Single father Bob (Louis Koo) receives a random phone call from a woman (Barbie Hsu) who claims to be a kidnap victim. She begs for his help and he slowly realises that he is responsible for her fate and that of her family. In order to help her, he must not only remain on the line to her at all times, he must also risk his own life to save those of people he has never even met.

In the current climate of Hollywood remakes, reimaginings and re-boots, Connection bucks the trend and presents audiences with a rare novelty: a Hong Kong remake of a Hollywood action flick. Director Benny Chan is one of Hong Kong cinema's most accomplished and prolific action movie directors, and with Connected, he positively turns the tables on Hollywood with his take on the 2004 thriller, Cellular, starring Kim Basinger, Chris Evans and William H. Macy. Adding more depth, stronger characters, a more complex plot and breathtakingly frenzied action sequences (which is saying something!) Connection feels more like the full-blooded original, while Cellular pales in comparison; resembling something more akin to a typically diluted Hollywood remake.

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A high-octane thriller full of exhilarating chase scenes, fight sequences and edge of seat suspense, Connected also takes time to explore the dynamics between its various characters. While it is no existential drama, it does pose a few pointed questions concerning contemporary society and its values, communication and alienation. The heart of the story is essentially one man’s attempts to do the right thing by his son and a complete stranger – the outcome of which seeks to reassure us that good things happen to good people. It’s all about how the little man can overcome big obstacles and emerge triumphant on the other side as the hero. Bob is not a typical hero – let alone a typical action-movie hero. He is weak, unreliable and selfish. His last ditch attempt to not let his son down veers into the melodramatic at times, and it’s a familiar story by now; however director Chan still manages to consistently throw us off course with unexpected twists and turns, all the while constantly cranking up the tension and exhilarating suspense. A thoughtful action movie which exhibits an emphasis on characterisation, as much as explosions and car chases.

Reviewed on: 07 Oct 2010
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Connected packshot
A single father receives a telephone call from a stranger who says she has been kidnapped.
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Director: Benny Chan

Writer: Alan Yuen, Benny Chan

Starring: Louis Koo, Barbie Hsu, Nick Cheung, Ye Liu, Siu-Wong Fan, Siu-Fai Cheung, Beibi Gong

Year: 2008

Runtime: 110 minutes

BBFC: 15 - Age Restricted

Country: China


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