Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Press Conference: Invisible Target aka Tripod

[This was part of the FILMART Event]

Come mid-July this year, renowned Hong Kong action movie director Benny Chan will have his new movie released. Titled Invisible Target (aka Tripod), starring an exciting cast of Jaycee Chan, Elanne Kong, Nicholas Tse, Wu Jing, Shawn Yue and Andy On, we were treated to an exclusive 4 minute cut of a work still in production. Everyone save for Shawn and Andy were present for today's Press Conference.

The following will contain mild spoilers, so for those who wish not to know anything much about the movie, you're advised to just admire the pictures, and skip all the text. Otherwise, read on...

Spoiler Alert
The 4 minute trailer of sorts started off with quiet contemplation, introducing us to the main cast, filled with voiceovers about their characters. Soon enough, all hell broke loose, and the action begins. They are hard hitting street fights amongst cast members, and co-operative fights against others, some with fancy stunts and wire work (which seemed quite obvious). What probably caught my attention, were action stunt sequences involving leaps and double decker buses. As always, there are moments of comedy, and there was one particular scene shown with three bare bodied actors giving each other a rubdown on their bruises.

Director Benny Chan is no stranger to Hong Kong action movies, having helmed a fair share of recent titles like Rob-B-Hood, Divergence and New Police Story. He was proud to share that Invisible Target will be a different sort of action thriller, one which is youthful, energetic and full of power, and that the cast, from what we saw in the action and fight sequences, did their own stunts. What we've seen from the clips was a result of 4 months of shooting, and it was specially edited for the conference.

Benny also assured that this was different from his other action movies, as those in the past usually contained gun battle and explosions, whereas this one relied more on the muscle strength and fisticuffs.

The character that Jaycee Chan plays in the movie is a cop who goes strictly by the book. And to prepare for the role, he felt that he had to beef up his upper body strength in order to look comparable to his peers in the movie. Wu Jing plays a rebel with his own set of philosophical values, and revealed that he had a hard time fighting with Jaycee, Nicholas Tse and Shawn Yue.

The only notable female cast in the movie, Elanne Kong also plays a cop, but one who is assisting the team from behind the scenes. Her character is the girlfriend of Shawn Yue's, and she was clearly excited about being in a Benny Chan film, and having felt no pressure despite being in a big movie. She shared that one of her memorable scenes so far, was a crying scene, in which she found difficult, but thanks to coaxing from the director, she was able to do so.

Nicholas Tse introduced his role as a cop with a personal vendetta, joining the force in order to fulfil his vengeful desire, rather than to serve public order. This movie is currently his most memorable action movie to date, especially the stunt involving the bus. He added that he hoped Invisible Target adds a new dimension to Hong Kong action movies, and laments the day should this genre cease to churn out quality works.

During the conference, it was fairly obvious on the excellent camaraderie amongst the cast, especially between Nicholas and Wu Jing, as they traded barbs and "war stories" about how hard hitting the action thriller is, and how they traded real, but controlled, blows at each other in order to present the best possible shot for the scene. As their mantra goes, it's better to hit or be hit once, than to have a retake and be hit 10 times. Despite some of the stunts that we've seen in the clip look fairly dangerous, they assured that they were indeed safe to do so.

Nicholas, in answer to a query, revealed that he was indeed honoured to have been able to spar with Wu Jing (a real martial arts champion) in the movies, and exchange tips and pointers with him, given his growing interest in martial arts, and martial arts movies (like Dragon Tiger Gate). The chemistry between the two was undeniable, and Wu Jing did feel a bit of pressure in getting things right, and gushed about the realistic action fight sequences in the movie, as compared to the more fantastical / poseur like fights that audiences have grown accustomed to.

The conference wrapped with an announcement that Invisible Target will be making its Pan-Asian district premiere come mid July this year. This goes into my books as a definite must watch, together with a certain Donnie Yen production, which from the trailer we saw, just blew us away. We hope to be able to bring you some scoop on that soon!

Here's the video of the press conference (approx 15min), including a snippet of the 4 minute clip!

Text: Stefan
Photos: Lokman / CK Yip
Videos: CK Yip

No comments: