Thursday, June 29, 2017

Reset: Directed by Chang and Produced by J.C.

This film is a Chinese movie studio’s dream come true, because it has multiple Yang Mis, the glamorous star of the smash-hit Tiny Times franchise. However, instead of an editorial assistant at a fashion magazine, she plays Xia Tian, a dedicated theoretical physicist and single-mother. That is true of all the Xia Tians. To save her son, the research scientist will jump back in time more than once in Chang (a.k.a. Yoon Hong-seung)’s Reset, which opens tomorrow in New York.

There are two labs competing to develop alternate dimension wormholes as a means of time-travel. The one in America recklessly cut corners, resulting in wide-spread psychosis in its test subjects, who basically burned the joint to the ground. By the way, did we mention Reset was produced by Jackie Chan? It isn’t hard to see his influence, is it?

Of course, the Chinese lab is proceeding in a Steady-Eddie fashion, so the Western consortium hires Tsui Hu, a former guinea pig, to steal the NeXus group’s data and bomb their Metropolis-esque facilities back to the stone age. To circumvent security, Tsui Hu kidnaps Xia Tian’s son Doudou to force her to be the inside person. Being a real piece of human sludge, Tsui Hu kills Doudou as motivation for Xia Tian to complete the time travel experiment. That turns out to be a little too motivating. Escaping from Tsui Hu’s crew, Xia Tian comes back in time on her own, becoming a migraine-inducing loose cannon. Yes, this process will repeat again.

When it comes to logic, Reset simply couldn’t be bothered. Frankly, they never attempt to explain how Evil Corp hopes to make money off time travel. Seriously, are they spending all this time and effort to game the stock market or to pick every day’s trifecta at Aqueduct? It doesn’t really matter though, because Chang just carries us along with his lunacy. Yang has first class action chops (check her out in Wu Dang if you doubt it), which she gets to start exercising when the third Xia Tian comes along. We’ll admit it, watching bunch of Yang Mis running, jumping, and fighting bad guys is pretty much our idea of a good time.

To his credit, Wallace Huo also makes a surprisingly sinister villain. Honestly, you can practically see the black smoke coming out of Tsui Hu’s ears. Plus, Chin Shih-chieh is terrific in scenes that would be spoilery to explain.

Korean filmmaker Chang has an affinity for action (catch up with The Target for an armchair roller coaster ride) that never fails him in Reset. Granted, there is a lot of fudging and hocus-pocus in Cha Muchun’s screenplay, but it still presents a relatively fresh take on time travel that it then takes delight in complicating to high heaven. It’s a ton of unruly fun, but Yang still does some credible thesping as the distraught and driven parent. Highly recommended for fans of action and time travel movies, Reset opens tomorrow (6/30) in New York, at the AMC Empire.

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