×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

The Gene Generation

The future sucks yet again in sci-fi actioner "The Gene Generation." The feature debut for writer-helmer Pearry Reginald Teo, who attracted some fan notice with prior shorts, stars Bai Ling as a kick-fighting professional assassin pulled into intrigue involving DNA manipulation technologies run amuck.

With:
With: Bai Ling, Alec Newman, Parry Shen, Faye Dunaway, Robert David Hall, Michael Shamus Wiles, Ethan Cohn, Daniel Zacapa.

The future sucks yet again in sci-fi actioner “The Gene Generation.” The feature debut for writer-helmer Pearry Reginald Teo, who attracted some fan notice with prior shorts, stars Bai Ling as a kick-fighting professional assassin pulled into intrigue involving DNA manipulation technologies run amuck. Looking good on a modest budget, the pic offers more eye candy than story involvement, and the dystopian setting has a familiar B-movie feel. Still, it moves fast and will divert fantasy buffs in home formats.

Prologue has Faye Dunaway as a scientist whose breakthrough discovery can cure disease and heal wounds in seconds — but it also leads to disastrous genetic mutations that soon claim her and myriad others. (Thus, after a couple minutes, the veteran thesp becomes a disembodied voice issuing from a slithering mass of wormy tentacles.) Anyone who can gets the hell outta Olympia, leaving it the usual sci-fi urban slum of punky strippers and criminal types.

It’s the job of nail-tough Michelle (Ling) to off DNA hackers who steal other people’s identities (while infecting them with the worm-making stuff) in order to get an exit visa. When her ne’er-do-well brother (Parry Shen) steals a “transcoder” of unknown significance, both sibs are soon up to their necks in peril. Alec Newman plays a surviving do-gooder scientist who also also serves as narrator and the heroine’s potential love interest.

This is the kind of sci-fi movie whose atmosphere could be described as “Mad Max Goes to a Rave”: There’s lots of black leather, spandex, tattoos, hair gel, goth-flavored electronica, sneering, public urination/regurgitation, sudden violence and a surly dwarf or two. CGI and greenscreen f/x are decent, though most of the action is of the more cost-efficient, arse-whuppin’ kind, with Ling proving quite the lean, mean, acrobatic killing machine. (However, it’s a bit much when she simply waves her arms around to instantaneously snuff three guys holding her at gunpoint.)

Dialogue tends toward the banal, and while the characters, as written, don’t require much subtlety, Daniel Zacapa delivers a little too much bang for the buck as a loan-shark king who is not to be trifled with — we can tell from his constant, screamy tantrums.

Ultimately, “The Gene Generation” is forgettable in narrative terms. But Teo imbues it with some energy and a nice eye, with all visual design contribs making the most of a purported $2.5 million budget. He’s got a future, albeit hopefully one with better material and funding.

The Gene Generation

Production: An Ascension Pictures, Middle Link Inc. presentation of a Keith Collea production. Produced by Collea. Executive producer, Zhang Chao Seng, Zhang Pingli, Collea. Co-producer, Cherelle George, Kim H. Winther. Directed by Pearry Reginald Teo. Screenplay, Teo, Keith Collea, based on the comicbook "The DNA Hacker Files" by Teo.

Crew: Camera (color, Sony HD), Anthony G. Nakonechnyj; editor, Carmelo Casalenuovo; music, Scott Glasgow; production designer, Brian Ollman; art director, Rosie Sanders; set decorator, Kurt Meisenbach; costume designer, Glen Gregory Krah; sound, Douglas Schulman, Lisa Pinero-Amses; sound designer, Lisa K. Fowle; stunt supervisor, Jeff Imada; assistant directors, Kim H. Winther, Heather Wusterbarth; casting, Scott David. Reviewed at Another Hole in the Head, San Francisco, June 5, 2008. Running time: 95 MIN.

With: With: Bai Ling, Alec Newman, Parry Shen, Faye Dunaway, Robert David Hall, Michael Shamus Wiles, Ethan Cohn, Daniel Zacapa.

More Film

  • Playwright Mark Medoff author of "Children

    Mark Medoff, 'Children of a Lesser God' Playwright, Dies at 79

    Mark Medoff, the playwright who wrote Tony Award-winning play “Children of a Lesser God,” died Tuesday in Las Cruces, N.M. He was 79. His daughter Jessica Medoff Bunchman posted news of his death on Facebook, and the Las Cruces Sun-News attributed the cause to cancer. “Children of a Lesser God” starred John Rubinstein and Phyllis Frelich [...]

  • Editorial use only. No book cover

    Interscope Films Relaunches With Full Slate at Tribeca (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Interscope record label’s interest in film/music crossover isn’t exactly a secret: With hit companion albums for “A Star Is Born,” “Black Panther” and “La La Land,” they’ve seemed to own the soundtrack space at times in recent years. And the company hasn’t completely made a secret of its desire to move into film production. [...]

  • Avengers: Endgame

    'Avengers: Endgame': Fans and Theaters Assemble for Biggest Marvel Movie Ever

    For San Diego resident Shawn Richter, “Avengers: Endgame” is more than the conclusion to a monumental period in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. As the West Coast branch chair of Avengers Initiative, a cosplay charity that raises money for causes like the Ronald McDonald House Children’s Charities, the comics of Stan Lee and Jack Kirby are [...]

  • Jillian Bell appears in Brittany Runs

    Amazon's 'Brittany Runs a Marathon' Sets Summer Release

    “Brittany Runs a Marathon” will be rushing to theaters on Aug. 23. Amazon Studios dated the comedy on Wednesday. The pic, starring Jillian Bell (“Rough Night,” “22 Jump Street”), won the audience award at the Sundance Film Festival. The flick follows the titutal Brittany, who decides to run around New York City in order to [...]

  • Lionsgate Hires Lynn Whitney in Marketing

    Lionsgate Hires Former Warner Bros. Exec Lynn Whitney

    Lionsgate announced Wednesday that Lynn Whitney will become head of worldwide paid media, partnerships, promotions and consumer products. Whitney was formerly the executive VP of worldwide media at Warner Bros.   In her new role, Whitney will build out media campaigns for movies like Seth Rogen and Charlize Theron’s romantic comedy “Long Shot.” “I am [...]

  • El silencio de otros

    Film Review: 'The Silence of Others'

    “Forgiven but not forgotten” is a platitude we routinely use to end disputes both petty and grievous, but it’s the reverse outcome — the mass forgetting of crimes and conflicts never truly resolved — that itches away at a post-Franco Spain in “The Silence of Others.” Soberly chronicling the ongoing legal battle of General Franco’s [...]

  • A Womans Work-The NFLs Cheerleader Problem

    Tribeca Documentaries Explore Gender Issues in Sport

    Up until recently, what it meant to be a professional female athlete in a world dominated by men wasn’t an issue that garnered high volumes of public interest, let alone national headlines. But that all changed in October 2017 when stories from the New York Times and the New Yorker detailing sexual allegations and improper [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content