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|Index||16 reviews in total|
The film is not all bad, it has it's charm but the good parts are too
few and far between. The acting is generally very unconvincing, still
Bai Ling and Alec Newman are more or less OK most of the time. Parry
Shen is awful and overacts all the time, a shame since he has a big
role in the movie.
The story is weak with terrible plot holes. The emotional development is rushed and very hard to relate to. Bai Lings hard core assassin with a yearning for romance feels like two characters pushed into the same person.
The CGI is very sub-par for a movie made in 2007, I've seen Xbox 360 games with more realistic graphics.
The movie seems to rely entirely on Bai Lings push-up costumes and she is heavily exploited throughout the movie.
The worst part, however, is the pretentious artsy cuts and slow scenes that wants to make this movie into a cult classic, all of which feels embarrassing considering the apparent weaknesses of the narration, pacing, acting and CGI.
Watch it if you're a sucker for the genre, like I am. But keep your fast forward button handy.
But I actually liked it. Main characters are relatively well played and there are some cool (yet short) fighting scenes where Bai Ling shows some skills (a very quick scene reminds of "Equilibrium" gunning)! Her clothing (mainly) and face paintings are also worth to watch. A nice cyber-punk flick which tries to enter the Aeon Flux (etc) scene. The theme for the story (DNA) is clever but never develops much being a weak storyline. It was in this way that I was expecting more, more DNA hackers, more DNA exploitation (and explanation) and this is never delivered. If you are in this cyber-punk scene or Bai Ling's or this "super-heroin" thing, it's worth to watch, but don't be expecting much!!
A device is invented know as the transcoder. It can reform human DNA in
order to cure a disease or to kill them. But it has fatal results for
everyone who uses if except it's creator. The story centers around
Michelle an assassin who is trying to maintain a stable life in a
corrupt world, and her gambling brother Jackie who is in denial of his
problems and thinks they can be quickly fixed. Solemn (the
villain)wants the Transcoder for himself to save his wife and will use
deadly force if need be. Not knowing what it is Jackie steals the
Transcoder from Christian. Yada yada yada... The Transcode changes
hands a couple of times. Then the plot gets a little confusing, but
this movie is gem among those low budget straight to video sci-fi flicks. The acting is good and so is the directing. Although the cgi, production and camera work is the same as other straight to video films, i.e. ten years behind. The look is awesome and heavily influenced by H.R. Giger art. Many think it's suppose to be set in the future, but it is actual set in an alternate reality since there are no advances in technology except the DNA hacking. Bai Ling's out fits are unconventional and look great. She really kicks ass in this movie.
The plot is a little confusing and has a few plot holes. This movie is not for everyone. If you like techno punk futuristic waste land sci-fi movies then you will like this.
I give this film a 7 out of 10. The movie was entertaining by need work on the plot.
Get Your Body Beats, Let Your Blood Flow
Generally speaking, films which are set in the future really have to be
"futuristic" in some way, shape or form. "The Gene Generation" is
offered as being precisely that, but in its emotional impact and effect
it is more like a bad dream from the 1930s, except in color. Lots of
The first thing the viewer encounters in this bizarre tale of family loyalty and love lost, is the grim cityscape of the anonymous city where everything happens. There's nothing shiny or bright about it.
Perhaps that was an effort by the author and director to 'locate' the viewer or audience in something at least a little bit familiar. Too bad that the cityscape has approximately as much charm as East Berlin in the mid-1950s !! There's trash everywhere, stuff blows around in circles in the ( seemingly ) never-ending wind, and it's always dark.
It rains. It doesn't rain. It rains. That part of the subtext of this otherwise very ambitious movie really is doubly maddening.
People live in high rise apartment buildings where there's running water and plenty of electricity, and gadgets, but nobody to clear the trash from the hallways. Huh ? The street scenes are the same, with futuristic clutter and debris all over the place, except on the sidewalks where the heroine -- Bai Ling, ravishing at forty-two -- is either walking or running.
Transportation in this urban desolation appears to consist only of elevators and floating-on-air 'flying Dutchmen' type sailing ships.
It all looks really, really strange and inevitably that becomes a nasty impediment to the story line itself, which is actually rather good.
The heroine is an anti-hero, a paid assassin with a brother who is a gambling junkie and a self-destructive idiot. Even his best friend and comrade eventually jettisons him, literally turning his back and then walking away. So, yes, there are touching moments in this otherwise ultra-violent and ultra-cynical story of ultra-modern revenge.
It is hard to recommend this movie for the plot, which is so cynical, and so dark and twisted; but, it is hard not to admire the effort in art and in cinema design which went into creating this futuristic urban hell on earth. That part, or parts, are quite amazing. Is this city located on some other planet, one which merely resembles our earth ?
We will most certainly never know the answer to that question.
Seven out of ten mostly for the delectable and dexterous Bai Ling and also for one truly nasty, skulking-around-places gangster-type villain.
This movie is quite OK as a cyber-punk. It is not Oscar material, but I
found it totally enjoyable on a quiet Sunday.
The story admittedly is a little thin, and some times too emotional but still it was nice to watch. The actors are doing an OK job, and the lead actress is a beauty.
The CGI is OK, and the sets have that dark gloomy mood to it. The action sequences was OK choreographed as well.
