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Divergence (Two-Disc Special Edition) [Import]
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Divergence ~ Divergence
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I found this hard to believe and just have to say that "Divergence" is a really underrated movie.
"Divergence" is a Hong Kong action thriller with an actually very good emotional edge attached to it, which makes this movie definitely watch able.
The story follows cop Suen (Aaron Kwok) who fails to bring a key-witness safely to court. The witness gets murdered. The killer (played by asian superstar Daniel Wu), keeps a close eye on Suen. Meanwhile, Suen has problems dealing with his own past. His girlfriend has disappeared 10 years ago and has never been found since. When he sees a woman who resembles his girlfriend alot, his past keeps coming back to him, while killers, and unsolved mysteries are closing in on him.
"Divergence" has won 3 Hong Kong Film Awards (the Oscars of Asia), not 4 like the dvdcover says, back in 2005 and deserves every one of them. I was surprisingly touched by the film's emotional edge which made it a powerful watch.
First of all, Aaron Kwok won an award for best performance by an actor. He acts a very emotional part and does it very well. He is tough but has that everyman likability at the same time. Different opinions are flying around about his acting (with alot of "over-emotional acting" talk), but I found it an excellent performance.
Than there is Daniel Wu, now a familiar face in films, who plays the role of a hitkiller. Just like Kwok he plays his role good and knows what he's doing.
The film is stylishly filmed and the action is well captured on camera by director Benny Chan. There isn't very much action in the film, but still quite alot which is well filmed, exciting and energetic. A footchase down a Hong Kong highway in the middle of the city is magnificent. One of the Hong Kong film awards was therefor won for editing, which is indeed very good. The footchase down the Hong Kong street is, like another reviewer said before me, very well synchronized.
The last award was won for Cinematography and indeed, just like with the other awards, well deserved. The film has a good atmosphere in it thanks to the cinematography.
Another strong factor in the film is the music. Beautiful sweeping themes are at the emotional scenes while suspencefull music is there when it's needed. A nomination at the Hong Kong awards was for this music, but was not won.
Therefor I found "Divergence" a very good film from the Hong Kong cinema, and it deservers better than all these negative words about it. The film's final is for some people a bit unclear, but the film as a whole is an emotional gangster drama with some very nice scenes and moments, which is an absolute must see for Hong Kong cinema fans.
It is the emotional edge that does it.
I sometimes wonder whether I'm simply getting bored with Asian flicks these days, because I'm seeing so many bad ones recently. But then I think about it, and I realize that Divergence, while the kind of action film that would never tread this path in America, is essentially the Asian version of Glitter or Crossroads; it's a simple vehicle for pop stars to gain film exposure. When looked at like that, Divergence is definitely an above-average example of the genre, but it's still not a terribly good movie.
Three professionals--a cop, a lawyer, and an assassin--are all involved in some way with the kidnapping of a crime boss' son. The movie focuses on each of the three alternately as their paths cross, diverge, then cross again (for an American cognate here, think 21 Grams; Inarritu's earlier film Amores Perros is a bit closer to the mark, though).
While Coke, the assassin, is played by a full-time actor (Daniel Wu, an American), Suen and To, the cop and the lawyer respectively, are played by pop stars Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng, who've previously teamed up in The Stormriders. They're better in front of a camera than Mariah or Britney in the movies above, for certain, but these aren't immortal parts, and they're not played by top-notch actors. But then you probably shouldn't be expecting it; this is a turn-your-brain-off movie where things blow up, people get shot at, and everyone does a whole lot of running. Given that, Divergence delivers; it's only when you start expecting something deep and meaningful that the movie fails. And in that regard, it's exactly like 21 Grams. ** ½
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