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3.8 out of 5 stars
3.8 out of 5 stars
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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.
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on 13 May 2014
Chan (Donnie Yen) is in a gang. He is a fighter. He also works for the police in a role that appears to be half informant and half policeman. Both the police and his gang wants him to go to Nanhai on the mainland to meet with Sunny, a bad guy who may have stolen from another gang. Chan works with police woman Fang Jing (Tian Jing) the Lara Croft of China. He gets a "special ID" on the mainland, one that didn't matter because he is an old friend of Sunny anyway.

The movie has a lot of kick boxing, including women and an elderly woman getting beat up. The film is in subtitles and a lot is lost in the translation. There is some comedy and romantic banter that goes on between the two main characters, at least the soundtrack seems to imply this, yet the dialogue is neither romantic nor funny. At one point a woman yells at Chan "Speak Mandarin!" Apparently he was speaking in a different dialect so she couldn't understand the conversation, yet it all sounded the same to me and you couldn't tell it was different by the subtitles.

Most of the fighting was normal. Tian Jing however exhibits some extraordinary jumping skills. The film is deeper than an action film as it gives a message about character growth, which seemed out of place.

This is not a film for me.

Parental Guidance: F-bomb in what appears to be two Chinese dialects. No sex or nudity.
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on 2 June 2015
A good movie Donnie Yen plays and undercover cop who has been deep under cover for over 8 year, now his cover is coming under scrutiny from his gang boss. Wanting out, but is talked to go on one last mission, to stop the rise of an ambitious young gangster from his past. There is plenty of action in this movie but the fights take a more MMA/Jiu-Jitsu style of fighting. Lot of grappling, ground work including ground and pound. Being an MMA fan this was quite appealing to me, but I do understand this would not be everyone's cup of tea many people Donny Yen fans might be expecting more if his specular kicks and blistering hand speed, on fairness there is a lot of that as well especially from the female lead Tian Jing. If you like MMA with a bit of story and more fighting you will enjoy this movie like I did.
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on 20 October 2016
There is a lot to like about this film; gritty fights, good editing, good camera work and even some (ever so slightly) empowered women figures (which is frankly almost always lacking). It is really just an slightly strained sentimentalism that mars the film, it overlays and diverts the main thesis of the film, which appears to be about pop-confucianism. I found it cool that the main character is not overly clever, just principled, but it doesn't explore this overly in depth.

So, in summary, watchable and occasionally very inventive and fun.
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on 3 August 2015
this movie has donnie yen in it....which is incredible by itself! As my friends are close to donnie, i always support his lets get my bias view out of the way.
Firstly, the concept of this film reminds me greatly of the video game "sleeping dogs". It is also a bit of a throwback to infernal affairs which is a HK movie classic! Having Donnie play this character is something I have wanted to see for a long time...but some cons are what stopped me giving this a 5 star rating.
Some of the casting in other roles were a little lazy. The asian movie scene always hires new popstars or idols, to star in action movies or romance....its kind of a habit. Also the production value is clearly less than his previous films.
Hats off to Donnie though, for holding his own at 50 years old and still being a complete action actor
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on 11 February 2016
An undercover cop finds himself in danger when he’s set on a collision course with an old protégé. Tonally, this film is an absolute mess; there’s Looney Toons style moments of slapstick comedy in the middle of realistic MMA-Style fight scenes; despite it being a big-budget movie with slick intentions it continually returns to the super-cheese with bawdy music and silly melodramatic over-acting; there’s also a few sleep-inducingly boring scenes (one about Tattoos in particular).

The timeline is all over the place, jumping around with no explanation, unaided by the lax direction and editing. There’s some woeful Volvo product placement: not satisfied with having their ‘City Safety’ mode blatantly pimped, there’s an entire fight scene AROUND THEIR CAR – it also doesn’t blow up when it’s dropped from height, unlike those rubbish Land Rovers!!! Ppsschhhtt!!!

On the plus side, the action is generally impressive (particularly the two elongated fights at either end of the movie) despite some superhuman abilities being thrown in to the mix here and there. I love Donnie Yen and will watch anything he’s in, but he’s going for a Jackie Chan style cheeky-chappy role here, and doesn’t quite have the charm/charisma to nail it. In the end, this is amounts to little more than another completely forgettable Asian undercover cop film – with two decent fight scenes.
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on 11 April 2015
An undercover cop, Chan, is forced into a series of dangerous encounters when his superiors begin to demand greater results. They set up a new team to counter the gangs, headed by a prim, righteous young female cop, who both clashes with and interests Chan (Donnie Yen)..
This happens to coincide with a gang war, which has erupted as a consequence of one of Chan's tough criminal proteges returning from the United States in an attempt to take over everyone's turf.
Just how long can Donnie Yen stay undercover for is anybody's guess? But the main question on everybody's lips, is just how much hair will his mum have left by the end of it??

Due to quite a few average reviews on here, I have to say, that when I watched Special ID earlier this week, I thoroughly enjoyed it, expecting it to be a lot worse than I actually found it.
The fights (Donnie once again very much showcasing his MMA skills!) are very exciting, using much of the sets and locations (small corridors, furniture destruction, urban layouts etc) to great effect. Very much drawing from the audience the requisite reactions of 'Oooh' and 'Arrrh', not to mention other gasps; as the stunt performers are smashed, crunched and walloped about the stage by Yen and his pals..
Some have said that this is a bit of a throwback to older Yen movies, and it's true that the characters and plotting in this seem rather hackneyed and dated, if not altogether silly. But ultimately if you can get over the cheesy characters and their naff moments of emotional development, you'll be wowed by the lively action set pieces and overall energy it brings to the table..
Yes you've seen it all before, but let's be honest, Yen's stuck to what he knows, namely attacking his opponents like a human spider monkey, and for this viewer that was easily enough to entertain me for 90m..!

My dvd version came with a rather trendy, but in the same breath grotesque, holographic cover. Where Yen's jutting, gurning, tattooed head is coming straight at you, and is easily enough to scare people of a young age or nervous disposition... Other than that novelty, no extras are included.
You can watch the film either subbed or dubbed (or both together I suppose?!), but neither is the best. The subs flying across the screen at warp factor 6, and the dub giving all the actors cringeworthy American accents..

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on 8 August 2014
I think deserve 5 stars because every film what I've seen Donnie Yen in as been superb I just love him for what does he just reminds of Jackie Chan and Tony jaa just great.
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on 26 January 2015
Donnie Yen is one of the only Hong Kong stars still making high quality old school action movies. In this film, Donnie Yen is an undercover cop in a contemporary tale that takes him to mainland China.

This movie can be compared to Flashpoint and Killzone (SPL), but it's not quite as good. The fight scenes are excellent as you would expect but overall it wasn't as special (!) as it should have been. The story was formulaic and it only really came alive in the action scenes. I expected even more from Donnie Yen, especially following the Ip Man films. However fans of 80s style Hong Kong action movies should find this movie worth catching.

The picture quality on the UK Blu ray is excellent but there are no extras.
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on 14 August 2014
It's not bad.
Story - meh. Comedic moments are just annoying.
But honestly, what do you watch a Donnie Yen Movie for? Action!
The final fight is excellent, but not as good as SPL (Killzone) or Flashpoint, but it does still hold its own.
Worth a go if you're a Yen fan.
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