Fantasia Film Review: Black and White – The Dawn of Justice

(Source: China Film Group Corporation)

(Source: China Film Group Corporation)

There are hits and there are misses.

You probably guess which one this was. Black & White: The Dawn of Justice, not to be confused with another movie of a similar name, feels and strides along like a blockbuster. Forget the title, because it really tells you nothing about the film. I have nothing against the fight choreography and I would say the storyline moves along nicely for the first half. Then it kind of bogs along as it decides to add more elements to its equation, and the entertainment feels a little forced.

Welcome to Harbor City. Officer Wu Ying-Hsing (Mark Chao) is on the case of a group of terrorists who have stolen codes to a military defense system that can launch rockets which emit an EMP blast when exploding. They are highly training and carry around sophisticated assault weapons. That includes a remote controlled drone with a machine gun that is dangerously closed to being copycat by someone with bad intentions. Anyhow, it’s not all grim for Wu who gets to team up with Chen Zen (Kevin Lin), who’s irreverent and obnoxious but also clever. So the whole deal is that Wu has the brawn and the heart while Chen is the brains and the wit. That would work for me, except that we have to throw a lot more into the mix.

What should be a fun buddy cop movie, gets bogged down as unexpected blood connections turn up. Yes, we have long lost relatives in the storyline while people are still running around. The annoying part here is that the movie believes to be upping the ante by increasing the amount of CGI we see on screen. When we literally are watching a CGI building with CGI choppers, CGI fighter planes and CGI explosions, there’s a moment in which any little emotional investment you have on the characters goes out the window. It also doesn’t help that the CGI is not quite the best – I mean, it’s quite above average from your run-of-the-mill independent movie, but it’s miles from Industrial Light and Magic fare.

Not recommended. Yes, it’s entertaining – wish they’d skip the whole “secret sibling” storyline halfway in, it really adds nothing and it just killed any momentum that the movie had. Once we get to a building that doesn’t exist, getting attacked with planes that doesn’t exist, the whole thing came to a complete stop. As a blockbuster, it probably sold a lot of tickets. It just makes me regret adding it to my lineup at the last minute.

Coming next! Two more Saturday movies as I get ready for hopefully more badass stuff coming this week.

  • Monday, July 20 – 19:40 – Børning (Concordia Hall Theatre)
  • Tuesday, July 21 – 19:30 – Nowhere Girl(Concordia Hall Theatre)

That will do for now.

(Sources: Fantasia International Film Festival)

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