Dangerously straddling multiple genres, Godspeed is a comedy crime caper and unlikely-friendship road movie that struggles to decidedly define itself as anything other than confused. With genre-bending beloved classics such as Thelma & Louise, Badlands, In Bruges and Pulp Fiction weighing heavily on its shoulders, Mong-Hong Chung is not telling us anything we haven’t already heard.
With the success of these heavyweights in mind, the film doesn’t sustain the sense of urgency it needs to engage an audience for the length of its run-time. Its road movie aspect detracts from the excitement of what could be quite a fun crime thriller. Godspeed might be a slight misnomer for a film that really drags: being strapped into this one is more excruciating that a car journey that just won’t end.
Sold for its “visual treats”, Chung certainly exhausts every shot of a car driving down a road that it’s possible to capture on film. Audiences may enjoy the several impressive set-pieces but the needlessly prolonged torture scene will be off-putting to those with any faintness of heart.
While “Hong Kong comedy acting legend” Michael Hui, who plays Old Xu, lands a handful of jokes and Na-Dow Lin does just about enough, the film lacks the complex psychological portraits sketched by Terrence Malick and Ridley Scott in the films mentioned above – the baddies just aren’t all that convincing as baddies. With the action drawing to a close in a fairly unimaginative way, the payoff is not worth the ride.
This cat-and-mouse thriller lacks thrills, its antagonists disappoint and one scene is simply insulting. Chung is overambitious in positioning his film between so many genres: a weak compromise, it’s a bit all over the place, and you might even call it a bit of a car crash. Rating: wtf?
CAST: Michael Hui, Na-Dow Lin, Leon Dai, Chung-Hua Tou
DIRECTOR: Mong-Hong Chung
WRITER: Mong-Hong Chung
SYNOPSIS: The supposedly foolproof transportation scheme of a Taiwanese drug courier is thrown off-kilter when he ends up being driven by an oddball taxi driver.