Heartfall Arises 2016
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Heartfall Arises 2016

There are over 1.3 billion people in China – soon to be the largest film market in the world – so it’s hard to understand why the Chinese producers of Heartfall Arises couldn’t find one competent writer to produce a script. Headlined by Hong Kong stars Nicholas Tse Ting-fung and Lau Ching-wan and featuring more special-effects sequences than its joke of a story can handle, Heartfall Arises is a psychological thriller so abysmally written it plays like an extended parody of the very genre clichés it parades.

The twist in this seemingly ordinary police procedural is that either Ma or Che – both benefactors of organ transplants from The General – could be the new serial killer, as they have supposedly also inherited the memories, tastes, emotions and even murderous impulse of the dead man through his body parts. The surprise is that this isn’t even close to being the most far-fetched aspect of Heartfall Arises, which continually bombards audiences with one shockingly implausible scene after another.

Before its laughably inept climax high up a Hong Kong skyscraper, the film cycles through a non-romance between Ma and The General’s ex-girlfriend (Tong Liya), some inconsequential action scenes in Thailand, and much hot air between Ma and Che, as if they know what they’re talking about. A prime candidate for worst Chinese blockbuster of the year, this debut feature by writer-director Ken Wu, while constantly adopting the imagery of a game of chess, displays all the wisdom of a wooden chair.

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