The Four 1 Review: The Movie Adaptation From One of Wen Rui-an’s Classic Wuxia Novels
There are many others, but those are the major players because they’re ranked among the Four, even if that doesn’t seem to be official nomenclature.
The Four, one of many adaptations of a series of novels by Woon Swee Oan (On Thuy An), is an infuriating picture that throws so much at us that multiple viewings are required to avoid getting lost. My first time through was confusing for quite a while. The second was clearer while the third was a lot of fun.
A coin cast has been stolen, counterfeit currency is circulating, and now Coldblood (Deng Chao), Emotionless (Liu Yi Fei), Life Snatcher (Ronald Cheng), and Iron Hands (Collin Chou) are on the case. Operating under the powerful Master Zhuge (Anthony Wong), they form a powerful quartet capable of solving any crime. As government institutions and financial organizations conspire the four sleuths follow a trail of clues. Meanwhile the dead are rising up under the command of an unknown force, and carving out a swath of terror on their trail to the capitol.
Master Zhuge’s team may be the best at capturing criminals. But can they stand up to a horror that’s beyond the realm of this reality? ~ Jason Buchanan, Rovi.
Apparently, it takes two to direct The Four (Tu Dai Danh Bo); however, both Gordan Chan and Janet Chun can’t put together a masterpiece of any kind. It isn’t so much for the twists and turns, but more because of the less than stellar storytelling. From the get go, there are a number of characters to keep track of and there aren’t enough plot details to help along the way. Things do eventually stabilize though.Regarding the characters in this picture, the action becomes a bit of letdown. It has its moments, but there is definitely room for more.
The use of CG is also decent, with maybe a little overuse. Deng Chao’s flat performance and character hurts this film a lot. Thankfully, Ronald Cheng is there to liven things up. Yifei Liu (Luu Diec Phi) also ends up with an emotionless character, but she is more tolerable than Deng Chao. Besides, she ends up with the best fight of the picture.The Four isn’t a bad film by any means. It does have its disappointments, but it also has a good enough story, characters, and action.