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Well people, another day, another crappy movie hitting our shores. Actually, this was filmed on our shores Pinewood Iskandar Studios in Johor, to be exact, so I guess that's something. That's about it for the praises.
If writer-director Vincent Zhou intended for this to show the world what Chinese cinema is made of, he has failed. The People's Republic has been kind to cineastes and mainstream movie-goers alike in the past decade, ranging from the beautifully thought-provoking (Jia Zhangke's "A Touch of Sin"), to the big and bombastic (John Woo's mega-blockbuster "Red Cliff"), even veering off into the hysterical (Stephen Chow's recent "The Mermaid"). They do not need to cater to Western audiences at all rather, it is the Western bigwigs that need to learn how to market these films properly. After all, if Ang Lee's "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" can gross over US$100 million in the United States alone, why can't others, right?
Alas, my plea falls on deaf ears, and here we are, relegated to a C- movie starring struggling actors and made by a filmmaker who apparently conceded to the "everyone-watches-only-English-movies" mentality. Imagine a Muppet Babies version of "Snakes on a Plane" and TV's "Lost" meshed together in an unholy mess; sprinkle some stilted English dialogue ("She died so horribLE. .. so tragicALLY") and some truly bad and overdone VFX, the kind that's as half-assed as those in "A Sound of Thunder" if not worse. In this day and age, are mutant cats scary at all, especially if they look like an evil version of Jiji from "Kiki's Delivery Service"?
Hell, the film even goes so far as to hiring attractive Chinese stars like Zhang YuQi to dress up the nonexistent plot (she tries, dammit), but I must confess, dear reader, to feeling a little sad for still-hunky ex-Superman Brandon Routh, who's film career is relegated to thankless roles such as this - a nonsensical riff on Steven Seagal's "Under Siege" character. Was "Superman Returns" really that toxic?
Sci-Fi Channel this ain't.
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