The Gene Generation is a remarkable effort from Singaporian director Pearry Reginald Teo. I say remarkable because its a fantastic sci fi effort that dares to try something different, but not necessarily good. While the idea behind the movie shows some minor promise, the constant sub-plots and generic fight scenes throw the whole film off center. This is coming from an extreme Bai Ling fan who I think is amazing. This film holds its own, stylistically. It’s a solid cult classic. There’s plenty that a person can criticize, such as plot inconsistencies, weak story line development, overall quality of performances, but Bai’s performance carries this film.
The film is set in a post-apocalyptic future, where science has created a device that can manipulate human D.N.A. It turns out that this device can either heal or cause abominations. When a group of profiteers/extremists intends to use the device as a weapon, a character named Christian, decides to steal the device to keep it from being used by the wrong people. The film is very superficial, and could have done a lot better with a more experienced director or as an anime series. However, I do appreciate that the filmmakers seemed to have their hearts in the right place. It’s definitely a likable work, which could be regarded as being pretty rare, in it genre. For all the challenges of the work, it’s never obnoxious.
On top of that, the whole premise of the film, this crazy DNA Hacking concept, wasn’t explored to anywhere near the potential such an idea could have been. That being said, I would watch it again for the characters and the acting, just not anytime soon. Gene Generation would have made for a great Sci-Fi channel release. For TV, it’s production values would have been considered top-notch. As a feature film, however, it feels like a B-movie that got a pay raise. The music is nice and you do get to see Bai Ling’s booty, there are some decent action sequences but the rest of the film is kind of a mess.
Furthermore, there are problems with continuity and things working differently from how they were explained before. While there are definite highlights in the dialogue and actor scenes, it is not enough to fix the disjointed feel of the story. All of the mastery of this movie can be credited to the young director who had already picked up many Independent film critic awards before the ripe old age of 25. Perhaps the criticism I have could be overlooked due to this aspect but somehow my rating remains floating into mediocrity. After all, Bai Ling looks devastatingly gorgeous in this futuristic action flick. But again, you will feel as if you are watching a made for TV movie. I suggest you rent this for as little money as possible before you purchase. But, if you’re looking for a relatively mindless sci-fi flick with special effects and sex appeal, then this movie should prove to be somewhat satisfying.