Crime Drama ‘The Fallen Bridge’ Lacks Suspense, Say Chinese Viewers

Even a special appearance by Karry Wang from Chinese boy band TFBOYS couldn’t save the film from being skewered by audiences

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5:28 PM HKT, Thu August 18, 2022 1 mins read

On August 13, director Yu Li’s The Fallen Bridge dropped in the Chinese mainland and proved one thing: That mediocre films are still capable of making big bucks at the box office. In this case, Li’s film earned 100 million RMB in just two days.

The new crime drama begins with the sudden collapse of a city’s bridge, hence the film’s title. The accident unearths a human skeleton, which bears matching DNA with a murder victim from decades ago. Assisted by a boy, the daughter of the deceased strives to discover the true cause of her father’s death.

Actress Ma Sichun, who also starred in the film adaptation of Chinese American writer Eileen Chang’s novel Love After Love (第一炉香), plays the daughter, while Wang Junkai aka Karry Wang, a member of Chinese boy band TFBOYS, stars as her sidekick.


Karry Wang and Ma Sichun in The Fallen Bridge. Image via Weibo

Chinese netizens, especially fans of Wang, were initially excited for The Fallen Bridge, as evidenced by the film’s pre-release box office sales of 40 million RMB. On Weibo, a hashtag related to Wang’s appearance in the movie has been viewed more than 7 billion times at the time of writing.

“Can’t wait to watch this! Especially looking forward to Wang’s role!!” enthused one user.

“OMG, I can't wait anymore, looking forward to his acting!” gushed another.

Promotional poster for The Fallen Bridge. Image via IMDB

Since being released, however, the film has only earned an average score of 6.3/10 from coolheaded reviewers on Douban, a Chinese media review platform. Many users have grumbled about the movie’s apparent lack of suspense.

Comments range from, “To be honest, I felt a little bored at first,” to “[The film] is okay. There are no big surprises and the plot is a little weak. It was not a suspense film [...] more like a crime documentary exploring human nature.”

Others have been quick to point out the film’s plot holes: “Why didn’t [she] call the police when there was clear evidence in the end?” said one audience member, while another echoed, “Call the police, end of the show!”

Despite being skewered by audience members, the movie is said to have a strong end credits theme song.

‘Poem of the Night’ (黑夜的献诗) spins Hai Zi’s namesake poem into lyrics, and was sung by Wang and Chunlin Mo in both Mandarin and their respective mother tongues, namely Sichuanese and Nuosu.

Cover photo via Weibo

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