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  Publicity Stills of "Divergence"
(Courtesy from Shaw)

Genre: Drama/Thriller
Director: Benny Chan
Starring: Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Daniel Wu, Lee Sin-je, Gallen Lo, Ning Jing, Eric Tsang, Lau Shiu Ming, Yu Rong Guang, Jan Lamb
RunTime: 1 hr 50 mins
Released By: Shaw
Official Website: http://www.divergence.com.hk 

Rating: PG

Released Date: 28 April 2005


The son of shady tycoon YIU (Gallen Lo) has been kidnapped. YIU, long a target of investigations by the Commercial Crimes Bureau for suspected money-laundering activities, is increasingly desperate as he battles to search for his son and to fend off police investigations….

SUEN (Aaron Kwok) is a dedicated but ill-fated cop who can never get over his girlfriend’s sudden disappearance 10 years ago;

COKE (Daniel Wu) is a mysterious and ruthless assassin who breaks the “Code of Killers”, by probing into the details of a completed assignment;

TO (Ekin Cheng) is a renowned lawyer, who represents numerous notorious crime leaders including YIU, and always manage to acquit his clients from their charges.

Each of the three men SUEN, COKE and TO has distinct characteristics with almost no similarities. How will their paths intertwine and what will be the breaking point that will cause them to diverge?

Movie Review:

The audience these days will remember Director Benny Chan's entertaining action flicks such as "Gen X cop", "Who Am I?" and the superb "EU Strike Force". His name just fits the "action" label so well that not much people can actually recall that he started his career way back in the early nineties with movies liked "A Moment Of Romance" and "The Magic Crane". In fact, it was his directorial attachments to Jackie Chan's movies that make him rises to the top of the action genre. Fast-forward to recent years, Benny Chan seem to be shifting his gears, manoeuvring towards more human intensity action dramas, (the credible "Heroic Duo" and "New Police Story") instead of just pure shoot-outs a la Michael Bay's style popcorn action-packed movies.

Ivy Ho belongs to the new generation of filmmakers in Hong Kong, an accomplished scriptwriter whose scripts includes Peter Chan's remarkable "Comrades: Almost A Love Story" and drama such as "July Rhapsody" and Teddy Chan's "Accidental Spy".

In addition to a cast that could cause an overdose on the testosterone level, these three elements decide to converge and bring the audience "Divergence". A pretty much mixed bag of crime, suspense and romance. With an opening akin to a psychology thriller and followed by a typical shoot-out sequence, you know you are in for something native yet familiar "cuisine".

It has been a while since Aaron Kwok appears in the limelight and surprisingly he turns in a brilliant, mature performance here as a love-torn cop, Suen whose girlfriend has mysteriously disappeared ten years back. His inner struggle and despondency is greatly portrayed on-screen, well enough to earn a few tears from the female audience. Daniel Wu pretty much reprises his role in "New Police Story" as a psychotic assassin who had one of the coolest fight scene with Suen in the wet market, one of those rare action sequences in the movie that kept you glued to your seat and rooting for more. No additional points will be awarded for guessing which area Benny Chan is strong at. Gallen Lo who has since left TVB to carve a contract-free career has a superflous role as a tycoon who had triad-links. You can't help thinking he should be in another tv serial. Last but not least, Ekin Cheng's character, a lawyer who supposedly is the turning point of the whole plotline ended up as a side dish, a role that should have been a movie of it's own rather than being compelled to fit into the already cramped script.

Eric Tsang who had a minor role as a cop in the "Missing Persons" department shines with his witty battering with Suen. It's a pity that the chinese translation had caused the original dialogues to lose much of the charm though.

Overall, "Divergence" is a classic case of "too many cooks spoiled the broth". Lots have been said but little and ambivalent details have been revealed. Smart audiences would have been able to guess the twist at the halfway mark. This time round, Ivy Ho's script is bogged down by numerous elements and clumsily assembled at the end. Occasionally, Michael Bay's style popcorn action-packed movies isn't that bad after all if you come to think of it.

Movie Rating:

Review by Linus Tee


. Kidnap (2007)

. Invisible Target (2007)

. Rob-B-Hood (2006)

. The Detective (2006)

. New Police Story (2004)

. Operation Undercover DVD (2006)

. Heavenly Mission DVD (2006)

. Playboy Cops DVD (2008)

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