The Chinese Job
Super Me is an intriguing and fantastical Chinese movie, one that’s as ambiguous as it is enjoyable. With some well shot action and a fast-paced story, this Chinese picture combines fantasy, romance and sci-fi nicely.
The story here plays out like a combination of Inception, Nightmare On Elm Street and The Matrix. At the heart of this lies our struggling screenwriter protagonist, Sang Yu. He’s up to his eyeballs in debt, exhausted and desperately trying to stay awake. You see, when Sang Yu sleeps a strange demon chases and kills him. Unlike Elm Street however, Sang Yu’s death is not permanent and each occurrence forces him awake again.
Torn over what to do, Sang Yu contemplates suicide before stumbling upon a revelation. He has the power to conjure forth treasures from his dreams and bring them into reality. And thus, Sang Yu sets out to become rich, stealing expensive antiques from his own dreams. However, this comes with its own set of problems, especially when a ruthless gangster called Qiang catches wind of what’s happening.
Visually, Super Me looks fantastic and there’s some really well-shot sequences throughout. Given the premise of the movie, the art department have done a wonderful job setting the scene for this moody story to take place. It’s helped along by some solid camera work too, with lots of Dutch tilts, rotating cameras and obligatory slow motion money-shots during some of the more bombastic segments.
It’s worth bearing in mind that this moving has a lot of ambiguity surrounding it. The open ending can be interpreted numerous ways. However, despite the wide-spanning ideas and cerebrally charged story, there’s actually not a lot of depth to this one. In fact, most of the plot plays out with a really simple idea that’s disappointingly predictable and never fleshed out as much as it could (or perhaps should) be. At least for the first two thirds of the run-time anyway.
The ambiguity surrounding the ending does challenge you to come up with your own interpretation of what’s going on. There are a few Easter eggs along the way to help, but ultimately this will make or break your experience – especially if you’re looking for a resolute ending.
Super Me flirts with some expansive and cerebrally charged ideas but never quite does enough with them. There’s certainly room here for an Inception challenger but this Chinese picture never quite rises to the challenge.
If you can go in with an open mind and fancy something a bit different though, Super Me does have enough in the tank to recommend. However, it’s also hard to ignore the flaws, making for a somewhat turbulent ride.