The Wesley's Mysterious File (2002)

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 08/03/2010

Maybe it's the summer heat percolating my brain or the sixer of Mountain Crest lubricating my liver, but for one of the seemingly most reviled movies of the past decade, The Wesley's Mysterious File actually isn't that bad. Granted, it's still not A-list material, or even B-list, but compared to some more recent releases, at least it provides some decent (if totally brainless) entertainment.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 08/22/2006

Irony and sarcasm make strange bedfellows. One thing I can't stand reading are so-called film reviews by smart alecks who have seen only a handful of Hong Kong movies and feel compelled to slag off for fun a few negative words about the work of filmmakers who have reached a level of achievement that the little snot noses could ever hope to reach. I hope all my readers will recognize this as sarcasm and appreciate the irony.

Best for me to quote my colleague MrBooth as follows; "The sets, costumes, general cinematography & editing are all top notch - a visually very slick movie... for the most part. The movie does suffer from some really badly done CGI, which is particularly disappointing after the relatively ground-breaking effects work in AVENGING FIST."

Yea, I liked that movie, as well. Mr. Lau is one of my favorite director/cinematographers and I'm proud to defend any of his movies. This one is a science fiction film, right? Written by Wong Jing and Thirteen Chan, this movie was also produced by Mr. Wong. I have no choice other than to like the movie because I have been fully indoctrinated.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: 27jewels
Date: 05/04/2003
Summary: Dissapointment Of The Year, A pile of unoriginal crap

Absolutely terrible. The first few minutes brought high expectatations. On location in San Fran, nice scenery. Then, it turned all pear-shaped when the opening scene became the most unoriginal sequence I have ever scene. A poor and obvious concoction of The Matrix, Men In Black, Alien and for those who are old enough to remember...Ghostbusters (!), and I am sure there are other movies this one has stolen ideas from that I am unaware of.
NOW...this is one of my pet hates....HK actors trying to speak ENGRISH...It's terrible.Everyone and especially Shu Qi sounds like she is constipated when attempting to speak english. She is at her best when her mouth is shut and clothes off. Rosamund Kwan..where did they dig her up from?? I thought she was dead already?! I don't know what else to say...This film is crap, and to make it worse, it's unoriginal.

Reviewed by: Souxie
Date: 01/12/2003
Summary: at times painful!

o my god, how bad was this movie! I glad I only spent $15 on it... Why can't people just stick to languages they're comfortable with? Why can't people write plausible love stories anymore? What was with those seriously unhip glasses Wesley was wearing???
Rosamund Kwan did the best she could, like she was trying to ignore how bad this was - but Andy Lau and the rest seemed to know it was bad and just didn't care. And now I hate Shu Qi more than before I saw it... goddamn, how embarassing must it bo to see yourself on VCD desperately trying to say lines in another language?
Avoid this - the only good bits were the sight of Andy Lau mouthing obscenities at the gweilo boss, and the look on his face when Rosamund Kwan says "we aliens don't have..."

Reviewer Score: 2

Reviewed by: resdog781
Date: 07/15/2002
Summary: ...what the hell??

that's what I said about 15 minutes into this movie. I saw a fairly entertaining first 15 minutes, with a "Men In Black" type FBI Swat team entering a building to take down a couple of evil aliens, with strange parallels to Resident Evil (the CGI monsters were incredibly fake, but still pretty cool looking)

Then, the movie fell flat on its ass into an alien love triangle story, with some cheesy CGI effects and the most horrid english dialogue ever put to film. Note to Chinese actors (and the "American" actors too): Just speak your native language. We'll take the time to read the subtitles.

Andy Lau stars as a UN-sanctioned M.I.B. type guy, only without the cool gadgets, and so very, very much gayer. He encounters the alien Rosamund Kwan (who's still not bad for 40+) who's looking for her long lost brother. Chasing them are two bad guy aliens, who took over Rosamund's home planet, and have captured her brother.

