THE EYE 2 (2004-HK)
review by Neo

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Though I am probably not the best critic for this new sequel starring Shu Qi from the Pang Brothers, as I have not seen The Eye, I will do my best to put up my honest opinion. Seriously this film is actually moving towards to the territory of boring for the 1st ½ of the movie, but Pang Brothers are really something, one that can nearly cheat the audience with a much stronger second half performance. However to say The Eye 2 is a horror/thriller is wrong as it works better as a suspense/drama. Though I have not seen The Eye, which is supposed to be critically acclaimed and even got international right, Shu Qi here does resembles the Angelica Lee in Koma (2004) vat some very critical moments. From being a R rated star to an HK Film Awards to a Hollywood newcomer and now with an mature and good acting turn in The Eye 2, Shi Qi has come a long way from nowhere. Her Cantonese has improved dramatically and is able to adequate lead a movie very similar to Nicole Kidman’s style in The Others. Pang Brothers are not bad filmmakers, and in fact they are quite artistic and uses the show not tell principle to the maximum potential, but somehow the movie to me is just not strikingly original and the real problem is the boring first half, other than that, The Eye 2 is not such a bad sequel afterall. Geez, I think I have been watching too many sequels lately: Shrek 2, Spiderman 2 and now Eye 2 in space of 2 weeks!

The story goes like this Joey recovers from an overdose of sleeping pills after having her stomach pumped. It was a close call; she had visions of dead people accompanying her during her darkest minutes. But just when she looks forward to a brand new life, she discovers that she is pregnant. Being tortured by the thought of an abortion, Joey finds herself becoming delusional and emotionally unstable. She is frequently threatened by the sudden presence of strangers, and also feels stalked by a mysterious woman. The stalker actually confronts her on one occasion -- making eye contacts with her on a train platform, then, throwing herself at a running train! Joey breaks down at the sight of the suicide, only to discover later that 'no jumper' is found on the track...

The direction from Pang Brothers, though I have not seen their other movies, is actually quite artistic, at least for a horror movie. But then again, I will not rate it as a horror movie, as a suspense/drama is more like it. Their filmmaking is subtle but maybe too subtle in the first half making the film quite boring. Not enough horror/suspense in this movie is really compensated by a pretty well though out final half. The performances, ranges from bad to a terrific leading performance from the veteran Shu Qi in her first on screen appearance this year. She has prove in this film that she can carry a film and geez, she does it well. Not unlike Angelica Lee awarding performance (though I did not see it – but I did see Koma) Shu Qi has the potential and the eyes to portray her character. She may well be one of Cecilia Cheung rivals at this year HK films award. In fact her performance works better than the film substance itself. As the other stars, I don’t even know them and they are probably some local Thailand actors. The ghost woman is actually a quite good actress and shines out from the rest of the supporting cast. A scene stealing performance from the burial site guy, who I will find out the name when I have time to is good and quite in depth and central to the storyline. Overall, Shi Qi does well and probably her best, but can not redeem the movie from being a good but quite forgettable movie ride.

Overall, The Eye 2 is a movie that should not really have been made, and a movie that is totally aiming at banking on The Eye’s box office success. However, ignoring the boring first half and some bad supporting roles, on the bright side, The Eye 2 has Shu Qi who turns some good acting turns, good artistic and positive direction from Pang Brothers, and a good second redeeming half. So after all that blah along, The Eye 2 turns out to be an adequate stand alone movie and does not look at all low budget (maybe that’s cos of it is not even low budget). As a horror movie, The Eye 2 is bad, but as a drama/suspense it is actually quite good. So on a final note, The Eye 2 is not a bad movie, but I can assure it is not a memorable one as it is actually very forgettable. But then again, see it for yourself as I may be totally wrong as I have not even seen The Eye. So perhaps when one day I finally see The Eye then I can say whether The Eye 2 is good or just a piece of commercial movie banking on its name!

I rate it 7.5/10

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Product Title : The Eye 2
Artist Name(s) : Shu Qi| Eugenia Yuan|
Language : Cantonese| Mandarin|
Duration : 104 minutes
Reviewed by Neo (Andrew) - July 2004