“The Viral Factor” is NO low-budget action film. Some very big money went into this fairly exciting story of biological warfare.
Sean Wong (Andy On) steals a smallpox virus in the Middle East so it can be mutated into a biological weapon. The bad guys also want to develop a vaccine to sell to a pharmaceutical company for even more money.
Jon Man (Jay Chou) is a member of the team protecting the virus. He’s injured when the sample is stolen and told he has only two weeks to live. When Jon decides to return home to die, his mother informs him (surprise!) that he has a brother (Nicholas Tse). Jon’s sibling charges down the wrong path (kind of like their father) and is even involved in the efforts to develop the smallpox virus into a weapon. Small world.
This Hong Kong-Chinese action film has so much action, it’s distracting. The fighting scenes range from very good-to-excellent. But, the pacing wears you out. It’s called overkill.
More time should have been spent on the story and the characters. Instead, one action set bridges to another. The special effects are also a bit cheesy at times.
If action is all you seek, then I recommend that you watch the movie in 30-minute segments. Start, then stop when you get tired. Then, start again. It might be more palatable that way. Grade: C-