Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Double Xposure (2012) @ 二次曝光

Double Xposure (2012) @ 二次曝光
William Feng 馮紹峰 and Fan Bing Bing 范冰冰 have zero chemistry together.

When will Fan Bing Bing go Hollywood?
At a glance:
Li Yu's heavily promoted Double Xposure (2012) a.k.a. 二次曝光 is a particularly mouth-waterin project for me because her previous Lost In Beijing (2007) a.k.a. 苹果 was such a delight to watch and here she gets to direct the mesmerisin Fan Bing Bing (范冰冰) again in yet another seedy Mainland dish. When these two get together, Fan almost always gets a sex scene or two and the poster invariably cashes in on her star appeal by depictin her in the throes of wet romance. We're introduced to a confident Fan as a plastic surgery consultant and her plastic surgeon boyfriend William Feng Shao Feng (馮紹峰) who is in fact two-timin her with her hedonistic bestie Huo Si Yan (霍思燕). The affair is soon uncovered to murderous ends but that ain't even what the movie is about, would you believe it.
Bad news on the doorstep:
Oh dear. Where's the script gonna go from here?
Yep, this quickly turned into an over-elaborate exercise in stylish futility, as the story implodes into almost a separate movie by the second half of its 105min run, upsettin genre expectations by rainin us down with too much information and iffy plot twists. There's no satisfaction to be drawn from the bizarre connections, leavin us with a lot of wasted cool CG work and soundmix to admire.
Yummy prospect. Undone by too much story.
Perennial wonderment:
When will Fan Bing Bing go Hollywood? I think she has one English-speakin role comin up, no?
Reminds me of:
Well, the initial frustration evokes Switchblade Romance (2003), that's for sure.
Watch out for:
Joan Chen (陳沖) as the clinic proprietor. She's unremarkable but reliable as always. Nice to see her get a run-out here.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
If this movie ended after the first plot twist, it would've at least been a competent mood piece. Unfortunately, the final product is a messy psychodrama that simply tried to do too much. I'm goin backwards now to check out Buddha Mountain (2010) a.k.a. 观音山, the last Fan-Li collaboration.★★
Bonus material:
Fairly watchable Chinese seductress Huo Si Yan 霍思燕