|The Four (2012)|
|Director:||Gordon Chan and Janet Chun|
|Writers:||Gordon Chan, Maria Wong, and Frankie Tam|
|Starring:||Deng Chao, Liu Yifei, Collin Chou, Anthony Wong|
Despite issues with both the plot and the pace, The Four is nothing if not stylish. The overall glamor and visual brilliance of the project is almost worth the price of admission alone. There are some very serious negatives that can be leveled at the film, but it’s hard to not take its stylish approach to action cinema fairly serious. From that opening shot, that has the appearance of a massive one-take crane sequence (helped by some decent CGI, of course), to the various charming visual cues that are thrown in throughout the movie, the movie comes across as a very slick piece of cinematic entertainment. A favorite sequence of mine is a quick shot that has the camera placed under a glass cage while we watch a character step through various puddles of water on the opposite side of this glass wall. The camera pans with him as he walks along, with more water pouring down, and it’s clear that this little sequence adds very little to any complexities within the film – but instead it’s simply meant to be cool. In that context, it sure does work. Such shots are not anything that can be considered as new, but within this action genre, that is lifted by a multitude of special effects, it creates a stylish world that manages to inject a slight dose of originality into this project.