Language: Cantonese, Mandarin, English, Malay
Genre: Hong Kong action
Running Time: 2 Hours 2 Minutes
Director: Dante Lam
Cast: Nicholas Tse, Jay Chou, Andy On, Liu Kai-chi, Elaine Jin, Bai Bing, Lin Peng
Synopsis: “Jon (Jay Chou), an International Security Affairs agent unites with his elder brother (Nicholas Tse) to stop an international blackmail to release a deadly virus” (GSC Movies).
Verdict: The Viral Factor is perhaps one of Dante Lam‘s better works but definitely one of the worst written high budget Hong Kong action films I’ve ever seen. It’s like they took a familiar plot and made it worse and more unrealistic than it already was. The only thing that makes sense and is realistic in the movie is how incompetent and corrupt the Malaysian police are. Not just the plot, the acting of the non-veterans are horrible as well. I thought Nicholas Tse (as Man Yeung) did a great job, until the second half of the film. The action scenes are vague, except the unimportantly emphasised explosions and car crashes, and some of them are so ridiculous, I burst out laughing.
What’s the point of filming the movie in Malaysia? It’s not like the plot involves the environment, culture or lifestyle here. The Malaysians on the film can’t even speak fluent Malay, how embarrassing is that? They probably chose to film here because of the famously incompetent and corrupt authorities. [SPOILER BEGINS HERE] Man Yeung is the most wanted criminal in the country and yet he gets to go around without any heavy disguise (not even glasses or wig!). And the both protagonists manages to escape from the cops many times in movie. [SPOILER ENDS HERE]
What’s the point of this side-plot and the epilogue? [SPOILER BEGINS HERE] Oh, so Ice cheated on Jon (Jay Chou) with their colleague and hence the break-up. So what? It doesn’t seem to have much impact on the story. And the meaningless epilogue on how Jon finally found that someone (Man Yeung, as though it isn’t predictable) who would helped him when he’s drowning in his nightmares and that he was there all along? That bullet must have really gotten in his brains ’cause it’s actually the other way round (he helped Man Yeung instead). Unbelievably stupid. [SPOILER ENDS HERE]
Other nonsense in the movie: [SPOILER BEGINS HERE] After all that chasing around at the train station, do they really need tickets? Jon didn’t have one. What, Man Yeung a righteous thief? He fuckin’ killed innocent people, you dumbass dad! Wow, Jon bumps into the doctor. Wow, Jon bumps into his brother. Wow, Jon bumps into an action scene. Wow, Jon bumps into his brother again. Oh, Sean speaks English with an accent. Oh, Jon only speaks in Mandarin. Oh, his brother only speaks in Cantonese. Oh, the English-speaking Sean finally speaks Mandarin. Gosh, make up your lingual minds already! [SPOILER ENDS HERE]
The most retarded scene: [SPOILER BEGINS HERE] After getting shot numerous times to the front and back of his body and falling off from buildings twice in his life, the still alive and kicking Man Yeung says, “Hang in there, little brother!” to Jon who’s wearing a bulletproof vest. [SPOILER ENDS HERE]
Rating: 1 / 5
Second opinion: “Touching story but with many laughable scenes; Sean (Andy On) is hot” (Iris Loong).