Insight

A blend of martial arts, action and sci-fi is what co-director and screenwriter Ken Zheng is going for in his first feature length film behind the camera. Did I mention he is also the star of the film? Zheng does everything here. Maybe this was overly ambitious for a first film as the result is a mish mash of tone and style accompanied by rather uneven acting.

Having worked as a counter terrorism agent, Jian (Ken Zheng – Brush With Danger) is used to working under pressure and on his own. All that he has done before pales in comparison when it comes to the death of his brother.

Despite not having spoken to his brother in years, Jian does not believe it when he is told his brother has died and it was by suicide. Deciding to look into things himself, Jian travels for the first time to Los Angeles and begins to investigate his brother’s death.

He ends up teaming up with LAPD detectives Carl (Tony Todd – Candyman, The Rock) and Abby (Madeline Zima – from television’s Californication) along with Captain Duke (Keith David – The Princess and the Frog, Coraline). Their lives are in constant danger as the man they are after is a criminal (Sean Patrick Flanery – Saw: The Final Chapter, The Boondock Saints) who is involved in the high tech underworld and was attempting to use Jian’s brothers special abilities to gain even more power.

Though there is an attempt to weave in other genres like sci-fi and action, really what this film amounts to is an excuse to have martial arts fight scenes. There are plenty and they, for the most part, are fast paced and fun. The choreography is rather original.

As for the story, well, that was a mess. Tries to be clever, but ends up just confusing as it is poorly done. In the end the film is way too long and the story is rather silly and involves no resolution, or even an obvious path.

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