If you like CP movies, then why not. Just don't expect Bladerunner, though even that was deemed doomed in its day. This is a paced action flick, with some love and emotion in to it.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Bai Ling stars as an assassin who kills DNA Hackers, people who use genetic manipulation to get into places they shouldn't Her brother is a twit with a gambling problem who ends up with a gene manipulator that put both of them on the hit list for the guys he owes money to as well as the people who want the manipulator back (including Faye Dunaway who is now a mass of tentacles and needs to it to once more look human). Odd sci-fi tale has a great deal of promise but never really goes anywhere. The film is hurt by a plot that isn't all that original once it gets going and the the character of the brother who is such and ass that you can't believe Bai Ling hasn't shot him already. Taken for what it is its an okay time passer. (Actually its good enough that it makes me wonder what the comic spin off is like.(Thats Tales of the DNA Hackers)
The plot: A beautiful, female assassin fights against DNA hackers, who
kill people by hacking into their body.
I think that Pearry Teo and I would get along really well. We seem to have the same taste in books, movies, and music. We both like dark, surreal fantasy/horror and gritty cyberpunk. His movies are filled with references to all the things that I like. The problem is that The Gene Generation is a rather shallow pastiche of gothy cyberpunk themes, with no real attempt at cohesion. While full of creative ideas, visually striking scenes, and attractive people in cool poses, it's also a jumbled mess. The pacing is just terrible, making the movie sometimes feel like it's three hours long.
I love everything about The Gene Generation, except the actual movie itself. This leaves me at a loss as to how to rate the movie. With some faster pacing, less exploitation, and tighter writing, this could have been amazing. But, then again, couldn't you say that about any movie? "If only it had been better, it would have been good!" I liked Necromentia better than The Gene Generation, so I think that he's improving. As far as a debut goes, I think this isn't bad... but it's still a bit of a rough watch. In the end, I recommend The Gene Generation only to genre fans, who are more likely to forgive its faults.
"The Gene Generation" is quite a mixed bag of a cyber-punk flick. The
movie has loads of trash elements as the somewhat cheap special
effects, especially from a visual point of view. To my surprise, this
adds a charming effect to the movie and gives the whole thing a quite
alternative identity that is a welcome change with many other visually
polished high definition three dimensions flicks nowadays. This element
fits to the dark and depressive surroundings, the weird characters and
the quite diversified and unusual soundtrack varying from soft piano
melodies to straight forward electronic Gothic music. This flick
definitely has a lot of elements to become a cult trash movie in the
years to come.
The story line of the flick is quite thin and more or less important. The movie doesn't build up much tension but a quite interesting desperate atmosphere. The pace is hold on a high level with a lot of fighting scenes with a high variety of guns and swords plus some martial arts moments that are sadly not always quite well cut and caught by the camera team. The movie contains also some emotional and erotic moments that are a welcome change in this dark tale of dystopia. Thanks to this good degree of variety, there aren't too many lengths in here.
To be honest, the biggest reason to watch this biopunk movie featuring many science-fiction and action elements are the tight leather clothing, the exotic face painting and the highly exposed beauty of main actress Bai Ling. To my positive surprise, the world star that made it from Sichuan province to California is not only nice to watch but she is also acting rather well. Her relationship to her brother who is always in trouble with money, gambling and mighty enemies and her romantic connection to a neighbour that is a hunted scientist are credible and she shows some great emotions in those scenes. That's the reason why I think that she has way more potential than being limited to play the crazy, lonesome, superficial whore image that Hollywood made out of that eccentric woman that has been through many hard times in her life. This is one of the rare movies from the last years where she can finally exploit a little bit more than this stereotype and truly act. The director still plays with her image of course but this time she plays authentically a responsible, serious and tough woman and not only a strange sex monster. There is only one sex scene and this one is quite credible. The rest is the same kind of dark eroticism that you also have in the Underworld movies and that fits quite well to the final product.
The other actors in this movie do a rather good job, for example Parry Shen or the short appearances of acting legend Faye Dunaway. Only Alec Newman is not quite convincing in this flick and his emotions towards a shining Bai Ling could be more passionate.
In the end, this movie is surely better than its reputation. I would definitely watch it again on a dark autumn or winter night. It's a very entertaining flick with cool action scenes, great music and a surprisingly good main actress in a dark dystopian atmosphere. Of course, fans of Bai Ling should also watch this. On the other side, the special effects are not well caught and the story line could be a little bit more original. This movie might be interesting for those that like movies such as Underworld, Equilibrium or The Matrix.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Why a mixed bag? I'll try to explain. On the one hand, you have an interesting production design that manages to creatively overcome a probably limited budget (though some of the CGI is sub-par). You also have the leggy Bai Ling as the lead: delivering (English) dialogue is not her strong suit, but delivering sex appeal is, and she seems to be a natural for action roles; her (only 2) fight scenes are pretty kickass. On the other hand, the story and especially the background of this futuristic world are sketchy at best (the director himself admits that 45 minutes were cut out of his original version), and the pace is numbingly slow (as I indicated above, there are really only 2 action scenes in the whole film). You can tell that a lot of effort went into the creation of "The Gene Generation", but ultimately it's not something that I would watch again in its entirety without the use of the fast-forward button. ** out of 4.
The entire plot of the film is that someone created a lot of CGI just
to make Bai Ling run around semi naked. She does look spectacular, but
that isn't a reason to make a movie. At least not this kind of movie.
Also Alec Newman plays a role that is supposedly important, but then he
gets very little screen time. Maybe that's for the best, considering
the quality of said role - Muad'dib it is not. And what the hell was
Faye Dunaway doing in this film, anyway?
Other than that you get just bad scripting, bad dialogue, bad editing, bad CGI, bad acting, bad everything. And worse, it wasn't even bad enough to be laughable, just pitiable. Therefore I rate it plainly "boring" and you should try to avoid it.
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