The only movies that I could remember of the beautiful Taiwan model Lin Chi-Ling are trash.  The good news about her latest movie is that it is not trash.  The bad news is that it’s still a failure.  It’s a pity especially considering she sacrificed her beautiful image and trained hard to correct her voice deficiencies.

王牌 (Who is Undercover) (Blu-ray release 2015-5-22) is a Chinese movie about an event in which many women are caught by Kuomintang, which believe one of them was the Joker – an important person in the communist party.  None of them was given any background, except for a one-line textual description.  It is not explained why catching the Joker is important.  It is also not explained why the communist party wants to save her at the cost of so many lives.  So we got to watch the women we don’t care about got tortured, and we don’t know why.  Some of those people sacrifice themselves to save others, but again we don’t know why it is important.  The average torture porn has better backgrounds and better reasons than this.

There may be deep meanings beneath this story, but they won’t be understood unless one is a scholar in communist history, able to map the various time periods against real history and deduce what every person may possibly represent.  Or the screenwriters think they are too smart to explain things clearly.  Or any clearer explanation will not be possible due to political reasons.  Whatever the reason, this is a failure.

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