Super mummy saves the day

Scientist Xia Tian (Yang Mi) goes back in time to rescue her son Dou Dou (Hummer), who is kidnapped.
Scientist Xia Tian (Yang Mi) goes back in time to rescue her son Dou Dou (Hummer), who is kidnapped.PHOTO: GOLDEN VILLAGE PICTURES



106 minutes/Opens tomorrow/2.5/5 stars

The story: Scientist Xia Tian (Yang Mi) perfects time-travelling technology, but only for one hour and 50 minutes at any time. When her son Dou Dou (Hummer) is kidnapped by the mysterious Cui Hu (Wallace Huo), she goes back in time to rescue the boy.

One often hears stories of how some parents display superhuman strength while trying to rescue their children in dangerous situations.

Xia Tian goes well beyond just having the ability to lift a car - she becomes Wonder Woman-like as she throws herself down deep holes featuring sharp spikes and drives cars off tall buildings, all without suffering more than a few scrapes.

For someone who used to work as a lab researcher, Yang's character puts to shame Liam Neeson's former CIA agent in Taken (2008).

It is not hard to imagine the crazy action sequences in this movie have something to do with action superstar Jackie Chan producing the film.

Still, despite the absurd manner in which the story plays out, Yang gives it all she has got in this role and is convincing as a mother who would go to extremes to protect her son.

Her chemistry with seven-year- old actor Hummer is palpable, especially in the flashback scenes when they are seen playing together.

It is also worth noting that she plays a single mother who makes it clear several times that she does not need a man to help her - an empowering portrayal rare in contemporary Chinese action films, which almost always feature heroic men in the lead.

In contrast, the hunk in this film, Taiwanese actor Huo, has little to do besides strutting around in an expensive leather jacket.

Against the backdrop of the ultra- modern and sleek research facility where the film is mostly set, he looks like he is shooting a smartphone commercial.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on June 28, 2017, with the headline 'Super mummy saves the day'. Subscribe