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Film Review: ‘Reset’

Variety logo Variety 6/30/2017 Joe Leydon
© Provided by Variety

The Korean filmmaker known as Chang does the time warp again, and again, in the Chinese-produced sci-fi thriller “Reset,” a film best described as the fair-to-middling realization of a cleverer-than-average high concept. The MacGuffin here is a “data module” that contains info about technology capable of sending people way back into the past — make that back 110 minutes or so — through artificial wormholes leading to parallel universes. But that’s merely the impetus for repeated time-jumps by research physicist Xia Tang (Yang Mi), whose five-year-old son is kidnapped by bad guys demanding ownership of the aforementioned module, and who must go to extremes on two different occasions when her little boy is killed twice.

Yang Mi is impressively stressed and resourceful throughout the loop-the-loop narrative as Xia Tang repeatedly attempts to free her child from the clutches of the heavily-armed nonentities led by Tsui Hu (Wallace Huo), a tightly-focused villain whose motives are revealed a tad too late for generating suspense and/or sympathy. Each time she returns to take care of business, she’s a little less vulnerable, until there are three of her dodging bullets, crashing cars, rappelling down buildings and uncovering clues that indicate her sagacious mentor (King Shih-chieh) may not be altogether trustworthy.

Chang keeps “Reset” moving at a reasonably brisk pace, though one cannot help but wonder whether Jackie Chan, one of the film’s producers, might have done even more with scenes involving a humongous trash disposal and a deserted multi-level school. And to answer the obvious question: Yes, the movie is ripe for an American remake.

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