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International Security Affairs agent Jon is on a dangerous mission to escort a criminal scientist to another country. En route, a member of his team, Sean, turns out to be a traitor and shoots Jon in the head while kidnapping the scientist. When Jon wakes up in the hospital, a doctor tells him that within weeks, the bullet in his brain will cause complete paralysis. Jon returns to Beijing to see his mother, who confesses that Jon has a brother in Malaysia who was raised by his father, a gambler. Jon takes a flight to Malaysia to find his brother, Yeung. On the plane he forms a bond with Dr. Kan, who promises to look into possible treatments for his condition. However, when they arrive, Yeung tries to kidnap the doctor and when Jon intervenes, he's also taken hostage. The two soon realize they're brothers, and decide to work together in order to keep the criminals behind the kidnappings from reinfecting the world of a disease long thought cured. Written by
A movie about a virus threat and brothers reuniting. One's a cop, the other a terrorist.
This movie gets a 4/10 for its good photography work and action sequences, but as a film, it fails. The story is overly long and stretches one's incredulity. Plus, the lead actors do not die, no matter that they were shot point-blank and shown to be hurt or dead. The scene cuts to another without explaining how they survived. A scene where one of them falls into a shaft and emerges unhurt was, how to put it? Quite incredible. There were also just to many coincidences. If everything happened in a confined space, fine. But these are international terrorists and agents.
And the ideal of a rogue agent is no longer fresh. It's been done to death in Mission Impossible and 007 movies. Directors like Dante Lam must think the audience to be very dumb to fall for the same line again.
The first part of the movie feels as if director is trying to cut a "Hey, I can do that too", mimicking camera work and clear as sky photographic shots ala Transformers and Hurt Locker. That the locale is a war-torn area does not help. It's to reminiscent of recent war movies. Best to just move it along or show something different.
What impresses is how much action they managed to shoot in Malaysia. If you live around that region, you'll enjoy the scenes. Jackie Chan hasn't filmed there in a while and so this is welcomed.
What started as promising degenerated into an overly long story arc. Perhaps the story of a virus for sale isn't that exciting anymore. It would have been a better story about how one agent coped with his loss and injury. Perhaps finding redemption and revenge and what else. HK movies typically dilute human emotion into convenient clichés, and that's their problem. They forget that it is not always that simple or straight forward. Do HKongers ever pause to reflect? Go deeper? Be different? Not by the evidence of this movie.
Dante Lam may be a competent action director, but even though he has shown he is as capable as Michael Bay. He has also demonstrated that his story-telling is just as bad. All maybe worse.
4 of 7 people found this review helpful.
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