Dark Asset

Dark Asset
Dark Asset
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Sleeper characters as well as microchips. Former special forces are there but with catastrophic abort sequences. That sounds thrilling, right? Not so much in Dark Asset starring Hong Kong-American actor Byron Mann, Swedish-American actress Helena Mattsson and Terminator franchise alumni Robert Patrick. Dark Asset shows what happens when a living weapon attempts to break free from the conspiratorial program and the corrupt captors that once created him. However, despite its initial premise and a promisingly dangerous introduction that does indeed tease an action-packed ride synonymous with other averagely rated entries in the genre; everything dark asset has to offer is slowed down instead by its overall mystery of the movie.

By placing many pivotal plot beats in the past instead of the present, it feels like this journey through time was very heavy-handed since it was more about context than our main hero and what he could do. With that in mind, let’s take a look at Dark Asset and see if there is at least some light at the end of the tunnel for this adrenaline filled action film.

Aiming for silent but deadliness personified type of character, Mann’s key player John Doe starts things off by escaping from his incarceration in a lab. It is worth noting though that while none of these introductory shots comes close to weighing up to say any mesmerizing showdowns seen in any of the John Wicks or The Equalizer films thus far over all these years have been made up entirely of short frantic fights between Doe together with generic packs of guards he finds himself against.

One saving grace however that Dark Asset has is Byron Mann’s dedication to Chinese martial art known as wushu. Mann can act alright but more importantly, he brings his hardened and mastered style into this movie here. As they are taken down by him one by one masked gunmen arouse audiences’ spirits who then expectantly wait for whatever follows next.

The initial hype associated with Dark Asset can be found in its delayed opening theme and the motivational pop rock tune that comes along with it. These two elements combined with Mann’s physical vengeance create a mood here that the rest of the movie does not live up to unfortunately. After escaping, our main character chooses to go to a hotel lounge of all places, where he finds Jane (played by Mattsson) waiting for him at a table.

Clad in a sultry red dress and looking beautiful, John soon sits down across from her and starts talking. All this time, it really seemed as though the plot was revving up to be something thrilling and exciting, but the midpoint happens to be the same place where Dark Asset really puts on the brakes. We could have had an entire film about John trying to escape Dr. Cain’s lab (played by Robert Patrick) laboratory in order for him to gain his rightful freedom instead; however this is not what we have here. Here then begins a whirlwind of humdrum level context.

Jane likes company but does not know who this man is. Apart from the explicit flirtatious reasons, the audience remains clueless about John’s sudden motivation behind this stretched-out interaction too. Throughout second act, our hero explains to her where the chip in his head came from and what other sleeper agents he knows about – Han, Marena, Bendy and Ylan.

While the acting is fine and location gives off an interesting bar type of atmosphere, it stretches on for way too long which allows viewers to step out of disbelief. Why does he waste time when he has so much power? How come she easily believes his fantastic stories? These questions are answered within Dark Asset’s science fiction world but it takes forever to get there and it takes too much focus away from the action that we all wanted.

The good news however is that Dark Asset ends with a climax full of action and intrigues that screams Mann all over it. Suddenly Cain’s soldiers are after John and danger becomes imminent again returning the movie right back into high speed lane where it should have been all along.

Sometimes however, there might be some distracting finagling with different interconnected MacGuffins around that don’t really blend well with John’s personal story; still though, Dark Asset does succeed in conveying many messages about people who want nothing more than to matter in this world. It can be kind of fun sometimes though…for half of its runtime.

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