Earthquake Bird is an odd little thriller with pretty extreme shifts in quality. The premise of the film is terribly weak, as if you're watching a cheap, 90s B-thriller. The intrigue is completely missing and the twists and turns along the way reminded me more of disappointing video rentals than good cinema.
Part of that is due to poor performances of the lead characters. It seems like Kobayashi was chosen only for his decent grasp of the English language (which I agree, is a bit of a problem for Japanese actors), Vikander is completely unconvincing as the mysterious and brooding Lucy. She's a pretty decent actress, but she simply couldn't pull off this role.
It looks as if Westmoreland realized this at some point and inserted several scenes that ramp up the atmosphere. The quality of the cinematography and the soundtrack suddenly soar and these moments are pretty great, sadly there's nothing underneath them to keep the tension alive. Whenever these scenes are over, the film defaults back to its bland self and carries on until the next great scene. Not terrible, but very uneven.