Review: HEARTFALL ARISES 驚心破 (2016) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Review: HEARTFALL ARISES 驚心破 (2016)

Review: HEARTFALL ARISES 驚心破 (2016)

Following an ill-fated pursuit that leads to the death of a notorious assassin known only as The General (Gao Weiguang), dedicated cop John Ma (Nicholas Tse) ends up getting shot in the heart. But Ma is lucky enough to be alive after receiving a successful heart transplant. After a year and a half, Ma is assigned to investigate a like-minded case similar to the deceased General's sinister plan. This time, he is paired with a criminal psychologist named Calvin Che (Lau Ching-Wan), who happens to receive an organ transplant from the same deceased General as well.

REVIEW: Four years ago, Nicholas Tse and Lau Ching-Wan made a successful collaboration in Lo Chi-Leung's stylish whodunit THE BULLET VANISHES. Now reuniting for the second time, both of them are given potentially interesting roles as two different individuals who received the same organ transplants from the deceased General. In fact, the movie poses an interesting question about the cause and effect of receiving an organ transplant from a ruthless killer like The General. Can an organ transplant affect a person's memory and behaviour? As preposterous as it may sound, such high-concept premise can be engaging if the story and the actors manage to convince us otherwise.

Unfortunately, HEARTFALL ARISES fails at almost every level. Despite the interesting premise, first-time feature director Ken Wu has little clues on how to execute his joint idea with co-writer Gu Shu-Yi into a thought-provoking thriller. The plot is filled with lots of implausibilities that forces us to suspend our disbelief. Wu also wasted the combined talents of Nicholas Tse and Lau Ching-Wan, in which their star powers alone aren't enough to overcome the movie's severely lack of solid execution.

Even the action scenes are a huge disappointment. The opening chase scene, complete with a jetpack escape (!), is hampered by a combination of shoddy green screen work and poor special effects. Elsewhere, there is a car chase scene in Thailand that barely raises a pulse.

As for the supporting casts, none of them manage to muster a decent role. Gao Weiguang is hardly threatening at all as The General. Tong Liya, who plays The General's ex-girlfriend, is sadly reduced to a thankless role while BabyJohn Choi's lighthearted cop role as the movie's comic relief feels out of place for this serious-minded thriller. Finally, Mavis Fan is equally wasted in her role as Ma's girlfriend.

Although HEARTFALL ARISES possesses an interesting psychological concept surrounding the cause and effect of an organ transplant from a killer's body, the movie is poorly executed in every aspect.

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