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The Viral Factor (2012)

The Viral Factor


Average Rating: 5.4/10
Reviews Counted: 16
Fresh: 9
Rotten: 7

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 4.5/10
Reviews Counted: 6
Fresh: 2
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 517


Movie Info

IDC Agent Jon (Jay Chou) sustains grave injuries on a mission and decides to spend his final days with his mother. She tells him a long-held secret. To fulfill her wishes, Jon goes to Southeast Asia. He befriends medical specialist Rachel (Lin Peng). When she is forced into the schemes of a criminal organization, Jon attempts rescue and becomes the target of the organization that includes his estranged brother Yeung (Nicholas Tse)! When the organization betrays Yeung and kidnaps his daughter … More

Drama , Action & Adventure
Directed By:
Written By:
Jack Ing , Dante Lam , Candy Leung
In Theaters:
Aug 28, 2012
Box Office:
China Lion Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Viral Factor

All Critics (17) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (7) | DVD (1)

Dante Lam is John Woo via Michael Bay; he doesn't want to win you over, he wants to beat you up and make you crazy. And for all its silliness, "The Viral Factor" does just that.

Full Review… | March 9, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

Gunfights and explosions are audaciously played out in real urban locations swarming with people and vehicles, all unfolding with high tension, without losing sight of continuity.

Full Review… | January 20, 2012
Top Critic

It takes a special kind of action director to use chaotic, human-filled public spaces for high-energy foot chases, auto stunts and gun battles yet never once get under the skin with a sense of genuine danger.

Full Review… | January 20, 2012
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Tediously overwrought and drably made, with scenes punctuated by synthesized drums out of eighties American TV drama.

Full Review… | January 20, 2012
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

"The Viral Factor" wants to be both an action movie and a soap opera. But the merging of the two genres by Dante Lam, a director based in Hong Kong, is clumsy, and so is the film.

Full Review… | January 19, 2012
New York Times
Top Critic

It's an overloaded, overwrought, profligate production inclined to hysteria and, in cumulative effect, something like being pelted with scenes until buried alive...

Full Review… | January 17, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

If action is all you seek, then I recommend that you watch the movie in 30-minute segments. Start, then stop when you get tired. Then, start again. It might be more palatable that way.

Full Review… | April 7, 2012

...director Dante Lam...may have created the best action film of 2012.

Full Review… | March 5, 2012

Stylish, exhilarating action sequences compensate for the corny drama and occasional tedium.

Full Review… | February 11, 2012
NYC Movie Guru

The well crafted set pieces make any plot heaviness go down in smooth, exciting fashion.

Full Review… | January 30, 2012

Lam has breathtakingly delivered on the film's action promise, even if the drama proves altogether disposable.

Full Review… | January 30, 2012

A monster rush of muscular action sequences, tepidly glued together with rapidly evaporating logic. Secret agent Man's brain turns to mush, and it spreads to the audience.

Full Review… | January 24, 2012
Honolulu Star-Advertiser

An enjoyably sprawling if completely scatterbrained action movie from director Dante Lam.

Full Review… | January 20, 2012
Screen International

Action trumps plot in Hong Kong director Dante Lam's latest thriller about brothers fighting the release of a mutant smallpox virus.

Full Review… | January 19, 2012
Film Journal International

The apparent byproduct of watching too much Bad Boys II, The Viral Factor is a cops-and-criminals saga slathered in glossy Michael Bay-isms.

Full Review… | January 18, 2012
Slant Magazine

Yes, standard stuff, but Chou and Tse have the chops for this brand of socky.

Full Review… | January 17, 2012
Boston Phoenix

Audience Reviews for The Viral Factor

As much action as you can pack into one film, If you like crime drama this is your film. Could watch this one over and over, English and subtitles. 5 stars 12-10=12

Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

It`s one of the best action movies of 2012, It stands with The Expendables 2 and The Raid: Redemption. A adrenaline-pumping and mind-blowing edge of your seat action-pacjed thriller. An explosive tour de force of an action movie. A totally wild and exhilerating roller-coaster ride from start to finish. Director, Dante Lam is a slam of John Woo and Michael Bay and he just blows you away. Lam crafts another triumph. It`s packed with stylish and exciting action sequences, riveting drama, well-crafted set pieces and two strong performances from its two great leads Jay Chou and Nicholas Tse are pure dynamite, they set the screen on fire with their fury and strong charisma. A spectacular thrill-ride that is deeply moving with emotionally charged characters.

Al S

Super Reviewer


The Viral Factor is indeed viral and Dante Lam has another winner on his hands.After an explosive start, the story that defines this picture goes low and slow for it's character buildup and plot setup; however, once things pick up, they stay that way without much in the way of interruption.The action is highly destructive, in abundance, and the choreography of the shootings are nicely done. The whole second half of the film continuously moves from segment to segment to push things along.Jay Chou finds himself with a character that he can work with, all the while sharing the spotlight with Nicholas Tse. Both work well together, although Tse's character isn't as easy to like as Chou. Andy On suffers because of his constant English dialogue. Ling Peng is a nice touch to the film.The Viral Factor lives up with its action. The story has room for refinement, but all in all, it is a solid 2 hour watch.

JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

So while at the local video store I saw a trailer for The Viral Factor and thought it was going to be an action packed movie. It was action packed for sure, but it really doesn't anything else other than that.

The Viral Factor is about International Security Affairs agent Jon who gets shot in the head during an escort mission and loses the criminal he was escorting. I would go on with the short synopsis, but if I do it'll ruin what little story it has. If you're looking a compelling story look elsewhere, this offers none of that. One reason being is that it's directed by Dante Lam, which is was a bad sign to begin with. Unlike Fire of Conscience where he spends to much time developing to many characters, The Viral Factor forgets about that and goes into action mode for most of the movie. One noticeable example of poor writing is the death of a character important to Jon who only shares one scene with him before dying. This will leave no impact on the audience as he doesn't get developed, just like everything else in this movie, and extends the movie longer than it needs to be. Which was another complain of mine, the movie is longer than it needed to be and drags out with the only purpose is to show us more violence.

Dante Lam sure loves violence in this movie since that's pretty much the only time he put any effort into this movie. He tosses away dramatic scenes, even some that were really important to the movie and uses them at the end to little effect. Now the action scenes are entertaining no doubt, but they would've been more enjoyable if they had the story go along with it. Enough focus on the story, the cast on the other hand is likable. That's all, they give bland performances and sometime deliver dialogue that just clearly state the obvious in the movie. Now I'm sure Dante Lam is capable of directing a good movie, but this won't impress you and it lacks most of the elements for good entertainment.

The Viral Factor is a poorly written, over long movie that only focuses on the violence. Now while it did pass the time for me, I suggest looking elsewhere because this won't offer anything memorable and lacks the full entertainment values.

Caesar Mendez

Super Reviewer

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