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3.7 out of 5 stars
3.7 out of 5 stars
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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 July 2017
good film
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on 25 June 2017
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on 25 June 2017
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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 7 May 2017
Absolutely terrible worst film I ever seen with Donnie yen in it the fights was awful and the subtitles where far to quick
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2013’s Special I.D. is a pretty average Donnie Yen cop thriller with a thin premise but a couple of decent action set pieces that keep the unenthralling plot ticking over, which at least puts it ahead of the following year’s dismal Iceman 3D [Blu-Ray 3D + Blu-Ray]. Yen’s an undercover cop who went straight from the Academy to running a crew of thugs in the criminally controlled Hong Kong cleaning business (something the film does nothing with) who gets sent to mainland China by both his underworld boss and police controller to check out a former friend and gang member Andy On, who’s returned from America with big ideas and is trying to muscle in on various ill-defined scams. Naturally there are plenty of badly written, very loud and overacted culture clashes with Tian Jing’s Chinese policewoman, not least because no-one regards Yen as a proper cop, but little is made of his former friendship with On - it’s not long after they meet that On’s entire mob is trying to kill him in a restaurant – and it’s clear that the plot’s just a hook for the usual Hong Kong action movie tropes. While you can’t say that any of them are executed outstandingly, they’re done well enough for a low expectations Saturday nighter.

Although often repeated by characters, the title is actually meaningless (it doesn’t even bother to explain it when Yen asks directly what it means) and the plot and characterisation beyond basic, the film making so little of its undercover cop dreams of his old life premise that it’s as if Infernal Affairs never happened. There’s the odd novel idea, like a gang boss threatening Yen while cutting his mother’s hair, but director Clarence Yiu-Leung Fok doesn’t really make the most of them either. Yen generously gives Jing the best of his fight choreography (and she has the standout action scene hanging precariously out of a car while fighting its driver) but delivers enough himself to keep his fans happy, though their would-be light relief ‘cultural differences’ sparring feels like by the numbers cast-offs from an old Jackie Chan film. So too does the fact that every argument or confrontation devolves into moralising about righteousness or inspirational motivational slogans that feel like they’re talking down to a children to convince the censors that it’s educational despite all the violence in the same way that old Hollywood epics used to use the Bible as an excuse for plenty of sex and sadism. The cloying sentiment is another drawback, along with the fact that Yen’s really getting a bit old for man child roles, but as long as the film gets to the action scenes that are its raison d’etre often enough it just about passes muster for his fans even if he is capable of much better.

Where the US Blu-ray has a brief featurette and trailer, the UK release from Universal has no extras but offers a decent 2.40:1 widescreen transfer with subtitled Mandarin and Cantonese and dubbed English soundtrack options.
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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 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 work....so 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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