review by Neo
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a photo of you dying!
2R, hey who the hell are they? You don't know then? Well you will after you watch Abnormal Beauty. Following Twins, Boyz, comes 2R (real life sisters - Race and Rosanne Wong). So you can't tell who is who? Well, you will know as soon as you watch the surprisingly good thriller from the Pang brothers - Abnormal Beauty. One thing I must comment before I begin my ongoing bullshit, is that Race Wong is an accomplished actress and one that I am going to bet on for winning BEST NEWCOMER AWARD this year! She is just amazing, not only is she prettier and sexier than her older sister Rosanne Wong, her acting shows maturity, depth and a par above Twins. While it is too early to say that she is the next Karena Lam, I will and do feel like putting her name right next to Karena and Angelica. So is this movie any good? Well I will tell you later, but my god the direction is stylish dark and as far as thrillers are concern this is one of the best one around in HK this year.
The story goes like this: One photo of an accidental death, one segment of her childhood bad memories, make Jiney (Race Wong) to be schizophrenia. Jiney is addicted to shoot photos about death and violence, and she sees them as austhetic. Her friend Rosanne tells her that this is unhealthy. At the same time, Jiney's life is under threat, and the killer seems to have the same thought as hers...Yes, sure this seems to you and to me very cheesy, but well direction turn Race into an actress and geez this is a hell of a good thriller.
With two head to head films from the Pang brothers, Oxide Pang in this one and Danny Pang in Leave Me Alone, I must say, Oxide Pang is the better of the two, his direction is uniquely stylish and menacing to watch. While Danny Pang turn Charlene into her best performance, Oxide discovered a new quality actress, whether it is a fluke or not from Race Wong, this is a hell of a great performance. Race WONG, the next Karena Lam, her performance here shows great range and her emotional face is faultless and comparing to her older sister, this is just a amazing. One should note that the movie took a scene from Leave Me Alone and that was a fun irony. However, Rosanne's performance is just average and leaning towards crap, perhaps she should take some acting lessons from her younger sister. Lucky, Oxide Pang knows that Race has better presence and quality in acting, by giving her seemingly the leading role.
To say what I really feel about this movie - is that I am clearly surprised, expecting cheesy acting and cheesy movie thriller with cheesy endings, this turned out to be another great surprise movie of the year. Alongside Love Battlefield, this got to be a big surprise. While not as good as that movie, this movie made a new actress and the most important thing of all, a pretty good thriller. The camera angles are pitch perfect and the photography and paintings are fascinating. The movie explores the depth of a character, a character that enjoys ART, although emotional impact is at times lacking, especially during the final sequences, Pang's direction and Race's acting all but all redeems it.
This is clearly a movie that I will call a green movie, oh wait, that's didn't make any kind of sense! So let's get to the point, is this movie worth watching. Well my answer is that if you have to choose between Leave Me Alone and this one, I will choose this one. Not just because of the pretty face Race Wong, but because this is a much more sustained and superior thriller and what more, it is clearly lower in budget, but yet the direction is not only a par better, but a par more stylish. SO is the movie any good? Seriously it is entirely up to personal taste and for my honest opinion, without being a fan of 2R, I can honesty tell you that I did like the movie and thoroughly enjoyed Race Wong's fine performance. So do i recommend it? I think you should know by now that I liked the movie, so what more should I say? I love Race Wong!
I rate it 8.5/10
on this movie on HK Neo Reviews Forum
Product Title : Ab-normal Beauty
Artist Name(s) : Race Wong| Rosanne Wong
Language : Cantonese| Mandarin
Duration : 90 minutes
Reviewed by Neo (Andrew) - December 2004
Copyright 2004-2009 - HK Neo Reviews at http://www.thehkneo.com founded by Andrew Chan (Neo) (Sydney, Australia)