Shu Qi looks hot, can't shoot straight, and speaks the most horrible phonetic cue-card english I've heard since Sammo did "Martial Law", and....that's about it.

If you want to watch Men In Black, by all means go do it. Skip this one, unless you wanna see Andy Lau have mind-sex with an alien jello-mold.

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 07/01/2002

Another Wai Si-Lee movie, and this one is just a silly and fun as previous instalments like the 7th Curse. Set in San Francisco and HK, this Wong Jing production (directed by Andrew Lau) features plenty of laughably bad English subtitles, gaping plotholes, lots of ideas plagiarized from films like Men in Black and Terminator, CGI effects ranging from impressive to silly, and a star-studded cast led by Andy Lau Tak-Wah who struggle heroically in a losing cause whenever they have to deliver English lines. Poor Shu Qi gets the worst of it, implausibly playing an FBI agent along with Roy Cheung. This does not bode well for her upcoming crossover English language movie, The Transporter.

However, poor English aside, I found the silly plot enjoyable in a campy kind of way, the movie doesn't take itself all too serious, the reunited pair of Andy and Rosamund Kwan still have lots of chemistry, and there's even sort of a swordfight (Andy Lau vs. Almen Wong's worm tentacles...).

Marginal recommendation, as long as you watch it with lowered expectations.

Reviewed by: reelcool
Date: 06/16/2002
Summary: Best Movie Ever

Yes, this is the best movie ever made if you are mental. Don't expect much with Shu Qi in it, but there are some fun stuff in here to watch.

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 06/06/2002
Summary: So Bad It's Funny

What do you say about a movie where the second-rate American actors do better than the movie's stars? Andrew Lau Wai-Keung's "The Wesley's Mysterious Story" can be an amusing way to spend 88 minutes if you strip away the laughably bad dialogue, the terrible acting, the grade school plot devices, the heavy-handed exposition and the use of English by Chinese actors. The only other way to enjoy this film is to view it with a bunch of friends and tear away at it unmercifully, sniping at every little thing. But, since we can't take the aforementioned pieces out of the whole, we must suffer through the film's stench.

Following "The Legend of Wisely," "Bury Me High" and "The Seventh Curse," Andrew Lau Wai-Keung's "The Wesley's Mysterious Story" is the weakest and most embarrassing Wisely story to appear on film. I must admit that I tried to watch this movie intently, but whenever a character opened up his or her mouth, out spewed crap. The experience proved to be too painful. The only way to describe this movie is to sit through an Ed Wood festival, where it's so bad it's funny.

Reviewed by: snookie_1
Date: 05/30/2002
Summary: aiya........

wow....when i rented this...i was expecting a mildly amusing sotyr..but this really took me by suprise...cuz...it..was...just...so.... BAD!!!!omg....a snorefest...heh...i got to laugh at their bad english...HA! and really none of these people seemed to fit w/the story...rosamund kwan didn't look pretty wif that hair...andy lau looked..uhh...w/his glasses...and shu qi...heh...who's character is supposed to only wear white...guess what...SHE WORE BLACK!!!...heh...how sad...wat a bad re-telling of the novels...the shots of frisco were great tho...when did they shoot this?...how come i wasn't notified??hmmm...2/10

Reviewer Score: 2

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 05/30/2002
Summary: Bad

Oh this is bad, yes it really is. A Wisley adventure for 2002, and now he's high-tech! It's certainly not like his adventurer days. This new 'story' is extreamly dull, and the whole concept to be quite honest wore out several years ago.

Both Andy Lau and Rosamund Kwan are wasted in this, and although Shu Qi is more suited to this type of film, even she looks stupid. The CGI looks impressive enough, but it just doesn't look right for Wisley! Did Indiana Jones ever go to fight aliens? No, so why should Wisley. What else would you expect from Wong Jing!

Not a lot to keep you interested, avoid this one.

Rating: 2/5

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Stardust
Date: 05/29/2002
Summary: What the Heck is This?

