RE:SOLVE (决义案) (2014)

Director: Randy Ang
Cast: Chris Lee, Sunny Pang, Mico Chang, Jimmy Wong, Yuan Shuai, Pamelyn Chee, Zheng Geping, Xiang Yun, Zhu Houren, Richard Low
RunTime: 1 hr 47 mins
Rating: PG (Some Violence)
Released By: MM2 Entertainment & Cathay-Keris Films
Official Website:

Opening Day: 27 February 2014

Synopsis: Singapore’s first crime thriller follows Serious Crimes Unit Inspector Chen Shaoqiang (Chris Lee Chih Cheng) as he tries to figure out a series of daring armed heists and seemingly unrelated murders. Shaoqiang must revisit his troubled past as a member of the elite Special Tactics Unit, after a botched raid seven years earlier that shattered the unity of his team, taking the life of his mentor Wu Tianle (Sunny Pang). The resulting cover up destroys his relationship with Tianle’s sister Wu Qizhen (Mico Chang Wei Chun). Shaoqiang’s past collides with the present, as heists are targeted at financial firm BWB Capital, where Qizhen and another former team mate, Wang Zhengming (Jimmy Wong), now work. Shaoqiang, and his new partner Yan Yongcheng (Yuan Shuai), must race against the clock to the catch the perpetrators as the heists escalate into a tense hostage situation, where the stakes not only involve the nation’s security, but also the lives of his friends.

Movie Review:

re: solve marks the directorial debut feature of Randy Ang, co-founder of the now-defunct Sinema Old School and producer of local indie dramas Becoming Royston and The Days.

Touted as Singapore’s first police action thriller, Ang’s ambition in breaking the convention of a typical local movie is evident in the explosive prologue. A team led by Wu Tianle (Sunny Pang) from the Police Tactical Unit is assigned to crack down an illegal transaction at the dock. But when the operation went wrong and Tianle is killed in the process, fingers are pointed against him and as a result causing him to lose his pension. Tianle’s sister, Qizhen (Mico Chang) who is in a romantic relationship with one of his brother’s subordinates, Shaoqiang (Chris Lee) blamed the latter for his incompetence in protecting his brother’s interests and subsequently broke up with him and left the force.

The biggest flaw with Ang’s script is that for all the hype and tension he built in the beginning is quickly squander away for the next hour or so. Taking place seven years later, Shaoqiang has risen to be an inspector with the CID while Qizhen has joined Shaoqiang’s ex teammate, Zhengming (Jimmy Wong) in a financial firm, BWB Capital. Shaoqiang and Qizhen once again have their paths crossed when a series of mysterious daring heists took place at BWB. With $15 million stolen and a few fellow PTU teammates killed, the only suspect Shaoqiang and his partner, Yong Cheng (Yuan Shuai) has in mind is Tianle. But the thing is how can a deceased man be the killer or is he truly dead?

Hampered by insipid storytelling, re:solve spent majority of the time on character development that goes nowhere and laughable half-baked police investigation routines. There’s never any concrete proof that Tianle is involved with the baddies and thus why revoked his pension? There’s subtle mention of police cover-up and stuff, which makes for some crazy storytelling yet none of the promised candy actually materialized.

The usual Hong Kong cops-and-robber flick normally has a major action sequence tuck in the middle to excite the senses but we had none of that right here. You probably go on to expect a bigger spectacle for the climatic conclusion especially when it took place onboard Superstar Virgo (yup that large cruise ship which most Singaporeans are familiar with). Eventually what you have is just a few tame shootouts and stiff fights between the two sides and of course a totally unconvincing twist that I will not reveal.      

The assembled cast which includes Mediacorp veterans Xiang Yun, Zheng Geping, Zhu Houren, Yuen Shuai and Channel 5 regulars Sunny Pang and Pamelyn Chee adds some need be weight to the production. But that can’t be said of the two foreign leads. With their atrocious wooden acting, Taiwanese idol actor Chris Lee and model Mico Chang simply lacks the charisma to carry the movie. Newcomer Jimmy Wong on the other hand holds himself well.

Technically, re: solve which is shot digitally on Alexa looks great on the big screen. The lensing by Jack Tan is cinematic though he is not given much opportunity to shoot on a wider canvas and musician Jim Lim supplies a serviceable score.

Movie Rating:

(re: solve aims high and hit low)

Review by Linus Tee

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