Andy Lau and Hong Kong movies return in Herman Yau’s Shock Wave

The title of Herman Yau’s latest effort might describe the midnight movie-style reactions elicited by the Hong Kong director’s low-budget-but-high-shock-value works such as The Untold Story and Ebola Virus. Instead, