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Old school style Donnie Yen
on 31 May 2014
Special ID doesn't add much to the 'Donnie Yen is an undercover cop who does a lot of cool poses' genre, but it's definitely a fine example of the type.
Donnie is a cop who's spent most of his career undercover in a street gang, getting close to the big crime boss (Ngai Sing/Collin Chou). When a former member of Donnie's gang (Andy On) makes violent inroads into the business, both the cops and the gang send our man yen after him.
Special ID was a long-gestating troubled production that saw original co-lead Vincent Zhao Wenzhuo walk off the film. This doesn't seem to have much impact on the finished product, as In place of him are reliable old action hands like Andy On, Collin Chou and Ken Lo. Behind the camera is Clarence Fok, who's done everything from the great Yuen Biao time travel chopsockey flick The Iceman Cometh, Crying Freeman adaptation Dragon from Russia and the Cat III classic Naked Killer. The only person I'm not familiar with is cute new-ish comer Tian Jing as Donnie's mainland partner, who does a decent job in both the dramatic and action scenes.
Again, while Special ID doesn't offer anything new the action is still highly effective. Yen handles the fights with his more recent MMA-influenced style, and car stunt legend Bruce Law also throws in some fine work. Fok makes sure everything is shot properly and the result is a film that wouldn't be out of place 20 years ago. Since I like Hong Kong films from 20 years ago, I had a fine time with this.