July 10, 2020
A slightly confused genre film, something I haven't seen from Chinese cinema in a while now. Nan Zhang tries to blend sci-fi/thriller elements with romance/drama, but that hill proves just a little too steep. The result is middling and somewhat disappointing, at the same time it's hard to miss the potential.
As a sci-fi/thriller, this film was pretty damn interesting. Some very cool visuals, a moody soundtrack and a somewhat basic but solid set-up kept me interested. The lair of the bad guys is awesome, the main character is ruthless and intriguing. Whenever this film turns dark, it's a real treat to watch.
But that's just half of the film. The other half is some sappy, cheesy romance that felt anything but sincere. The frequent switches between both parts were jarring, and they never really seemed to make sense together. It's a daring choice and if it would've worked this could've been a masterpiece, for now it's just a lot of potential squandered by poor choices and flawed execution.