Together (2013)

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together 2013 poster

With two inter-cutting stories, Together first follows the relationship between a police officer Chen (Donnie Yen) and Jojo (Michelle Chen), an amnesiac who constantly has run-ins with Yen’s character including an incident which is hinted at in flashbacks. As she comes to only maintain the most recent of memories, Chen and Jojo spend more and more time together as the day of a memory restoring surgery inches closer. The second story features a designer brand wearing Beijing girl Li who meets a surveillance expert for the police department (Ko Chen-tung). When their initial encounter leaves both of them with not the best of first impressions, they agree to go on a series of ‘dates’ as a sort of challenge to each’s somewhat narcissistic sense of attraction. As they spend time together they grow closer but when Li shows up in connection to a case the Ko’s character is working, will this seemingly perfect courtship end prematurely?
The answer of course is no. As a staple of cinema, it is all too obvious how things will end up but the question is how much chemistry and interesting developments will the film introduce before reaching the foregone conclusion? Unfortunately, despite the attractive people on display, Together is less an entertaining film and a chance for action wizard Donnie Yen to stretch his acting chops as it is a mediocre mess of sappiness and uninteresting events.
Director Clarence Fok has the elements down for a successful film, but the lack of storytelling elements to keep the viewer interested are indicative of a laziness that seems all to common an issue in Hong Kong and Chinese comedies. Yen and Chen share odd glances and the onscreen ‘chemistry’ between the two is as interesting as a brick. Yen’s character’s personal affliction is so ridiculously hackneyed that you truly have to suspend some disbelief at its inclusion. Ko and Angelbaby’s segments are cute initially but are so chaste that you wonder if they are adults or elementary kids in puppy love. It is cheesy at times and hardly challenging stuff though the fluff the film populates these scenes with is hard to choke down at points. Though the film itself is more star power than substance, I can’t let this review go by without mentioning how great Angelababy looks in every scene she appears. It’s a small caveat for such a film where she is merely a quarter of the cast but I’ll take it if they give it.
In the end, Together is a generally run of the mill romcom which offers attractive leads in predictable and frequently tread territory. While it does have its place and targeted audience, I can’t honestly call this film a good movie. I would never take away any affection fans have for the film, but the sheer lack of originality and virtually no attempt to conceal it, you may be better off in a singularly focused picture. Angelababy in short shorts though.
You may enjoy this film if you liked: Para Para Sakura, ATM Error, and/or Love on the Rocks

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Long time film lover and occasional writer. I watch anything and everything though I have massive love for the works of Shunji Iwai, Jackie Chan, Johnnie To, and Kinji Fukasaku. POP! POP!

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