8:00 PM, 6th October, 2012
Zixin (Gao) is kind, funny, smart and easy on the eyes - a real catch. She also has a couple of admirers; the cute investment banker Shen-ran (Koo) who lives across the street and QiHong (Wu), a drunken architect who's at a low point in his career. QiHong met Zixin by chance and, besotted by her, gave up the bottle, while Shen-ran slowly builds the courage to ask her out by sending wordless windows messages - not the Microsoft kind, the old-fashioned glass kind. But missed chances mean Zixin stays single; for now. Three years later a series of coincidences bring all three back together for another chance at love.
Don't Go Breaking My Heart embraces this happenstance in its storytelling, and also deals out a decent amount of surprises and witty banter, making a great rom-com. All the actors here revel in their characters and bring a strong exuberance to the film. Johnnie To at the helm does a great job, despite it being a departure from his normal action-crime genre, and shows a subtle hand at comedy. Overall it's a fun and engaging romantic film from start to finish. Who does Zixin end up with? Well you'll have to come along to find out!
10:10 PM, 6th October, 2012
When a scientist working on a deadly strain of the smallpox virus decides to turn in his creation to the authorities, Jon (Chou) and his elite team are deployed to bring him in. But what was meant to be a routine escort mission quickly descends into chaos after one of their own betrays them and steals the virus. Left with an inoperable bullet in his brain, Jon is told he has only two weeks to live, and decides to spend his remaining time with his disabled mother. Then, as if the poor guy didn't already have enough to deal with, she goes and drops a bombshell on him: he has a long lost brother.
Setting off to Malaysia to track him down, Jon soon discovers that Yeung (Tse) isn't quite the sibling he'd always wanted. In fact, he just so happens to be part of a criminal operation that's shopping around a recently acquired smallpox virus (small world!). And before you know it, the two brothers on opposite sides of the law are in a race against time to prevent a global catastrophe. So much for bed rest...
The Viral Factor certainly isn't going to win any awards for originality (or logic, or acting, or for having an actual plot) but it's still an awesome blend of sprawling action set pieces, impressive stunt work and co-ordinated chaos that delivers exactly the sort of thrills you'd want from a late-night movie at the Film Group.