My friend Paul sort of recommended this, said something like it was an interesting attempt at real science fiction. I agree; unfortunately, it failed. It’s like all the furniture was there, in terms of settings and atmosphere, the party was all ready, but nobody came. The characters were unsympathetic and the plot all but incomprehensible, some hugger-mugger about genetics. It used an interesting mix of language, a bit like Nadsat in A Clockwork Orange, but the movie it was most reminiscent of was THX-1138, in that odd people were doing odd things for reasons I never completely understood. But THX-1138 was visually stunning and sly, and this wasn’t. The plot also involves memory erasure, such that one lover doesn’t remember loving another. Too bad, because Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind handled the same subject matter so much better.
One interesting side note, though. Shanghai and Dubai, two of the filming locations for this movie, are both starting to look a lot like Bladerunner. Ultra-modern skyscrapers and a world of poverty on the ground level and in the ‘burbs. Reminds me again of just how quickly some parts of the world are catching up and even surpassing the United States in technology and infrastructure. I mean, the 2 tallest buildings in the world are in … Kuala Lumpur? Shanghai, Taipei, Pyongyang, Hong Kong, Shenzhen, and Guangzhou all have buildings bigger than the Empire State (depending on how you measure them), and I don’t even know where Shenzhen is … and a lot of the architecture is much more imaginative than anything you’ll see here. Japan and South Korea are already much more wired in to cyberspace that we are, and China is catching up fast.