Dante Lam (Sniper, Beast Stalker) helms another commercial action vehicle starring Jay Chou (The Green Hornet) as Jon, a UN escort soldier who was supposed to be accompanying a scientist who'd turned himself in, to Norway, but his team is ambushed and he is shot in the head and left for dead. With doctors' unable to remove the bullet, he decides to spend whatever time he has left with his ill mother until he learns he has a brother, Man Yeung (Nicholas Tse), who is living a life of crime in Malaysia. When Jon heads to Malaysia to bring his brother back to see his mother, both he and Man get caught up with the man who betrayed Jon and his team.
At first, it may seem difficult to follow the plot, but it's not, in fact part of it is not all that different to the plot of 'Mission Impossible 2'. It's also full of holes and, I think, relies way too much on coincidences to be good or coherent. But underneath all the martial arts, flying bullets, explosions and conversations about smallpox, there's actually quite a touching family story running throughout about making mistakes and forgiveness and redemption.
Dante Lam tries to compensate the poor plot with the action and here he does splendidly; hand-to-hand, shooting, car chases, explosions, it is high-octane stuff and Lam handles them competently. Out heroes, Jon and Man, are battered and shot so many times you wonder how the hell they keep getting back up for more.
While Jay Chou handles his role of Jon well, Nicholas Tse brings an intensity to Man, unfortunately he likes to overdo it during the heavy drama, crying scenes that it's almost unintentionally funny.
I think if you're looking for a straight-up action flick, then you can't go wrong with `The Viral Factor' because it does tick all the right boxes. Suitable for a night in of mindless gun fights, fist fights and things going Boom!, can't beat that.