Bodies at Rest 沉默的證人 (2019) - Hong Kong / China
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Opening the HKIFF festival requires a film that can generate enough buzz, yet with enough quality for the cinephiles. The director of “Die Hard 2” have been in China over the past 5 years, notably making the rather average Jackie Chan action starrer in “Skiptrace”, the good news is that “Bodies at Rest” is a return to form for Renny Harlin and the action on display will likely satisfy fans of the genre with a mix of Hollywood blockbuster style action with traditional Hong Kong action choreography.
Nick Cheung headlines the film as the pathologist whom is essentially thrown into a situation that you usually find Bruce Willis storming his way through the “Die Hard” series. We get a charismatic villainous display from veteran Richie Ren who is ably supported by rising star Carlos Chan. The only female presence comes from Yang Zi who more than holds her own as the intern at the morgue.
All in all, “Bodies at Rest” never tries to reinvent the genre and even managers to revoke the 90s “Die Hard” action movies within a defined and confined location. Action fans will rejoice at seeing Richie Ren and Nick Cheung going head to head, even if Cheung is really only a pathologist. The film sets entirely within the morgue provides an exciting backdrop and action set pieces for Harlin to play with and the result is a straight forward Hollywood inspired action blockbuster with a Hong Kong stylistic twist.
I rated it 7.5/10