Dark Matter (2007) Review


Based on a true story of how a Chinese University student in the US could not cope when his chances of a Nobel Prize are stopped by school politics.


Lets start by being brutally honest when it comes to this film, I watched it because Meryl Streep is in it. I have to clear that up right away and I am sure that will be the main reason most people will give it a chance.

Liu Xing travelled to the US, Salt Lake City on a scholarship from China to study cosmology as a graduate student on a prestigious programme ran by Professor Reiser. Joanna Silver is a benefactor of the programme and helps the Chinese students on arrival and during study times. She take a keen interest in Chinese culture and gets on very well with Liu Xing taking a liking to him.

Xing is obsessed with dark matter which is an unseen substance that he believes shapes the universe but when his theory conflicts that of his mentor Reiser it was never going to end well for him at all. Making bad choices because things did not go his way, instead of just ensuring he would graduate as surely after that he could have researched into dark matter and his findings more? Well, that would seem like the best idea. But instead he was stubborn and took a job selling beauty products which produced a very uncomfortable scene with Joanna where he attempted to put some of the products on her. (Seriously that was so cringeworthy and bad!)

Obviously when you go to America though and things don’t go your way at all the thing you do is shoot and kill the people that stopped you achieving your dream right? Well, that is what happens in this one. I am not really classing this as a spoiler considering it is based on a true story so you could already know the ending. While the film is based or inspired by the true story of Gang Lu it has changed a lot of things (and obviously names) that really its quite strange that they decided to change so many things but cling onto the real story vibe.

The only good things about the film was Meryl Streep’s lovely performance however she does not really have that big of a role so wasn’t given enough time to try and save this very poor film. Ye Liu was not engaging or strong enough in the leading role to hold any interest at all. I have to admit that I actually stopped half way through the film and was just going to leave it but for some reason I decided that I should finish it. Not that it really made any difference as the ending is already nailed on.

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