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Category:    Home > Reviews > Action > Thriller > Hong Kong > Divergence (2005/Tartan Video/DTS DVD-Video)

Divergence (2005/Tartan Video/DTS DVD-Video)


Picture: C+     Sound: B-     Extras: B-     Film: B-



Benny Chan’s Divergence (2005) is one of the best and smartest Hong Kong action films to come along in a while.  It begins with a young lady being stalked by a hoodlum, but someone more dangerous intervening and beginning the web of an action mystery tale we do not see enough.  There is the policeman who cannot find his fiancée and is not exactly happy with his life to begin with.  There is a no-good lawyer who will do anything to get his way.  Then there is the mysterious figure who stops the hoodlum, who turns out to be a crazy assassin who likes what he does.


At first, there is no connection, but that slowly changes and Ivy Ho’s screenplay is often top notch, though the ultimate problem that holds this back from greatness is too many action sequences and not enough suspense.  Still, the acting is good, locations exceptional and pace energetic.  One just wishes it did not overplay its hand in the last third in particular and with 100 minutes, there was time for balance.  A longer film would have worked too.


The anamorphically enhanced 2.35 X 1 image is shot very well by cinematographer Anthony Pun, H.K.S.C., with some of the best form we have seen in a Hong Kong action film to date.  The sound is here in Dolby Digital 5.1 and DTS 5.1 mixes, but despite being a Dolby Digital theatrical release, there are limits in the depth and surrounds.  Editing of picture and sound are also better than you get in the genre.  Extras include director’s commentary on DVD 1 and stills, gala premiere, trailers for this & other Tartan titles and a making of featurette.  Since it is a standout, you can see why Tartan gave it a DVD set.  Now you can see for yourself.



-   Nicholas Sheffo


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