Together 在一起 (2013) – Hong Kong / China
Review by: Andrew Chan FCCA AACTA
Review Date: 13th February 2013
Releasing in cinemas in Hong Kong, 14th February 2013
Directed by: Clarence Kok
Starring: Donnie Yen, Michelle Chen, Angelababy, Ko Chen-tung, Bosco Wong, Chrissie Chau
Hong Kong Box Office Takings: HK$1,629,158
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The biggest issue with the latest Hong Kong romantic comedy directed by “Naker Killer” director Clarence Fok is clearly down to the non-sensual script and absolutely ridiculous dialogue. I am not sure if Donnie Yen is trying to make fun of himself by starring in such a nonsense role that all but highlighted to everyone how limited his acting range is. Sure the role requires Yen to not smile, but when the audience is laughing at Yen’s lack of acting than the actual character, it doesn’t take long for one to realise how bad this movie really is. I am happy for romantic comedies to be silly, non-coherent and even stupid, but it needs to be entertaining, romantic and funny. “Together” possess none of that qualities and the result is an outright terrible film, filled with atrocious acting, demeaning half hearted script and piss poor directing. Director Fok have made his share bad movies (“Don’t Open Your Eyes (2006) and “Dating a Vampire (2006)” in recent years, but he have also seen better days (namely the entertaining “The Dragon From Russia (1990)” and cheesy, but fun “Naked Killer (1992)”). However, nothing prepares the audience for a such a terrible romantic comedy that involves the hottest properties from Taiwanese duo (Michelle Chen and Ko Chen-tung) and Donnie Yen.
If “Together” provides the audience with any indication, it must be the fact that Donnie Yen should not quit his day job of action movies. Yen is laughably miscast as a romantic lead and while he is cool to look at, his relationship with Michelle Chen lacks any sort of chemistry and at times it feels as though Yen is playing Chen’s father. While clearly limited by the script and character. there is no question that Yen is a limited actor and his best performances (aka “Ip Man”) lies in being totally retrained from overacting. In this film, Yen is given a free pass to not smile which in many ways is a blessing in disguise as most of his worse performances and overacting comes from his overbearing smile. With his career on the highest end of the scale, I am not sure what Yen can gain from appearing in atrocious crap movies like these, but it once again shows that he should just stay in action movies in the mean time. Michelle Chen tries hard to stay serious in a role that is tailor made for just about anybody. Chen is a capable dramatic actress as she has shown in “You Are the Apple of My Eye” and “The Tempest of First Love”, but here she is reduced to look sad, vulnerable, dislocated and constantly concerned. However, just when you feel that the film cannot go any lower, the other romantic couple in question flairs even worse. Angelababy gives her worst performance of her career as she is constantly self-conscience and required to delivery one of the most cheesiest dialogue in cinematic history. One wonders why Michelle Chen is not once again paired up with Ko Chen-tung, as the two would have provided the film with some much needed chemistry. Ko Chen-tung is simply wasted in a role that requires him to act dopey, needy and simply dog-like. Chrissie Chau appears for next to no reason and Bosco Wong undo all the good things he has done in the past year by appearing in this non-existent role.
All in all, “Together” is a demeaning romantic comedy that is almost difficult to seat through. The only reason any one seat through this film is due to the appeal of its actors and actresses. Aside for this, director Clarence Fok has not made a movie in years and after “Together” he is best to stay retired. All the more disappointing is that scriptwriter Law Yiu-Fai has previously wrote some genuine Hong Kong moments in quality films like “My Name is Fame” and the crowd pleasing “My Sassy Hubby”, but somehow all his talents seem to have been thrown out the window in the current film. In fact, the film seems to be more focus on making fun of Donnie Yen’s lack of acting abilities than focusing on the coherency and entertainment of the film itself. “Together” ranks highly in the list of worst film of the year and with the high profile involvement of its cast members, it is likely to be one of the most disappointing films of the year. As for Valentine’s Day, there are far better films for couple to romance about, as “Together” might just as well make you separate. (Neo 2013)
I rated it 3/10