For a movie about a well-known fictional character and a cast consisting of Andy Lau and Rosamund Kwan, one would think that this is a promising movie that can't be too bad to watch. For me, it was definitely on my "movies that I want to watch" list. Boy, was I ever wrong.

After watching this movie, I can conclude that this is the worst movie that was on my list. Forget the fact that the storyline was altered almost completely compared to the original story (I was expecting that anyway), I cannot understand why the film-makers would let so many problems exist in this movie.

Firstly, whats with the english dialogue? All the oriental actors suck at english, especially Shu Qi. Her chinese already sucks, and now they're making her speak another language? She sounded like she was constipated. So does making a chinese movie with lots of english dialogue make everything look smarter and better? If so, then we Asians have a problem: our chinese language is degrading us.

Secondly, whats with the sex scene? Very awkward and unrealistic if you ask me.

Thirdly, What was Rosamund thinking when she agreed to do this movie? I haven't seen her in a long time, so to me, this was a disappointing return for her.

Fourthly...man, I can go on and on so I'm just gonna stop here.

Overall, FORGET IT. As appealing as the cast may seem, or even if you're a huge Wisely fan, DON'T WASTE YOUR TIME!!!

Rating: 0/10

Reviewer Score: 1

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 05/15/2002
Summary: Yikes!! What a waste

What a waste of talent. Movie with little plot but good use of CGI. I think the bad guys were just too strong in this and the ending was a bit much.
You think this was another MEN IN BLACK but no unfortunately.
I dont have anything good to say about this movie but i guess you'll have to see it for yourself to see what a waste of money!!

I feel generous giving this


Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: annelam
Date: 05/01/2002
Summary: Skip this unless....

Skip this unless you are a big fan of Andy Lau. Gosh, this whole movie seems to be banging into your head with messages like " Andy is cool! Andy is great! Andy is handsome! Andy has style! Andy has taste!" Oh... my poor head! The filmmakers were too preoccupied glorifying Andy Lau in his superiority that everything else becomes secondary especially in the scenes where he was fighting the aliens. It was such a show-off for Andy that it made me feel terrible for the next hour of the movie. Another major disappointment was the dialogue in English. All of them spoke a language which phonologically didn't sound like English at all. I only managed to understand what they were desperately trying to mouth out after the first few sentences. I guess I needed a little time to tune my ears into listening this kind of English. Another funny thing which my cousin pointed out to me was "Hey! I didn't know aliens were Chinese!" hahahaha Oh, and by the way, this is one typical HK movie which seems to have this rule which states that the hero must end up sleeping with all the lead actresses. Once again, my advice, SKIP this! A mark for their effort in making a Science fiction + a mark for getting the BIG STARS (Andy Lau, Shu Qi, Rosamund Kwan) = 2/10

Reviewer Score: 2

Reviewed by: Akina86
Date: 04/24/2002
Summary: Not for everyone

This movie just is too boring i was expecting a lot since andy lau, rosamund kwan, shu qi are good actors and have done great jobs in the past but this movie didn't work out, they've tried some kind of experiment with mixing chinese people with american and special effects and the result is just disappointing, you have a weak story about wesley looking for some blue blooded alien (rosamund kwan) which later on they fall in love and shu qi a special agent of fbi.
The movie is too slow and boring.

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 04/05/2002
Summary: This may be the only positive review the movie will ever receive :)

Now I'll admit that as a person I'm easily annoyed... but in the grand pantheon of aggravations there are few things that annoy me as much as the gleeful "disappointment" everybody likes to express whenever Andrew Lau & Wong Jing make a movie together. Disappoint must imply that you were expecting something you did not receive... and if after all this time you expect Andrew Lau & Wong Jing to have suddenly developed a fine appreciation of characterisation, narrative or subtlety then you've only got yourself to blame. In a time when lack of originality is often cried as the greatest sin in the world, the fact that the producer/director duo have produced a string of completely unique movies seems to go absolutely un-applauded.

