Wednesday, 6 October 2010
DVD review - 'Connected'
For Grace Wong (Barbie Hsu), what starts out like an average ordinary weekday morning quickly turns into a waking nightmare. Shortly after dropping off her daughter at school, she finds herself rammed off the road, forcibly removed from her car and kidnapped by a bunch of unsavoury criminal types lead by a silver-haired snake in traffic cop shades, polo neck and beret. No explanation is given for the abduction other than that the bad guys want her brother, and are prepared to do the unspeakable to make him co-operate. But there's one thing the kidnappers didn't count on: Grace is an electronics whizz, and in the room in which she is incarcerated she is able to re-assemble the shattered remains of a telephone and get a signal out to a random telephone number. The number she happens to reach is the mobile phone of Bob (Louis Koo), a down-on-his-luck single dad with a tendency to screw things up. Naturally on hearing a total stranger beg for help he's inclined to dismiss it as a prank call, but once circumstances convince him otherwise, Bob realises it's time to put his screwing-up days behind him and, for once in his life, make good on a promise.
In case you're thinking any of this sounds at all familiar, you're right - this story has been told on film before, in David R Ellis' Cellular. But, in what the beer adverts of old would say makes a refreshing change, Connected is a rare instance of a Hollywood product being remade by Hong Kong filmmakers, as opposed to the more typical instance of Hollywood remaking every cult hit from overseas. With only a few minor alterations, Benny Chan's film follows the structure of Ellis' original pretty closely, and ultimately winds up every bit as entertaining a potboiler. In fact, all things considered, Chan's may be the stronger film.