Could Have Been So Much Better!
Ernest Jagger | Culver City, California | 01/25/2007
(2 out of 5 stars)
"I was really hoping that this mystical, thriller/suspense film would be good, however, it is mediocre at best. "49 Days," is a thriller-suspense film that really never succeeds or delivers at being either a good thriller or a good suspense film. And although the films premise of mysticism is part of the films focus, it does not succeed at this end either. This film from Hong Kong has plenty of flaws. A lot of horror/suspense films do also, but that does not stop them from being enjoyable. The films premise was very good: An innocent man is accused of a crime he did not commit, and when sentenced to death, he has a window of 49 days in which to return. I was able to pick this DVD up at one of my local Asian video stores rather cheaply. So I cannot complain. Further, you never know whether or not a film is going to be good or not. It's hit and miss at times.
The film begins with the main protagonist, Lau Sing (Stephen Fung) as a successful entrepeneur of a medicinal company. He must leave his wife and children for a number of years while he goes off to make his fortune, and his business a success. His business is medicinal herbs: some from various plants and animals which indeed makes him very successful. However, he has a scheming business partner whom he thought was a close friend. The films antagonist, Pang Shi (Ho-Yin Wong) betrays his friend Lau Sing, and is responsible for the deaths of several people when he torches Lau Sings' business. Lau Sing is charged with the crime. It is here where the film introduces the character Siu Chin (Gillian Chung) who acts as Lau's defense attorney.
Siu Chin portrays a more or less comical character in the film, which along with the humor the film employs in its narrative, makes this a lesser film. As Lau is finally found guilty, he is sentenced to death. Here the film requires suspension of disbelief. At his execution, he is told that he has will be allowed to escape. However, there is a very important clause. [I do not wish to tell you, and therefore ruin this part of the film for you]. However, when he escapes he makes his way back to his home, where he finds the place he left not a happy home, but a bleak and deserted one. Something has happened while he was away. The film eventually deals with karma, however, this is done in a very poor manner, and therefore makes the film falter. Some may enjoy this film, however, the DVD I have is very badly subtitled. And the English language section is pretty bad. Recommended with caution: rent it. [Stars: 2.5]"