Martial Arts Superstar Donnie Yen has cemented himself as one of the greats over the years bringing some of the best films out there including his Ip Man series. Now he is stepping out of the period piece and back into the modern times with his latest Special ID. There is no question he can bring the pain, but does the pain have everything it needs to deliver action or will it be all fight and no bite?
Special ID follows an undercover cop who has infiltrated a triad and been on the case for years. Now the triad has vowed to wipe out all of the traitors in their mist and he is looking to get out before it is too late. Before they will let him out they send him out on once last mission that will pit him against one of his previous friends with the help of a local police officer, but things go wrong quickly and it turns into a fight for not only his life but that of his families as well. Throughout his career Donnie Yen has delivered some amazing action sequences and over time has looked to shift from a Kung-Fu style to a more MMA style that works great. In this film he still delivers the action like only he can, but it seems to be toned down a bit, but is actually needed for the character. Instead of him being the hardcore badass that we all love, he is a character that is known to be pretty tough, but at the same time isn’t unstoppable. This adds an element to the character that is needed for the direction he wants to go. This is character that isn’t initially out for revenge or anything he just wants to bring down the bad guys and despite his time undercover is really still trying to find his way. The story works good and takes Yen in directions that we aren’t used to as a hero. The rest of the cast do a fine job, but this is Yen’s film all the way and he tears up the scenery like only can once again.
This may not be filled with the epic style action that fans have grown used too it still kicks some major ass. There are some fun fight sequences that only work as well as they do because of Yen’s charisma, but most notably the final fight in the film that steps things up the most to bring a brutal raw fight that not only showcases some great skill, but still keeps a sense of reality to it. Any fans of Yen will no doubt be eager to check this film out and will not be disappointed. Infiltrate the triads and grab your copy of Special ID when it hits Blu-ray and DVD on May 13th.