There are no action sequences, no stunts and no martial arts. This is a straight-forward melodrama with Jet Li at the forefront of the melancholy story, an unexpectedly wonderful casting choice. Written and directed by Xue Xiaolu, Ocean Heaven is often a bit heavy-handed and emotionally manipulative, but Li gives a wonderfully subtle performance as a dying man and father of an autistic son.
Sam Wong (Li) is an aquarium worker who has learned to care for his autistic son since the death of his wife, who was unable to cope with the hardships of the special circumstances. David (Lunmei Kwai) is 22-years-old, but his condition requires Sam to watch over him on a daily basis. This becomes more difficult when Sam discovers that he has a terminal illness which will soon leave David orphaned.
Too old to go into an orphanage and too young for a retirement home, there seems to be nowhere David will belong once Sam has passed away. In order to prepare him for this change, Sam begins teaching David how to accomplish daily tasks on his own, from breakfast preparation to riding a bus. The entire film is preparation for an event which was always to come someday, when David would have to learn to survive without Sam. Li gives the quiet performance of a man who has accepted his fate and sees death as a deadline for all of the things he must accomplish for his son.
The Blu-ray includes a making of featurette and a trailer gallery.