AsianMovieWeb logo
Cross - Movie Poster
Original Title:
Dai Leok Gaai

Hong Kong 2012


Daniel Chan Yee-Heng
Steve Woo
Lau Kin-Ping
Hui Shu-Ning

Simon Yam
Kenny Wong
Liu Kai-Chi
Evelyn Choi
Chen Ran
Jason Chang
Mo Tzi-Yi
Yukihiko Kageyama Mimi Kung
Nick Cheung

Search AsianMovieWeb


Story: Lee Leung (Simon Yam) turns himself in, handing the police a detailed written confession and accurately collected evidence of him having committed four murders. Psychologist Cheung (Kenny Wong) is to take a look at the case. Leung's wife suffered from leukemia and because of the extreme pain took her own life. Leung is a devout Christian and after his wife's suicide looked for a way to gain God's mercy for his wife not to suffer eternal damnation because of her sin. He stumbles upon a forum where potential suicidal persons share their thoughts. Leung contacts them and arranges to take care of their deaths. This way he at least saves their souls from eternal damnation. His first victim is a father (Liu Kai-Chi) who is fatally ill, but because of his life insurance would be able to leave his family with double the amount of money if he wouldn't die of an illness, but by some other means. Leung committed three additional murders, but something went wrong during the last one and the self-proclaimed messenger of God wants to be punished now...

Review: First, there is excitement when starting to watch "Cross". A serial killer who is actually giving assistance in suicide and by doing so wants to keep open the gates to heaven for his victims. The killer's motivation somehow makes him an appealing figure, also thanks to Simon Yam in the lead role. But very soon disillusionment sets in. The characters aren't nearly as multilayered as the story demands them to be. Furthermore, the thriller doesn't offer anything else besides its fascinating main idea! It's as if an episode of a tv show had been padded out until it had the length of a feature film. What remains is sadly a pretty bad film since the disappointment about the lack of tension and continuation of the story is simply too severe to ignore.

Cross - Film Screenshot 11

In fact, "Cross" even had serious problems getting wrapped up in the first place. A whopping four directors are listed and from the second half onward you start to realize at the latest that the thriller is running out of steam. Instead of coninueing the story after the twist there is a repetitive explanation of the circumstances of the killings, which even feature old movie material being used for flashbacks. What purpose does it serve having to watch the same scene multiple times? Simple: The movie seems a bit longer. Yet, the running time still amounts to a meager 81 minutes of which six minutes are used up by the credit screen! This is simply a sham package that makes you want your money back.

Cross - Film Screenshot 12

"Cross" tells its story with a very slow pacing in the beginning and this actually suits it pretty well. The pictures look nice, somehow even a bit art house-like and Simon Yam ("Election", "Sparrow") seems to portray quite an interesting individual. In fact, this turns out to be the only upside sticking with you in the end, maybe apart from a short appearance by Nick Cheung ("Unbeatable", "The Stool Pigeon"). But even Yam can't work wonders and so our only hope of getting so see more of his character, apart from the motivation of his killings, remains unfulfilled. Particularly problematic is the detective story, though, because actually there isn't anything left to investigate after Leung's confession.

Of course, this isn't really true and the movie's twist isn't that bad at all. However, the main idea behind the plot and the twist don't deliver more than material for half an hour. Even the different killings can't really arouse our interest since they have something episodic about them and neither serve the purpose of gaining new insight into the case, besides of some unnecessary details, nor do they flesh out Leung a bit more. Bit even worse is that the detective remains a blank sheet and the lawyer, who doesn't play a minor part in the movie, is without any real character traits, too. After all, "Cross" should have been a character-centered thriller with some drama elements, but unfortunately there isn't anything in this picture that can move us.

Cross - Film Screenshot 13

As the story progresses the technical execution becomes more and more sloppy. Daniel Chan was the first to direct and most parts of the screenplay were also written by him, meaning that you probably can credit him for most of the positive aspects. Yet, the screenplay simply looks unfinished. What the other three directors made of the movie is in fact a disgrace. There is no real climax, elements that should have been developed further, like the dangers of the internet, are merely touched upon in a sloppy manner and the repetition of already familiar scenes at the end as well as the bad editing are outrageous. If it weren't for an often pleasantly moody soundtrack, Simon Yam and an appealing main idea behind the plot "Cross" wouldn't have any redeeming elements at all. Although "redeeming" isn't really the right word. "Cross" is a thriller that should remain unseen.

(Author: Manfred Selzer)
Buy this movie:

Cross - Yesasia Yesasia Logo