John B. (FilmFanwithCat) from MENLO PARK, CA Reviewed on 9/5/2013...
Beautiful Girl Kicks-Ass, and tries to save Loser,little brother.
Very enjoyable watching Her work. Pleasant features.(9.5.2013)
1 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Nice Visuals and Bai Ling's Raw Appeal is the Film's True Hi
Woopak | Where Dark Asian Knights Dwell | 01/28/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"There has been a lot of comic book to film adaptations for the past several years. Being a film based on a comic book called "DNA Hacker Chronicles" and a joint international effort between Asian and Western filmmakers, of course I was immediately drawn to "The Gene Generation". Why not? My expectations were very low and it stars sexy Chinese actress Bai Ling and the director is the comic book's creator; Pearry Teo--so how bad can it really get? I like Bai Ling and I like science fiction, so I decided to give it a shot.
In a post-apocalyptic future, science has created a device that can easily manipulate human D.N.A.--this device can either heal or cause abominations. When a group of profiteers/extremists intends to use the device as a weapon, Christian (Alec Newman) decides to steal the device to keep it from being used by the wrong people. Meanwhile, Michelle (Bai Ling), a beautiful assassin who works for the authorities to kill DNA hackers is pulled into her family's drama when her brother Jackie (Parry Shen) runs afoul of gambling debts and some hackers whose modus operandi is to mess with a victim's DNA. No matter how hard Michelle attempts to steer her brother from trouble, it just finds him and he always relies on her to bail him out. However, this time, Jackie may have gone too far as he crosses Michelle's own employers. Can Michelle save him and herself one last time?
I have very mixed feelings about this film. It has very attractive visuals, the CGI EFX looks like they came straight from an Xbox 360 and CGI fan boys will be somewhat satisfied. The film looks very cool, the CGI generated set designs are very moody and atmospheric. The costumes and characters looked like they came straight from a "cyberfunk" anime feature. There is one villain who looks like a "Sephiroth" (from Final Fantasy 7) rip-off and Michelle is so alluringly sexy but at the same time, looks very lethal. The story's main premise isn't really that bad, it has elements of corruption, social class, greed, love and family. There are also some creative elements--a typewriter is retooled to work as a computer, the ghettos have a filthy yet advanced look. (I loved the flying Chinese-inspired ships) and well, there is even splattering blood and some gore, not to mention, sex and nudity.
Ok, so I basically named most of the cool stuff I look for in a sci-fi film, but the problems of the film begin with its very uneven direction. Some plot elements seemed a little too rushed, it felt like Pearry Teo was in over his head trying to fit all the elements of the comic into one 96 minute film. Sequences seem to jump around at times, and lacks the necessary groundwork. All the elements seem really cool but the screenplay by Zhang Pingli and Keith Collea was inconsistent. The script is also a little dry and too obligatory.
As for the action sequences, some looked quite cool, while others were mediocre. There is a very cool scene when Michelle was surrounded by gunmen, and the way she dispatches her attackers was seemingly inspired by "Gun-Kata". (From Equilibrium and Ultraviolet). It was rather obvious that most of the film's budget went to the visually cool set designs and costumes that the fight scenes were sacrificed; some fights looked better than others though. The need for multiple angles and perspective camerawork is definitely needed to make the action hard-hitting and exciting--a low budget did hurt this needed practice. But to Bai Ling's credit, it did look like she did most of her own stunts. There is a lot of cool posturing that complements its cool visuals.
The acting for the most part is full of human angst. I don't think I saw anyone else smile aside from Bai Ling after she had sex with Alec Newman's character Christian. Bai Ling has a magnetic presence, at times she looks trashy yet but still remains so alluringly seductive that her nude scenes are definitely one of the film's saving grace. Her costumes and make up give her character a lot of personality, and I have to say, her lethal sexy character is enough to keep me glued to my seat. The supporting cast does a very mediocre job, given with the little factors they were given to work with. Parry Shen acts with the same style as with his other flicks and Faye Dunaway has a special guest appearance as the villainous Josephine.
Overall, "the Gene Generation" has all the elements sci-fi aficionados would look for; great visuals, a very sexy and cool heroine, sex and nudity, blood and violence, a decent premise but sadly it didn't do much with everything it had pitched in. The film is very superficial, and could have done a lot better with a more experienced director or as an anime series. I do appreciate that the filmmakers seemed to have their hearts in the right place. Sadly, after all is said and done, the lasting impression it leaves is just how seductively sexy Bai Ling really is--the rest is forgettable. Bai Ling's raw sexual appeal may well be enough to take this film out of the unwatchable list.
Recommended ONLY to Bai Ling fanboys and a Rental for everybody else. [3 Stars] "
Generates Little Excitement
Karen Shaub | the inner reaches of the outer limits | 06/17/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"I have to admit that I agree with most reviews on this film; it's nothing to write home about,yet on the other hand it's not really that bad either and I can honestly say that I have seen much, much worse. Its problem lies where all films problems lie and that's with the script. It's absolutely inane, absurd and makes virtually no sense at all even within the world it attempts to create. The actors seem to be working hard with what they are given but there's only so much they can accomplish with this tripe. Bai Ling does her best--meaning she fills out her sexy costume and strips down for a couple of nude scenes, and Parry Shen (best known for his brilliant performance in BETTER LUCK TOMORROW) gives his all trying to make his role of the troublesome younger brother interesting. In the end however, everyone is defeated by Singaporean director Pearry Teo's adaptation of his own comic book. You'd think that with this much control over the end product Teo would have been able to produce more than this confused and confusing flick that serves only to make the viewer wish they were watching BLADERUNNER.
Loved this movie, some people are too critical.
Nick | Mishawaka, IN | 12/04/2009
(5 out of 5 stars)
"If your a sci-fi fan, you'll like this one. It's fun. I feel people are being way too hard on this film. It's no masterpeice, but I liked it. Bai Ling is fantastic and super sexy. It's action packed. I liked it alot."
Good characters, strong start, bland execution by the end
ribcage | Lantana, Florida United States | 06/11/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"GENE GENERATION is an average film that valiantly strains to be more than average, but sadly it fails.
I was trapped by this movie in the first half hour or so. It was mesmerizing, the story was developing slowly, but I was just hooked. The characters were great, unfolding a story of a troubled relationship between a woman and her little brother who just couldn't get out of bad habits and being in the wrong place at the wrong time. The whole DNA hacking main plot wasn't opened up yet, entirely, but I was waiting with anticipation.
And it fell. Right on its face. I didn't feel like anything opened up, and the ending just didn't set off the spark that the beginning had promised. My hopes were dashed, while my excitement had already wandered off some thirty or forty minutes prior anyway.
On top of that, the whole premise of the film, this crazy DNA Hacking concept, wasn't explored to anywhere near the potential such an idea could have been. It was glazed over quickly, pushed to the side to highlight our protaganist's Michelle's dilemmas. And yeah, she's a good character acted out wonderfully by Bai Ling, but I didn't decide to watch this film because of either of those things -- my curiosity was piqued by this whole DNA HACKER / DNA ASSASSIN deal. I feel a little cheated.
The imagery and style was done well, but by the end I wasn't wowed. It was like Bladerunner meets all the 90s cyberpunk films it inspired plus a digital media arts students profile work slammed together. Maybe I'm being a little harsh because of my disappointment in the film fizzling out, but unfortunately I don't feel inspired to re-watch it again anytime soon to decide which it is.
That being said, I would watch it again for the characters and the acting, just not anytime soon. Definitely worth the rental, more than well worth adding to your collection if you're like me and enjoy piling up DVDs of varying quality for the fun of it."