Inventing Tomorrow, directed by Laura Nix, follows teenagers from around the world as they create inventions to compete at the International Science and Engineering Fair. Each of the inventions is their solution for an environmental cause, i.e. pollution. Nix focuses on the teens' daily preparations for the science fair before delving into the suspense of the sciene fair competition itself. Nix doesn't include much depth about the teenagers' private lives, i.e. their family, like the upcoming superior doc, Science Fair, does, but it does allow you to get to know each of the subjects' personality to a certain degree, although not enough to make any of them memorable. Inventing Tomorrow also shows you some of the scientific details regarding how the inventions work and are put together, so if you're a science buff, you'll enjoy that aspect of the film. Unlike Science Fair, though, this doc is less cinematic stylistically and doesn't have as much comic relief or emotional depth. Yes, somewhat inspirational because it sheds light on how younger generations can make a difference when it comes to environmental issues, but it's only mildly engaging and doesn't have anything that makes it rise above an average, forgettable doc. Inventing Tomorrow opens at IFC Center.
Luk Chi Lim (Louis Koo), an investigator in the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), is wrongly suspected of corruption. He must find a way to prove his innocence with the help of his friend, Lau Po-keung (Julian Cheung Chi-lam), a policeman, to find the potential mole. Meanwhile, Ching Tak-ming (Kevin Cheng Ka-wing), a member of the L Squad division of ICAC, investigates his case.
L Storm is a suspenseful crime thriller with a terrific lead performance by Louis Koo. He has enough charisma to be make the character of Luk compelling and worth rooting for throughout the film. The screenplay by Man-lung Ho and Ho-Wah Wong has just the right balance of exposition, action, intrigue and much-needed levity. Too little exposition and the film would've become confusing and some of the beats wouldn't have landed; this isn't dry or dull like Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy after all. If there were too much exposition, the plot's momentum would've ground to a halt, so it's quite fortunate that there's enough exposition.
You don't need to see Z Storm or S Storm to be able to comprehend the plot of L Storm. The less you know about the plot, the better, because it has some twists and turns along the way. Also, director David Lam should be commended for making a crime thriller for adults that's unflinching when it comes to its violence while avoiding cringe-inducing gore. He also maintains a fast pace with well-edited and choreographed action sequences. At a lean running time of just 90 minutes, L Storm is an intense, gritty and explosive crime thriller.