I was filled with anticipation for this. Partly because of my renewed confidence in Hong Kong movies, with "Echoes of The Rainbow" and "KJ: Music and Life" two of my recent favourites. And the short synopsis I read presented a delicious mix of sci-fi action, philosophy and romance, perhaps.
Aaron Kwok (郭富城) starred in this one as Sunny, a hapless clown in a circus, till a bio-chemical accident in a night of treasure-hunting with his fellow-performers, changes their lives. As a result, Sunny becomes a superhuman with incredible strength and accuracy in his knife-throwing, before gaining fame in the most extraordinary way. While the others look for riches as bandits, becoming "beasts" not only in their physical form, but in their souls, setting the stage for a violent, winner-takes-all encounter.
In my book, in many ways, the film delivered little. It is close to an epic action-flick; the only problem is, it looks like one from the 1990s, complete with the truckload of explosions. Which is rather sad, really, taking into account the high quality of film-making in Hong Kong in recent years. Philosophical? Perhaps a little, nothing really thought-provoking. Entertaining? Well, maybe, a little - just a little. Perhaps, what this film needs most is a huge dose of creativity, which sadly, was obviously lacking.
Personally, I took this as a temporary dip in standard (hey, I really can't complain with the good Hong Kong films I watched.), as my confidence in Hong Kong movies remains intact. Afterall, there are many other talented, dedicated film-makers in Hong Kong.
P.S.: With thanks to Omy.sg for its invitation; makes me believe for a moment that being a blogger does have its benefit.