Writer: Yan Han (Screenplay) Nobuyuki Fukumoto (Comic)
Starring: Yi Feng Li, Dongyu Zhou, Michael Douglas, Bingkun Cao, Eric Heise, Alberto Lancellotti, Yijuan Li
Plot: A man finds himself deep in debt and is coerced to board a ship that hosts a risky gambling party.
Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun Adventure Thriller
Story: Animal World starts with Zheng Kaisi (Li) who has been struggling for money working in a casino as a clown, his mother is sick and he can’t afford the medical bills anymore, he is close with the nurse Liu Qing (Zhou) who does what she can to support his sick mother.
Desperate for money Kaisi re-mortgages his family home, only to learn that the man he did the deal with Anderson (Douglas) wants a bigger price than he could ever afford. Luckily Kaisi is given a chance to go on the cruise ship which will give him a chance to make more money than he could ever imagine or face hardship just to survive. This is going to be one of the most extreme games of Rock, Paper, Scissors.
Thoughts on Animal World
Characters – Zheng Kaisi is a young man that works in the amusement arcade, while trying to support his mother in hospital, he is trying his best to support her, but money is tight and turning to his friend they take out a loan. The loan is more than he was prepared for, forcing him to pay it back to the loan with a high rick game of rock, paper, scissor. He must use his knowledge of maths to stay ahead of the game, while learning how to deal with the different players. Liu Qing is the nurse girlfriend of Zheng Kaisi who is being pressured into leaving him for the security of her future, she is one of the reason why he plays the game. Anderson is the man who arranges the game and the loans, he will put the players into the same game, which is largely for his own profit for the high stakes in play. Li Jun is the close friend of Zheng who ends up getting them into this situation.
Performances – Yi Feng Li in the leading role is great to watch, he shows the good-nature to his character as well as showing us that he can get into the poker face performance needed for the game. Dongyu Zhou does feel wasted in her role in this fil, she really doesn’t get to do anything. Michael Douglas fills the villainous leader of the game role wonderfully, without needing to do that much outside his comfort zone. The rest of the cast is mostly the players of the game who all show their characters true colours through the film.
Story – The story here follows a poor young man who takes out a loan with a friend, only for the loan shark to force them into a deadly game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with strict rules, our hero must get out of this game which stars and must learn quickly how to become feared within the players. This is an interesting idea for a film, it places us into a underground card game with high stakes, it shows us how the game is played which might be a long scene, but does make everything clear. The concept does feel original and adding the nightmare figures our lead sees, only makes this even more interesting, the tactical side of the game is everything we want to be witnessing because it keeps us guessing to just what will happen next.
Adventure – the adventure side of the film mixes with the thriller side by taking our characters into a world unseen to them, the new world is the adventure for these characters.
Settings – The settings are largely aboard the cruise liner where the game takes place, it fits the rich society look required, while having a dirty look which was required for the film.
Special Effects – The effects are used for the visions that Kaisi experiences, they take him into a world of monsters which he wants to fight back against.
Final Thoughts –The is a fun adventure thriller, it takes rock, paper, scissors and makes it one of the most intense games you can see played.
Overall: Fun and entertaining.