The Message- Review

The message; an unfortunately complicated film which is difficult to understand and cant even be saved by the visuals, which were dark and un-inspiring.
After a series of assassinations, it becomes apparent that there is a mole with the codename ‘Phantom’ amongst the governments anti-communist squad. The Five suspects from the squad are taken to a remote mansion and held there until Phantom is unmasked. The authorities have also leaked false information of the whereabouts of Commander Zhang in 5 days time, as a trap for the rebels. The mole has 5 days to get the message out to their fellow rebels to abort mission. What then follows is a classic ‘whodunit’ mystery, deaths and accusations aplenty.
Although there is a brief description of the setting of the film at the beginning, for the first half an hour, it doesn’t seem to make sense, and there is a struggle to pull any of the info given in this time frame into perspective. I feel that this film is difficult to understand, and even more so when having to read subtitles, making it difficult to understand who is saying what. It is possibly a decent film, if you can read Chinese.
Unfortunately, this film did not suck me in as it was supposed to, for me there was a definite lack of suspense, probably due to the subtitle barrier, so I actually found this quite boring. Of the five suspects, only two are really concentrated on, making it easy to guess who exactly phantom is. Even when a red herring is thrown into the mix, it is an obvious one. The only enjoyable part was the explanation at the end, when it is revealed what really happened through Phantoms eyes.

Year: 2009
Directed: Qunshu Gao, Kuo-fu Chen
Genre: Crime, Drama, Thriller, War
Runtime: 01:54
Country:  China

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