Movie Review-The Viral Factor

Coming to home video August 28th thru Well Go USA

Plot- With an estimated budget of HK$200 million (US$25 million), this is one of the most expensive films in Hong Kong history. Directed by Dante Lam, this is a story about an agent named Jon who is on a mission to escort a criminal scientist out of the country. While starting this mission, a member of Jon’s team of agents is a traitor and shoots Jon in the head and kidnaps the scientist. When Jon finally gains consciousness in the hospital a doctor informs him within weeks or sooner, the bullet in his brain will cause complete paralysis. So Jon decides to go home and see his mom in Malaysia on this plane trip he forms a bond with a doctor who will try and find an alternative treatment to help him with his condition. When he arrives in Malaysia his mom tells him he has a brother, which he later finds out when his own brother tries also to kidnap the scientist. Will they find a way to work together and get the scientist back? Where is Springer when you need him?

Review-When you think of my opening comments about this being the most expensive major budget film in Hong Kong history, in America films like this they usually cost around the 70 to 90 million dark mark. What he did for this budget is nothing short of exceptional. This film does the globe-trotting that you are used to with films like Mission Impossible and Bourne. They used military tanks and planes for an authentic look. They basically gave you the kitchen sink in this film for a third of what a Hollywood film would have cost.
The plot of this film seems like it was thrown together on the fly, with the classic two brothers at odd, and then having to find a common ground with the merging of a viral threat just seemed like at times it did not feel so important to them. There is a part of this film that confused me, it is when the brothers meet and for a while, the viral outbreak threat seems to be forgotten until the climatic scenes. The action sequences were well shot, and the constant running of people, and shooting by people did look and feel incredible, it just felt towards the middle of the film that the film seemed to milk certain scenes too much, like it was stretching it out to make the film last longer. Maybe trim Viral down by say 15 minutes, would have been a better solution. The main characters were good at their roles. The plot while full of holes and disbelief tried its hardest to fill up those holes with action and motion.

The story has no believability at all to it, but Dante knew this and used action to make it forgotten at least that there is a story. There are rumors that Dante Lam called this his last film, and if that is the case, he at least gave us a decent enough film to end his legacy. All in all, there is enough sizzle to this film that at times you are ok but at others you need the steak, but it was a step down from the other action films Well Go has put out recently.

7 out of 10