You see Gordon Chan Ka-Seung at the direction, you see Andy Lau Tak-Wah (at a time when he already chose his roles much better), Anthony Wong Chau-Sang (and we're always happy to see that crook) and Michelle Reis for a little feminine touch, for actors. You even see by reading the pitch, that the film takes a small trip to Prague (yes !). In short, you start to think "This must be a good one !", right ?...Yes, well, you're totally wrong....just like me when I bought this crap....this film. Because Armageddon, though quite different, is worthy of his american namesake's mediocrity.
You follow Andy Lau, as a rich telecommunication magnate, recently elicted by a science magazine as one of the "ten future world leaders". But one after another, these ten big shots vanish in strange circumstances, thus implying an involvment of the "sect" "Brotherhood of Technology", led by major scientists and forewarning the end of the world. But when Adèle (with an accent (stroke) !....it's french, she says), Andy's late mate reappears before him, he understands that all of this goes way beyond any scientific explanation, precisely , as the good scientist he is, what he didn't want to admit. Therefore, is the end of the world really close ?
A quite attractive pitch, which however quickly shows its limits when treated in a so childish way. In order to "justify" the coming end of the world, the protagonists goes into some questionable correlations between forewarning signs of the end of the world from the Bible (by the way, we must have red a totally different one, cause my Apocalypse doesn't mention the same things....terrific !) and some recent historic events :
- "Satan will arrive on earth", and then Andy Lau, unblinking, "This must be Saddam Hussein !"
- "Rivers will be poisonned", which becomes "It's Tchernobyl !"
- "The people of Babylone will once more unite together", and then, Andy, who obviously know everything, says
"Have you heard about Euro-countries uniting together recently, that must be it !"
My god, how can someone dare to spill out such inanities worthy of a bunch of teenager on summer camp, in a feature length movie with big budget ?
Anthony Wong is of course very good in his CID cop role, not very cultured and a bit gruff. Michelle Reis properly fulfill her vacuous romance part, however Andy Lau, who was really good in some other films a that time though, basically gazes at himself throughout all the film like "do I have a great style, here ?", and doesn't bring much to the movie.
What's left then ? Anthony Wong, rarely disapointing anyway ? A trip to Prague (which by the way doesn't bring anything to the plotline) ? No, unfortunately, there will be nothing before the unbelievable final, to save this movie from the armageddon that takes it down (what a wordplay !...).
In Brief, here is a film with a big budget and an attractive cast but which, because of a screenplay written in three days time in the toilet between two crosswords by a Vincent Kok who should stick to romantic comedies, lamentably falls apart. Only the clear will to inovate (however failed) that comes out of this film and Anthony Wong presence could justify the viewing of this film... No, actually, nothing justifies the viewing of Armageddon.