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Viral Factor

4.0 out of 5 stars 23 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

International Security Affairs agent Jon is on a dangerous mission to escort a criminal scientist to another country. En route, a member of his team turns out to be a traitor and shoots Jon in the head while kidnapping the scientist. When Jon wakes up in the hospital, a doctor tells him that within weeks, the bullet in his brain will cause complete paralysis. Jon returns to Beijing to see his mother, who confesses that Jon has a brother in Malaysia who was raised by his father, a gambler. Jon takes a flight to Malaysia to find his brother, Yeung. On the plane he forms a bond with Dr. Kan, who promises to look into possible treatments for his condition. However, when they arrive, Yeung tries to kidnap the doctor and when Jon intervenes, he's also taken hostage. The two soon realize they're brothers, and decide to work together in order to keep the criminals behind the kidnappings from reinfecting the world of a disease long thought cured.

Review

The Viral Factor may be the years best Asian Action Movie --Twitch Film

Dante Lam is John Woo via Michael Bay; he doesn't want to win you over, he wants to beat you up and make you crazy --Tom Long, Detroit News

Special Features

None.

Product Details

  • Actors: Jay Chou, Nicholas Tse, Bing Bai, Andy On
  • Directors: Dante Lam
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Color, NTSC, Surround Sound, Widescreen
  • Language: Chinese
  • Subtitles: English
  • Dubbed: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Rated:
    Unrated
    Not Rated
  • Studio: Well Go USA
  • DVD Release Date: August 28, 2012
  • Run Time: 122 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B0086460CY
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #117,919 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: DVD
After failing a mission to protect a copy of the smallpox virus, Jon Man is left with two weeks to live. Through his mother, Jon finds out of his long lost brother, Yeung, and sets out to find him- only to discover his brother is a career criminal. Eventually, Jon is pulled back into a fight to save his brother and niece, and a fight against biological terrorists. The Viral Factor is the definition of an action-packed thrill ride.

The story is very thrilling from beginning to end, and even emotional at times. Its intense close-quarter-combat, suspenseful foot pursuits, edge-of-your-seat car chases, and explosive shootouts are all spectacular and consistent; it rarely takes a breather throughout its 2 hour runtime. The film also uses a distant sibling relationship to create an emotional experience, most notable during its finale. Speaking of the ending, it was a great bittersweet ending. Occasionally, the film did suffer from poor storytelling; it introduces many characters and locations rapidly, especially during the beginning, and it jumps from location to location too often to keep track. I was able to grasp the concept and the story, though. The acting was great- Andy On stood out as a despicable villain. The music was great, although it occasionally felt out of place. Also, for those wondering, the film uses many languages, although I felt the bulk of it was in English.

Overall, The Viral Factor will not disappoint blockbuster action fans. As of 3/23/13, this film is available on Netflix Streaming, a purchase is recommended for action fans, a rental otherwise.

The Viral Factor has strong violence and blood.
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Format: DVD
Following the success of two well-made crime dramas "The Beast Stalker" and "The Stool Pigeon" (both starring Nicholas Tse), director Dante Lam has come back with "The Viral Factor" ("Jik zin"), a more action-oriented movie about two estranged brothers, Man Yeung (Nicholas Tse), a criminal hired by a terrorist group trying to use a mutated smallpox virus as a biological weapon, and Jon (Jay Chou), an International Security Affairs agent who is severely injured in his latest mission to stop them.

In action movies you may ignore a melodramatic story and incredible coincidences and enjoy action set-pieces, but stupid characters are something different. Action sequences themselves (that take place in Jordan, and for the most part, Malaysia) are decent with a fair amount of explosions and gunshots, but slick as it is, none of them is really thrilling, with super-efficient terrorists shooting hopelessly incompetent cops and guards.

I know I should not take the film too seriously, but watching the same person (who should have hired better security guards) kidnapped three times is hardly exciting. Also, if you want to run away from some henchmen, taking a train is not a very good idea.

As I said, the film's stunts are not bad. I also enjoyed the beautifully shot locations, and Nicholas Tse delivers solid performances as always, but all in all "The Viral Factor," overlong and uneven, is a disappointment.
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I usually enjoy this kind of thing. The action itself is very good and while the story requires lots of coincidences that's usually something that doesn't bother me. Unfortunately there is lots of melodrama to the extent that it seems like someone is crying or on the verge of crying every 10 minutes. If you can overlook that then there is still stuff you might find enjoyable in this movie and it's probably worth a look.
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Format: DVD
Dante Lam (Sniper, Beast Stalker) helms another commercial action vehicle starring Jay Chou (The Green Hornet) as Jon, a UN escort soldier who was supposed to be accompanying a scientist who'd turned himself in, to Norway, but his team is ambushed and he is shot in the head and left for dead. With doctors' unable to remove the bullet, he decides to spend whatever time he has left with his ill mother until he learns he has a brother, Man Yeung (Nicholas Tse), who is living a life of crime in Malaysia. When Jon heads to Malaysia to bring his brother back to see his mother, both he and Man get caught up with the man who betrayed Jon and his team.

At first, it may seem difficult to follow the plot, but it's not, in fact part of it is not all that different to the plot of 'Mission Impossible 2'. It's also full of holes and, I think, relies way too much on coincidences to be good or coherent. But underneath all the martial arts, flying bullets, explosions and conversations about smallpox, there's actually quite a touching family story running throughout about making mistakes and forgiveness and redemption.

Dante Lam tries to compensate the poor plot with the action and here he does splendidly; hand-to-hand, shooting, car chases, explosions, it is high-octane stuff and Lam handles them competently. Out heroes, Jon and Man, are battered and shot so many times you wonder how the hell they keep getting back up for more.

While Jay Chou handles his role of Jon well, Nicholas Tse brings an intensity to Man, unfortunately he likes to overdo it during the heavy drama, crying scenes that it's almost unintentionally funny.

I think if you're looking for a straight-up action flick, then you can't go wrong with `The Viral Factor' because it does tick all the right boxes. Suitable for a night in of mindless gun fights, fist fights and things going Boom!, can't beat that.
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