Touch, The
Hong Kong 2002
Directed by Peter Pau.

After TOMORROW NEVER DIES Michelle Yeoh was on top of the world. But instead of continuing her Hollywood career (which knowing Hollywood would have been restricted to very stereotypical asian woman roles anyway), she began her own new production company and launched THE TOUCH, an Indiana Jones like caper, as her first picture. International distributors lined up around the block to get dibs on this hot property, shot mostly in English to get that international angle. But what was finally released was poorly paced by director Peter Pau, who seems unable to bring energy to a scene to save his life, and saddled with the worst CGI effects I have seen in any movie in a long, long time. The retro-oriental adventure concerns a map which reveals the location of some magic Tibetan artifact which looks like a glowing sno-cone, and retrieval of the artifact by Yeoh's family of acrobats, specially trained through many generations for that purpose. Hint to the filmmakers: When making a movie about a band of acrobats, please cast people who can actually do a little acrobatics. Instead, we have the likes of newcomer Brandon Chang, who not only does not seem capable of a summersault, is a terrible actor to boot. Ben Chaplin is Yeoh's love interest, and Richard Roxburgh is the British bad guy. Don't bother buying THE TOUCH right now, Yeoh has announced they are doing some more CGI work, in an attempt to make it look less laughable, before handing the film over to Miramax for a U.S. release. Although improving the CGI won't improve the bad acting and plodding direction, maybe it will fix the climactic ending, in which fire, stone, rope, and bodies in motion all absolutely refused to obey any known laws of physics.

Rating: Marginally Recommended (Marginally Recommended)

Posted by Peter Nepstad on September 08, 2004.

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