Channel NewsAsia

“re:solve” needs some reworking

Singapore director Randy Ang’s debut feature film, the crime thriller “re:solve” is a decidedly average film that has a hard-to-follow plot, stilted lines and not enough action sequences. 

SINGAPORE: Touted as “Singapore’s first action crime thriller”, Singapore director Randy Ang’s debut film “re:solve” has a storyline that actually sounds pretty interesting, and a trailer that looks great.

But the actual film is a plodding affair which could have benefited from more kinetic action sequences, and fewer plot holes.

“re:solve” tells the tale of Chen Shaoqiang (Chris Lee Chih Cheng), a member of the elite police Special Tactics Unit who manages to survive a botched raid on a band of smugglers, after being saved by his commanding officer Wu Tianle (Sunny Pang).

Wu, who died in the botched raid, gets the blame for the debacle after some of his men testify against him in a police inquiry.

Seven years later, a mysterious gang of robbers go on a crime spree, and seem intent on killing off all the Special Tactics Unit members involved in the botched raid.

They are led by a man who utilises Wu Tianle’s signature gun technique, the Double Tap.

Is it a mere coincidence or is it something more?

Chen, who now works in the Serious Crimes Unit, saddles up with his partner Yan Yongcheng (Yuan Shuai) to find the truth.

Red Herrings

In an effort to build up to its big plot twist, “re:solve” deliberately throws out a ton of red herrings to mislead audiences throughout the film.

The problem is that these red herrings are not properly thought out.

They often end up looking a little forced, and actually create plot holes which become painfully evident as the film goes on.

The film also contains a lot of clunky lines that simply sound unnatural and prevent audiences from being drawn into the world of “re:solve”.

Chang and Chen’s relatively uninspired performances in the film compounded this problem.

Interestingly, it is the film’s supporting cast which stole the show.

Yuan was excellent as Chen’s eager sidekick whose loyalty towards Chen surpasses his desire to follow the rules, while Xiang Yun effortlessly fleshed out her character in the film, despite only having very little screen time.

Less talk, more action please

It would’ve been a lot easier to forgive the many shortcomings of “re: solve” if it had some amazing action sequences.

Unfortunately, the action scenes are few and far between, with exposition taking up large chunks of the film and creating some pacing issues.

When the action sequences finally happen, they are a little tame and unsatisfying, save for an impressive fist fight aboard a cruise liner towards the end of the film.

After watching action-packed crime thrillers like “Firestorm” and “The White Storm”, it is hard to recommend “re: solve”, which has a lot of room for improvement.

Perhaps the only redeeming feature of the film is its technical polish.

Most of the film’s shots are framed very well, and serve to gradually ratchet up the tension.

The music in the film is also quite good, and sometimes helps communicate the tone of the scene when the cast’s acting doesn’t manage to get the job done.

2.5/5 stars

“re:solve” is now showing.

Tweet Photos, Videos and Update on this Story to  #cna