Monday, November 25, 2013

Soft Touch

The Touch (2002) is the first film that Michelle Yeoh produced as well as starred in. Too bad that it is so ordinary.

It is about a family circus, run by Michelle Yeoh and her brother Brandon Chang. This acrobatic family has protected the secret of the mystical remains of a Buddhist saint. Now, a plaque that is part of the secret has been stolen by bad guy Richard Roxburgh and his gang of violent numbskulls. But independent thief (and Yeoh's ex-boyfriend) Ben Chaplin has stolen the plaque back and brings it to the circus. I think that covers the setup.

The movie moves around to Malaysia, the Miao tribes of southern China, the deserts of the west and Tibet. This contributes to the classy look of the film. The fights are generally fun, although the action is far from non-stop. Yeoh is fabulous as always, and Chaplin is appealing, although I can't say he knocked me out.

Roxburgh had a bit of fun with his part - when Chaplin shows up after supposedly being killed, Roxburgh sighs "Can't anyone kill anybody around here?" So, he's fun.

But - the big fight at the end is quite dire. It was all wirework and CGI flames, which isn't a dealbreaker necessarily - the anti-grav ending of Jackie Chan's The Myth was quite ridiculous, but I still liked it. This just wasn't that good.

Fortunately, her next film, Silver Hawk, was much more fun, even though a lot less classy.

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