When I first saw the poster of this film, I thought, “hmm Chris Hemsworth is in it, this film must be not bad.”
Then a friend of mine told me that Wang Lee Hom, a Taiwan’s singer was going to be in the movie as well. I know for fact that he is fluent in English, and he was also a really good singer (despite all the jokes that I made about him during high school).
So I decided to watch this movie. And it was 133 minutes that I could never get back.
My biggest mistake in watching this film was that I didn’t watch the trailer before I watched the movie.
Second thing was, I did not make any further research about this movie like what I usually do.
Although the wiki page only says that this movie was co-produced and directed by Michael Mann, but what they did not mention was the film was in collaboration, which I’m pretty sure with an Indonesian producer and director. You can see it during the credit scene there were two names under the producer and director. And also because of many of the scene was taken in Indonesia, and the language that they used.
Having $80 million dollar as the budget might be considered as low budget in Hollywood, but I personally feel that this film is not worth of 80 million at all.
First of all was because of the very bad camera angle. It was too shaky especially during the fighting scene and running scene. Unlike other action movies, this scene would actually make you feel dizzy and to be honest the camera did not capture any movement at all. It was so bad to a point where you can’t actually see the actor during those scene. Also the most disturbing thing about this film through only the running and fighting scene was as if it was being shot with a phone camera.
Not only that, another shaky camera angle was during the moment where Chris Hemsworth and the main actress of the movie enter Perak, a city in Malaysia. You can actually feel it that they shoot that particular scene through a helicopter. Also you can actually feel the unsteadiness of the camera due to maybe wind or I don’t know, a shaky hand? But regardless of how you shot that film, those scene was taken as if it was an amateur would take it.
I am pretty sure, if one day I make an action film, it would be something like that.
Second thing was the voice. There were some scene that you can actually hear the sound very loudly, too loud if I would say. Like for example the scene where Captain Chen (Wang Lee Hom) clicking his keyboard when he found about the code. That part was too loud. I know that sometimes people makes loud noise when they are typing on their keyboard but not that loud. Other than that was also because of few scenes that have a sudden change in the clarity of their voices. Some of it you can actually see the separation between one noise and the others or from one speaking scene to another speaking scene because the differences was so distinct. Emphasise on noise can be good for a tense scene but the way they used it was horrible. They used in on scenes that are actually really calm, which makes this film so disturbing.
Last but not least was also have to do with its screen taking technique. Some of the scene transition was not smooth at all. The scene that I noticed the most was during the FBI boss called Viola Davis (I am not sure what was the name of her character) to tell her that she needs to take Nick (Chris Hemsworth) back to the U.S. At first they were taking it from the side of his face, and suddenly it moves to taking shot of his face from the front. Although this only happened once in the film but it was very noticeable.
Other than the technical issues of the film. The biggest flaws of them all was the storyline. Not because it has a bad storyline, although I must say I didn’t get the point of the story half way to the film. But it was due to the introduction of the characters love stories. It was very predictable due to some scene where Chris Hemsworth was just looking at the main actress’ shoulder. When he looked at the shoulder, the camera was also only focusing at her shoulder and her lips. If she wasn’t talking during that scene then I would think that was just fine, but the problem was she was talking at that time. So we can listen to her words but we can’t actually see her face due to the camera focusing too much on her lips and shoulder. That gave too much clue on there were going to be a love scene between the two main characters. Also it makes the scene so forgettable. But thankfully, they manage to remind us about the love stories between the two main characters every second after that scene kicked off.
Minor flaws about the film storyline was also during a scene when the actress waved at Wang Lee Hom before his car blew up in flames. That waved gave another sneak peek to what is going to happen in the story, which makes watching it no longer fun.
Despite of all this negative comments about this film I must praise the way this film has integrated the stories with introducing the culture of each countries that they shoot in.
Would I recommend this film to others? Hell no. This film was really forgettable. But if you still want to watch it because of Chris Hemsworth, Viola Davis, or even Wang Lee Hom, I am just gonna warn you up front. This movie was. 133 minutes that I could never get back.