This energetic, pan-Pacific adventure lurches from one exotic location to another, jettisoning logic at every turn
At once wild and hopelessly clunky, this prospective pan-Pacific blockbuster about skulduggery in the mining industry proves far less notable for what it has to say about business than for the kind of business it represents. A Chinese-Australian co-production, Xue Xiaolu’s thriller aims to sell back to the west what traditionally gets exported east: pricey locations, filled with actors from both countries of origin, one in 10 of whom speaks English with any degree of naturalness. Watching it is like trying to interpret a trade agreement run through Google Translate; what money can’t buy, in this instance, is coherence or finesse.
The plot doesn’t so much trot as lurch violently around the globe, jettisoning logic at each turn. It opens in a Malawi composed of equal parts stock footage and green screen, where doughy middle-aged hero Mark (Lei Jiayin) is assigned to manage the aftermath of a gas explosion and strays with old flame Zhou (Tang Wei, a long way from Ang Lee’s Lust, Caution). A Chinese layover establishes a boardroom cover-up and Zhou’s apparent death in a plane crash. Thereafter, we’re off to Melbourne for a Bourne-style runaround, with Mark pursued by Ross Kemp-alikes for intel that hasn’t been properly established. Here at least Xue looks more assured, assisted by the car-smashing expertise of former Fast & Furious crew: their top-dollar write-offs require no dialogue or explanation.
Link : The Whistleblower review – mining industry thriller stuck in a hole