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quietearth [Film Festival 06.06.08] movie review scifi

Year: 2007
Director: Pearry Reginald Teo
Writers: Keith Collea
IMDB: link
Trailer: link
Review by: quietearth
Rating: 6 out of 10

I had heard some negative opinions of this film before finally getting to see it, and while they lowered my expectations, the film was certainly worth every second. The directing and story ideas were solid but the film was hampered by some poor sound/ADR, a low budget, and a screenplay which lacked depth. Yes, the storyline was good, but I think it played out like a good Outer Limits episode with some random romance thrown in. And if you're wondering, yes, you get to see Bai Ling naked!

Set in a futuristic world where everyone wears black leather, scientists invent a dna device which can fix a patient instantly (like on Star Trek). However, the corporation they work for wants to turn it into a weapon and somehow this glove device revolts on those who use it, and early on, recombinates scientist Faye Dunaway's DNA turning her into a mass of writhing snakes. There is a huge explosion in the corporation building causing it to comedown, killing all the scientists but Faye and Christian. Christian is an idealist and has the last glove left. He secretly works on it while Faye's brother seeks to reclaim it.

Next door Bai Ling lives with her brother. She's hired to kill DNA hackers who, like her, are assassins. Her brother, a screwup, gambles, drinks, and gets into debt with the local loan shark who does his best Harvey Keitel impression the entire flick. Obviously all these elements get mixed together, with the dna fixing glove at the center and, like I said, some romance to boot. Here the story just seemed to careen haphazardly and I wish it had more depth at many of these points.

Heavily inspired by Alex Proyas' Dark City, the film contains countless cityscape shots, all cgi, but nonetheless fabulous. These were mixed with decent set shots, some like the apartment hallways inspired by Terry Gilliam's Brazil (the director told me), but were at points incongruent. Here's where one of the budget issues lie. Almost all of the set shots were closed scenery. The city was called Olympus and was in a depression surrounded by high walls where massive gothic sculptures presided. There was even a few shots of an overpowering moon hovering over, giving the feeling that this city was high in the atmosphere or in space.

Along with the futuristic dna technology, The Gene Generation sported steampunk inspired computers (or maybe more accurately like in Brazil) and some tight fight choreography. While Bai Ling may have a late course romance and constantly tries to keep her brother out of trouble, she makes a great action hero. At one point she says "I'll take care of it" as she shoots a guy dead to cover his hospital bills. Get it?

While the film has it's flaws, it is a must see. Director Pearry Reginald Teo clearly has some serious talent, and I think money infused with a better screenplay will propel him in his career. Wow it's late so I'm having a hard time writing this, hopefully I can comeback tomorrow afternoon and do some editing.

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