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Together
Together

Michelle Chen and Donnie Yen get Together.
Chinese: 在一起  
Year: 2013  
Director: Clarence Fok Yiu-Leung
  Writer: Lo Yiu-Fai
Cast: Donnie Yen Ji-Dan, Michelle Chen Yan-Xi, Angelababy, Ko Chen-Tung, Bosco Wong Chung-Chak, Chrissie Chau Sau-Na, Eric Kot Man-Fai, GC Goo Bi, King Kong, Evergreen Mak Cheung-Ching, Li Luo, Gwen Yao, Hans Chung, Jeannie Zheng, Hui Siu-Hung, Yuen King-Tan, 6 Wing, C. Kwan
The Skinny: Unfathomable romantic comedy with weird star pairings and even weirder everything else. Only for fans of the stars, who hopefully won't lose said fans after the film ends. Donnie Yen plays a man who cannot show emotion, so watching this film is like staying at his house for a week.
 
Review
by Kozo:
When star-packed romance omnibuses go wrong, you get Together. Directed by Clarence Fok (Naked Killer), this vapid date movie features passable production values but unfathomable everything else, from casting to story to its very reason for existence. Storylines are contrived, relationships are poorly developed, direction is uneven and the hotel lounge music soundtrack is the cherry on top. Really, everything about Together just feels off, such that one wonders why rising stars like Angelababy and You Are The Apple of My Eye duo Ko Chen-Tung and Michelle Chen even chose to sign up. The one star whose appearance makes sense: Donnie Yen, because you know he wants to show off his sensitive side. A convincing romantic turn by Yen would expand his career options – a crucial thing because the man is nearly fifty. Hey, you can’t do the Popeye punch forever.

Unfortunately, the only thing convincing about Donnie Yen in Together is Yen’s ability to act like himself. Donnie plays Officer Cool, a morose cop who suffers from “Facial Muscular Expression Deficiency Syndrome”. Right away, you know method acting was not required for this film. Cool says to his therapist, “Smiling is not the only sign of love,” setting up his contrived relationship with Jojo (Michelle Chen), an intermittent amnesiac and jilted bride who’s had previous run-ins with Cool. Jojo can’t remember anyone except for Cool, so he spends time with her before her upcoming surgery while her parents nod and say, “Cool Sir is a very good man.” Plot twists occur when Jojo’s fiancé makes a reappearance and Cool’s ex-girlfriend (leopard print-wearing Chrissie Chau) shows up to steal her completely unnecessary scenes. Eventually Donnie does smile and while the world doesn’t light up, the soundtrack does swell conspicuously.

Cool and Jojo’s story is intercut with a vacuous story involving Nam Lee (Angelababy), a brand name-worshipping yuppette who nevertheless declares, “Being rich doesn’t mean you can date me!” She rejects her slimy boss Foon Lam (Bosco Wong) and spends seven meaningless days with Boy (Ko Chen-Tung), an Internet acquaintance who goes by the name “Pork Chop Lover Nikita” because he, duh, loves pork chops. Nam Lee goes by “007 in Prada” and the two fake date by acting like they secretly hate each other before revealing that they secretly like each other. Wow, that’s ironic or meta or something. When Boy’s police job gets in the way, Foon Lam hatches a scheme to possess Nam Lee’s heart and soul. Meanwhile, a bunch of TVB actors cameo, including King Kong as an annoying delivery guy and Evergreen Mak as Boy’s superior officer. Also appearing: pork chops, just because.

Both of Together’s stories unfold according to the standard romantic comedy playbook, so the obvious question is if either reaches the typical resolution in an interesting or unexpected way. Well, both stories occasionally do the unexpected but neither does anything interesting. Together is a movie that was put together by a marketing department, with four names supported by a shoddy story that strings together familiar dramatic clichés and trite romantic touchstones. This is the sort of movie that attempts a montage every ten minutes, and when there isn’t a montage someone talks to the camera or acts in an exceptionally obvious manner. Donnie Yen gets credit for trying to stretch, but some of his scenes are bewildering. One moment, where he touches Chrissie Chau’s face four times while wandering in and out of frame, seems like an outtake that was left in the final cut. Maybe the filmmakers felt the scene was spontaneous, but really, it’s just weird.

Together does earn its wings as a star-watching vehicle. Ko Chen-Tung and Angelababy are undeniably photogenic, and Angelababy gets extra points for always wearing shorts and never pants or a long skirt. Michelle Chen is also fine to look at, but her simplistic character and assortment of little girl fashions makes her seem about seven years-old. Donnie Yen acts exactly how you would expect Donnie Yen to act in a romantic comedy – and depending on who you are, that might qualify as entertainment. Delivering a deliciously evil performance in a few minutes of screen time, Bosco Wong fares best – a notable achievement in this otherwise low expectation affair. It’s easy to fault Together for, well, everything that it does so let’s end with a positive: it’s only eighty-four minutes, meaning that in the same amount of time that it takes you to see The Hobbit you could actually see Together twice. But please don’t. (Kozo, 2/2013)

 
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Panorama Entertainment (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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