If you think just for a moment that you might have some kind of aversion to breaking glass then by all means ‘Invisible Target’ is a movie you should make every effort to avoid. The Shattered Glass budget in this movie had to be in the billions of Yuan, leading to me to believe that director Benny Chan might have a bit of a shattered glass fetish going on. Regardless, what we have here with ‘Invisible Target’ is genre which at one time was among one of my all time favorites; the Hong Kong Action Movie! Anybody who follows this genre knows full well that this genre has fallen upon hard times in the not too distant past as the first name in Asian Action now belong to those krazy Koreans, but with movies like ‘Flash Point’ and ‘Kill Zone’ things seem to be struggling to get back to normal. Particularly with ‘Flash Point’. ‘Invisible Target’ isn’t going to make anybody forget John Woo and Chow Yun Fat anytime soon, but it is a continued shattered glass step forward into the right direction.
A pretty girl is shopping for an engagement ring at a local store and is flashing which ring she should buy to her fiancé via her cell phone. If this is how the movie starts, we know damn well it isn’t going to end well for girlfriend over there. Sure enough, a team of brazen thieves led by the extremely lethal Tien Yeng Seng (Jacky Wu Jing) blow up an armored car on a crowded street and simply by being in the wrong place at the wrong time, our pretty girl buys it in the fiery explosion amidst the shards of shattered glass.
This girl was engaged to Detective Chan Chun (Nicholas Tse) who six months later still longs for his lost love and now only lives to find his woman’s killers and make them suffer as he has suffered. We also meet brash police inspector Carson Fong (Shawn Yue) who is quite the ass kicking mofo, that is until he and a crew of his cops run into Tien and his gang and get summarily embarrassed, especially Inspector Fong as he is forced by Tien to eat and then subsequently excrete three bullets from his own gun. He
is not a happy man. The gentleman who will be third member of our crew is the young green and idealistic street cop Wai King Ho (Jaycee Chan) who just wants to do the right thing and often wonders what has happened to his older brother who went under cover some months earlier and hasn’t been heard from since.
Circumstance throws these three super athletic dudes together, who it will turn out are linked in someway to the vicious Tien, and they must somehow figure out a way to bring down Tien and his gang, who simply want their money back. You see somebody double crossed them out of their cheddar from that heist six months ago. It seems that this somebody is on the police department, and the gang ain’t too happy about it and will kill half of Hong Kong, if necessary, to get their loot back. Cars will explode, glass will shatter, cops will get there asses kicked real bad, more glass will shatter, money will burn, and more glass will break as Action has a new name called ‘Invisible Target’.
There’s a scene in ‘Invisible Target’ where Jaycee Chan catches on fire. I though it was some kind of CG trick because what self respecting star is going to let somebody put a fire on their ass, particularly the young progeny of international superstar Jackie Chan. Well it wasn’t a trick as those always amusing final credit outtakes showed poor Jaycee practically burning to death while Andy On, his co-star in that scene looked on in horror. Damn I love those Hong Kong action movie outtakes at the end. Nicholas Tse got messed up so much that I’d actually feel sorry for him if he didn’t get to go home to Cecilia Chung every night. Anyway, ‘Invisible Target’ was some pretty damn good explosive action filled entertainment. It probably could have used just a little trimming at over two hours long, but most of that length was filled with car chases, burning actors, explosions, lots and lots of Wu Jing kicking much ass, and of course exploding shards of glass. The story that framed all of this action was better than average with our three heroes pursuing justice for less than ideal reasons, and the movie also had a reasonably complex, morally ambiguous, honor bound bad guy who has very little respect for the lives of others outside his crew. As with most action movies there was the occasional lapse in logic and it would seem that Benny Chan thinks that people who watch action movies aren’t the brightest bulbs in the box as even the simplest slight of hand in the story had to revisited and explained to us step by step so that we would understand what just happened.
The young stars did a fine job in a movie that really required way more athletic ability than thespian skills, but when required to act they were very believable, particularly matinee idol Nicholas Tse. There was also possibly the planet’s longest death scene as a particular character was delivering a breathless ‘I’m dying now, hold me please’ soliloquy which took freaking forever. Die already so we get to another explosion please.
Other than the dead fiancée the only other female of consequence in the movie was Candy Liu who played a mild mannered intelligence officer, and she did little except cater to the needs of her male characters so this one masculine, male driven action flick. There was a female gang member but she was about as feminine as Sonny Chiba, and probably kicked more ass.
‘Invisible Target’ isn’t perfect in that it runs a bit long, gets melodramatic at times and suffers from the occasional action movie lapse of logic, but it was still a hell of a thrill ride of an action movie showing once again that when they put their minds to it, the Hong Kong filmmaker is still a force to be reckoned with when it comes to action movies.