Review: Eternal Wave 密战 (2017) - China
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
Aaron Kwok headlines the 1930s Shanghai fight between the Communist party and the Japanese pending invasion in “Eternal Wave”. Like many of these similar themed movies, the story is similar only this time, we are talking about the importance of radio waves transmission as the only means of communication for the fight of the Communist party members. The film lack strong characters for the audience to relate towards and rely mostly on the well shot yet formulaic action scenes to suffice. We have all seen this same movie somewhere before and that’s not exactly inspiring.
The hardworking Aaron Kwok continues his attempt at different roles and playing a real life historical character for the first time. Kwok tries hard, but remains extremely limited characters and rather stoic throughout. Popular TV actress Zhao Liying could have been more than a pretty face, but here she is simply a “damsel in distress” disguised as the wife of Kwok in the fight against Japanese. Hong Kong’s Simon Yam is wasted in a cartoonish traitor role that is more fitted to a much lesser actor. Zhang Han looks good on-screen, but the character never goes deeper into his backstory to become a Chinese cop working for the Japanese. Zhang Lanxin flairs the best out of the lot as the main Japanese heroine who simply kick everyone ass along the way.
All in all, “Eternal Wave” isn’t exactly a waste of time as the Shanghai 1930s set is well constructed and some details in the sets are well made and shot. The action scenes reminds us of many of the 90s Jackie Chan’s style movies, but at the end the film is hammered by a routine and cliche filled script. It’s an uninspiring story filled with paper thin characters that ended up wasting its A-list cast. There could’ve also been more focus on radio wave communications and its difficulty as well.
I rated it 5/10