Inseparable presents a bizarre blend of Eastern film making practice with western sensibilities in a Chinese action film starring none other than Kevin Spacey alongside Daneil Wu. Just to be clear this is very much a foreign film made with little to no interaction with the American film industry but is rather a Chinese Blockbuster that exists in a strange universe also inhabited by Gareth Evans Indonesian nasty The Raid. What is presented however is a title that at the very least serves as an interesting curio of what happens when you take an A list star and plonk him down into a foreign landscape.
Li (Daniel Wu) is having problems at home, when we first meet the young man we see him contemplating suicide until he is interrupted by the mysterious American that lives in his apartment block. After talking him out of his plight the enigmatic American known as Chuck (Kevin Spacey) begins to formulate a mysterious three phase plan to rid the world of its evils and set Li free from the drudgery of everyday living. Kevin Spacey’s mad as a sack of hammers performance of Chuck is equal parts western cliché and set chewing genius. Chuck is a crass fast talking loud mouth that is pitted in such an awkward way it feels closer to shallow stereotype than a layered character. Much of this criticism though may be levied by the films demented u-turn in tone and content as revelations about the two characters relationship is revealed in a narrative decision that will most likely divide audiences final impression of the title.
It’s an interesting prospect to consider an A-List star in a title such as this, frankly it would be an all to cynical thought to suggest that perhaps Mr Spacey’s involvement in the film stems from a contractual obligation or hounding by the Chinese government, but quite why he was cast into such a role is probably the film’s biggest secret. On the outset, the character of Chuck could of easily been played by a Chinese national. The fact that Chuck is an American is all together brushed aside apart from a few cursory mentions, and the somewhat jarring mix of Daniel Wu jumping between conversing with Chinese characters and Mr Spacey proved to be more distracting than I would of liked
Ultimately Inseparable feels like a hodge-podge mix of previously explored ideas. At times the film feels closer to a poor man’s imitation of American hits such as Kick Ass or Fight Club. Suffice it to say Inseparable provides an enjoyable lark for its ninety or so minutes and at the very least a simple joy comes from watching Kevin Spacey’s hilariously tongue in cheek portrayal of an ostensibly offensive stereotype. It’s fair to say that your mileage will vary with a title such as this but for simple no frills entertainment, Inseparable provides a gentle distraction with this action filled culture clash treat