Director: Jingle Ma
Cast: Tony Leung, Kris Wu, Tiffany Tang, Du Juan, George Lam
RunTime: 1 hr 40 mins
Rating: PG (Some Violence)
Released By: mm2 Entertainment
Opening Day: 30 August 2018
Synopsis: Lin Zaifeng and Wang Chaoying are the best bounty hunters in the business. Finding the immensely destructive ‘Hand of God’ will prove who is better than the other, but they are not the only ones after it. Will Lin Zaifeng and Wang Chaoying put their differences aside and work together in the search for the ‘Hand of God’?
Viewers familiar with Asian cinema probably don’t have much to say about Tokyo Raiders (2000) and Seoul Raiders (2005). The fact that there is a third instalment to director Jingle Ma’s somewhat silly jet setting series is beyond us, but hey, the leading man is Tony Leung.
And anything with Tony Leung can’t be that bad, right?
The ridiculously suave Hong Kongcelebrity reprises his role as a private detective who is tasked with the impossible mission of saving the world from a computer programme simply known as the “Hand of God”. Yes, you are probably sniggering at the absurd name. Along the way, not only does he have to deal with a pair of sister and brother hackers, trouble also comes in the form of a former girlfriend who shows up.
If you ask us, there is no reason for this movie to exist except for fans of its stars to gawk at their idols on the big screen. Leung, who was a gem in See You Tomorrow (2016) but not so great in Monster Hunter 2 (2018), knows what it takes to strut his stuff. Complete with perfect hair, teeth and a nicely tailored jacket, the 56 year old actor makes it look effortless to be charming.
And as any sensible businessman would advise, if you are making a product, make sure you can bring it to the Mainland Chinese market. Enter Kris Wu (Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back), Du Juan (American Dreams in China) and Tiffany Tang (Bounty Hunters), who are gorgeous to look at but don’t bring anything further to their roles. Oh, you may also recognise Hong Kong actor singer George Lam in a brief appearance during the movie’s prologue.
As the title of the popcorn flick suggests, there are many gorgeous European backdrops for the stars to pose against. There are some nifty action sequences, eye pleasing cinematography and the occasional humour. But that doesn’t hide the fact that there is much room for improvement in the storyline.
There are scenes where characters speak in Klingon, which sci fi fans will know as an extraterrestrial humanoid species in the Star Trek franchise. This is a supposed strategy for the protagonists to speak in code so the bad guys can’t eavesdrop on them. We don’t need to go any further to show the nonsensicality of this movie.
Oh, then there is the finale which involves a tall tower, boiling chemicals and some intense fights between the good guys and the villains. The green screen effect is an eyesore and we don’t think any amount of good acting can save the sequence. And after the stakes are raised so high, there is a plot twist which makes everything else inconsequential and juvenile.
Running at 100 minutes, the editor could have easily tightened the end product by shaving off a good 20 minutes to keep viewers engaged. But in this day and age, the trick of getting good looking stars to flaunt their stuff for an extended duration on screen may just work.
(This is not a great movie but hey, there’s Tony Leung!)
Review by John Li