The reset: an exciting film if not a completely cohesive one
The Korean filmmaker known as Chang does the time warp again, and again, in the Chinese-produced sci-fi thriller “Reset” (Other name: TRI MANG DEM NGUOC). A film best described as the fair-to-middling realization of a cleverer-than-average high concept.
The MacGuffin here is a “data module” that contains info about technology capable of sending people way back into the past — make that back 110 minutes or so. Through artificial wormholes leading to parallel universes. But that’s merely the impetus for repeated time-jumps by research physicist Xia Tang (Yang Mi). Whose five-year-old son is kidnapped by bad guys demanding ownership of the aforementioned module. Who must go to extremes on two different occasions when her little boy is killed twice.
Yang Mi is impressively stressed and resourceful throughout the loop-the-loop narrative as Xia Tang repeatedly attempts to free her child. That from the clutches of the heavily-armed nonentities led by Tsui Hu (Wallace Huo), a tightly-focused villain whose motives are revealed a tad too late for generating suspense and/or sympathy. Each time she returns to take care of business, she’s a little less vulnerable. Until there are three of her dodging bullets, crashing cars, rappelling down buildings and uncovering clues. That indicate her sagacious mentor (King Shih-chieh) may not be altogether trustworthy.
Chang keeps “Reset” moving at a reasonably brisk pace
Though one cannot help but wonder whether Jackie Chan, one of the film’s producers. Might have done even more with scenes involving a humongous trash disposal and a deserted multi-level school. And to answer the obvious question: Yes, the movie is ripe for an American remake.
Rule No. 1 for overstressed mothers engaged in top-secret research that might make them the target of an enemy: Don’t let the babysitter leave your child alone.
That is the first mistake Xia Tian (Yang Mi) makes in “Reset” as she tries to balance her life with her work: opening a wormhole to parallel universes. Sure enough, a ruthless operative (Wallace Huo) from a competing company is on the loose. That willing to do anything to get the data Xia Tian and her colleagues are working on.
Because the process has not been completely successful. Xia Tian’s lab has prohibited human subjects from entering the portal. But she takes the chance and bursts through when her little son’s life is at stake to fight her competitor.
To say that this tense sci-fi thriller, directed by Chang (born Yoon Hong-seung) and produced by Jackie Chan
He has a strong female lead is an understatement. Thanks to the portal, we are treat to three simultaneous manifestations of Xia Tian. Which is about one more than we can easily keep track of when they are engage in a gun battle.
There is shooting and stabbing galore, a clever kidnapping-by-truck routine and breathtaking car chases. As well as a harrowing scene of our heroine sliding down a long conveyor belt that feeds a bubbling caldron of waste.
Over all, this is an exciting film if not a completely cohesive one. But Xia Tian’s ultimate decision about her career is a disappointment. One more thing: Think twice about using retinal biometrics for identification. (You’ll see).