This movie is the proof that the world is becoming a sick and dumb place
A film with more than the usual spoiler issues. Talking about it in any detail feels akin to handing you a gift-wrapped present and saying, "I hope you like it -- It's a thriller about a diabolical secret experiment."
what a terribly boring film. I'm sorry but this is absolutely not deserving of best picture and will be forgotten quickly. Entertaining and engaging cinema? No. Nothing performances with flat faces and mistaking silence for subtlety.
The Illuminated Lantern
Leave it to Hong Kong filmmakers to take a time travel premise and turn it into a gambling movie. Ekin Cheng is the gambler, and he has his eyes on taking the high rollers in Vegas. But things go wrong, and he ends up off a cliff -- but not before a mystic Indian talisman transports him, and the detective chasing him (Cecilia Cheung) back in time -- but only three days back, where they have to race to save lives, and of course fall in love. Bad jokes, bad English acting, and a silly time travel script that doesn't entirely add up, but what the heck, there is a lot of fun to be had along the way, and Ekin and Cecilia are entirely charming and can get you through the weak parts, and the Las Vegas desert setting adds some novelty into the production (for a Hong Kong film).
This is a strange mix of genres that you do sometimes see a lot of in Hong Kong films. It's partly a romantic comedy (which Netflix billed it as), but also more serious than that as well. Ekin Cheng thinks he's a hot shot gambler who just needs a chance (that is, money) to win big in Vegas. He gets that chance by stealing some money along with a friend. But things go horribly wrong and his friend ends up dead. But then he ends up going back in time rather mysteriously and has a chance to change things.The end and beginning are fairly serious, the middle is extremely funny in spots, almost slapstick.The English captioning is terrible at times, which is odd, because part of the movie is in English (it's set in Las Vegas), and they can't even get the subtitles for the English parts right.
The movie itself is a confusing mess of time lines that probably has loopholes I missed because it lost me somewhere along the way. What saves this movie is its humor, some of its jokes even made me laugh out loud, a feat not easily done - I'm generally one for spontaneous humor and not set ups. The chemistry between the leads also helped warm me to their characters. Wished they downplayed the sci-fi bit and gave the talented Jonathan Ke Quan a bigger role. 7/10
This is a little different film that I've seen from Hong Kong. This time a guy goes to Vegas to prove that he's the best card player/dealer. Things don't work as planned. But a with the help of a girl and some magic stones, he gets a second chance. It nothing new, as there are many films with this similar premise like Groundhog Day, 12:01, Run Lola Run. Those films are better, but this movie is entertaining enough to keep your interest with a nice mix of action, drama, romance, and a bit of science fiction.
**1/2 (Out of 4)