Movie reviews: Europe Raiders, Kin
EUROPE RAIDERS (PG)
A refusal to kill off its lead characters puts a damper on the third instalment of the action thriller trilogy directed by Jingle Ma.
After Tokyo Raiders (2000) and Seoul Raiders (2006), there is a grander title, Europe Raiders, despite most of the film taking place only in Italy.
Centred on an elaborate revenge plot by Sophie (Du Juan) to avenge her dead father, Europe Raiders treads on the devastating effects technology can have on humanity, and only one man, top bounty hunter Lin Zaifeng (Tony Leung), has the ability to stop it.
The Hand of God, capable of universal surveillance, has been stolen by Sophie, who threatens to upload the code for all to use unless her brother Rocky (Kris Wu) is released by the CIA.
The action sequences are deliciously filmed, with some flashbacks and voiceovers even reminiscent of Wong Kar Wai.
Pity about the mind-boggling conclusion, which bends over backwards to resurrect those who should be poignantly dead. - CLEMENT YONG - 3 Ticks
From the producers of Arrival and Stranger Things comes this sci-fi actioner, and it is easy to see the connection.
Directed by first-time feature film-makers Jonathan and Josh Baker, Kin boasts the same eye-pleasing aesthetics of the aforementioned titles.
More noticeable is the sense of quiet that pervades the movie, an effect that makes everything happen at a comfortable distance, yet appear all the more mysterious and sublime.
Myles Truitt, 16, stars as protagonist Eli, who picks up a big gun from another world. Kin holds viewers captive as the boy and his adoptive brother Jimmy (Jack Reynor) make a wild escape.
In hot pursuit are a determined gang leader (James Franco) and two invincible supersoldiers whose purpose is to retrieve their weapon.
Where Kin falls short is its rather flat leads, with the relationship between Eli and Jimmy in particular never being as convincing as they need to be.
But Dennis Quaid's performance as their father is a pleasant exception.
His subtle expression of anguish and a disturbingly absolute sense of morality gives Kin much-needed depth despite his limited screen time. - CLEMENT YONG - 3.5 Ticks