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The Wall-Passer is the kind of movie that passes you by if you blink. Blink again and you'll have forgotten all about this film. Which is a true shame, because underneath its inconspicuous facade and marketing there's a genuine tour de force waiting to be discovered. Lucky for me, I didn't blink and decided to test this one out.I ran into this movie by chance, and even though it didn't really attract my attention at first I somehow got to watching it anyway. I do like Taiwanese films, still I often limit myself to the bigger names. I'd never heard of Hung Hung, but since he worked with Edward Yang before, he's not what you'd call fully unknown to the industry. He also directed a several movies of his own, and even though I have no concept how they relate to The Wall-Passer, they skyrocketed on my scale of interest.Apparently The Wall-Passer is a low-budget film, but that never shines through. From the beginning on the movie looks and sounds absolutely lush. The storyline is set in the future, but rather than throwing in a lot of CG, Hung Hung opted to portray an ultra-modern world. He used lots of lighting effects, bright colors and modern architecture to make a crisp, clean vision of his future. Still, during the first half the movie is still very much a Taiwanese prototype film, with lingering, precise shots and typical classical background music, following a blooming love story.The second half of the movie is different, with lots of cute black and white visuals and some odd but compelling choices of music. This all melts together to make a cute special audiovisual experience, bordering on many influences from another Asian directors, but definitely creating a special globe of its own. It's also great to see that the movie doesn't cave in after halfway. Hung Hung keeps up his exquisite presentation throughout.Most negative comments on the movie (as far as you can search any comments) are aimed at the shift halfway through, and the meandering plot in general. After the halfway mark, the entire dynamic shifts as one hero fully disappears and a fresh one is introduced. Suddenly the movie gets an additional fantastical dimension and apart from the fact that we are still following the main character, this should just as well have been other film.And even if you don't mind all that, it's still cute difficult to receive really grounded in the movie as the storyline takes zone in a loosely defined future, but also plays and tips with wonderful and dreamlike elements. At the end, it's difficult to grasp how much of the movie was supposed to be "real" and how much was purely symbolic. Even though I understand the disappointment of people, for me personally it is something that made this movie even better. The primary premise of the movie might not be too challenging, but it's rare to see a movie throw so many new elements into the mix, making The Wall-Passer a truly special experience.The movie also has a cute intelligent ending, wanting you to look back at the movie and re-evaluate what you have just seen. It's not often that a movie can still surprise me these days, and if only for that, The Wall-Passer is a splendid experience. Add some nice visuals and some cute weird but cool choice of melody in the second half, and what you receive is something that might leave you scratching your head (without being truly absurd or weird), but definitely feels fresh. Lovely movie which comes highly recommended. Don't miss it if you run into it. It's difficult to predict whether you'll like it, but the experience of watching it is interesting enough. 4.5*/5.0*
Taiwanese sci-fi, which sounds promising, and looks cool for the first several minutes. But the movie is terrible, badly acted, and with the typically terrible amateur script that doesn't know how to end a storyline but meanders off into increasingly idiotic scenarios that don't connect to the previous passages. Too bad, as the director captured a several interesting photos using existing settings in Taiwan, sort of framed carefully to recommend a futuristic sci-fi world. But the overall effect is too frustrating to watch, and one of the worst Taiwanese movies I've ever seen. Hung Hung, writer / director, has done better work elsewhere. See, e.g., the entries here: http://www.imdb.com/name/nm0393297/
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