray, or less from

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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