That said, in a string of movies that might fairly be described as grandly conceived but roughly executed, Wesley's File does stand out as being remarkably badly made. This is basically the fault of the script, which is best summarised as "stupid" I think. Kind of like Men In Black meets Starman, but obviously the product of muddled brains (or a complete lack of effort). Characterisation suffers as a result - it's largely non-existent - and the pacing of the story quite adeptly destroys any sense of tension that the story could/should have developed. There's some very bad acting all round - though I thought the main gweilo character carried himself quite well (compared to the history of the western actor in HK movies at least). Even Andy, who I am normally an admirer of, has quite a few embarrassing moments.

But fine, if you want to criticise then WESLEY'S will give you ample opportunity to do so. Even the most generous of reviewers (which may in this case be me) can't deny its faults. But does it have charms to compensate? Yes, it does.

Chief virtue is eye candy. 90% of the movie is shot in San Francisco, and Andrew Lau's cinematography makes the city look far more beautiful and interesting than it seems whenever I go into it :-/ It's pretty cool for me seeing Andy Lau, Rosamund Kwan & Shu Qi hanging about on streets I know quite well. Kept looking for myself in the background, but I suspect that principle photography was completed way before I moved here. The sets, costumes, general cinematography & editing are all top notch - a visually very slick movie... for the most part. The movie does suffer from some really badly done CGI, which is particularly disappointing after the relatively ground-breaking effects work in AVENGING FIST. There are some nice effects and cool creature designs, but mostly they are very poorly integrated with the real-life shots. Still, the effects do give the movie a unique feel and allows the makers to explore visual and narrative areas that Hong Kong movies have never touched on before.

The next main virtue is Rosamund Kwan. There seems to be quite a spell of actresses who had been quiet for the past few years coming back to prominence lately, and Rosamund shares with other examples a definite sense of maturity and confidence that allows her to shine even in a poorly defined role. She looks damn fine here too, remarkable for 40! It's pretty hard to still draw the male eye when sharing screen time with Shu Qi... and to be honest Rosamund still doesn't quite manage it in the few scenes where they are together... but when she gets the screen to herself she certainly commanded my full attention :)

The other main virtues are... ummm, a pretty interesting storyline (not script) that is quite unlike anything that Hong Kong has attempted before. There's some quite profound messages contained in there somewhere, albeit crudely fumbled in Lau/Jing's hands, but I left the theatre vaguely and briefly feeling that perhaps I should try and be a less evil person from time to time. I admire them for actually saying what most of the world only secretly thinks about America too :)) If the US location & prominent American cast was an attempt to appeal to US audiences, then there's a few lines that they misjudged :D.

There is quite a lot of English spoken in the movie, and like other attempts from HK to use the language, it's mostly pretty bad. There's some really awful performances from the numerous American C grade actors that they employed (always the case when the director can't guide them on delivery) - though like I said, the main gweilo FBI XX head was quite good, in a C grade actor kind of way. The English spoken by Andy, Shu Qi and Roy Cheung is a whole different level of bad, however - but I didn't mind this. It was consistent with their characters that their English would be unnatural, and unlike Johnnie To's recent movies, the characters only speak English when they have to - when they're speaking to Americans. When talking to each other, they speak a natural Cantonese... except for Andy Lau, who seems to have been dubbed by somebody else for quite a portion of his lines, and hence doesn't sound too natural . I didn't find the use of English here to be as embarrassing as I did in FULLTIME KILLER or ROOT2 though - in fact I was even glad it was there.

It's probably clear that I'm trying too hard to defend a movie which by any reasonable assessment is badly made... but I genuinely did enjoy it, even if more of the laughs were unintentional than should have been the case. The movie certainly could have been a whole lot better, and taken out of Andrew Lau and Wong Jing's hands it almost certainly would have been. But who else but Andrew Lau and Wong Jing would have the balls to make such a movie these days? Ultimately it's not that the duo do things particularly well that makes me love them like I do, but the fact that they have the guts to try and do them at all. I'll still be looking out for their next CGI-tastic efforts anyway .

Reviewer Score: 6