Across the Furious Sea (2023)

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Across the Furious Sea (2023). 2h 24m

“Chinese director Cao Baopingu0026#39;s relentless crime thriller is simply more proof that thereu0026#39;s ample life in Mainland Chinau0026#39;s genre cinema.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eA propulsive, intense flick that barrels forward with numerous inquiries and high-speed pursuits, never letting up for at least two thirds of its duration. Anchored by Huang Bou0026#39;s committed turn as a desperate father searching for his missing daughter, the film is quite successful in creating a chaotic atmosphere that swallows it whole, for better or worse (but mostly the former). In that light, it often reminded me of The World of Kanako.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eSo, the positives first; the performances are uniformly good, the pacing just about as relentless as it gets, the chase scenes as expertly filmed as anything in modern Chinese thrillers. And the story is quite an emotional rollercoaster too; despite the filmu0026#39;s structural deficiencies, it still manages to hit the required story beats. The most impressive sequence here marries both cathartic emotions and visceral action, coinciding a freeway chase with an incoming storm, complete with a huge tornado and fish that rain from the sky.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eHowever, parts of this film fail to completely satisfy, for example its barely coherent storytelling that is partly masked by enthusiastic filmmaking, but reveals its weaknesses upon later reflection. Some events happen almost randomly, characters disappear without further explanation and/or circumstances regarding their fates remain unclear. Iu0026#39;ve encountered these problems in other Chinese thrillers too, so itu0026#39;s not like I was too surprised by their appearance. Transitions between some scenes are abrupt and editing sometimes feels off; altogether more proof this film needed some more time in post-production.u003cbr/u003eu003cbr/u003eThat being said, Across the Furious Sea is one of Chinau0026#39;s more successful genre efforts in the last few years; both commercially and creatively. Cao Baoping isnu0026#39;t new to crime thrillers, so this will serve just fine to further boost his profile. Genre enthusiasts would do well to check this one out, provided they keep their expectations realistic.”


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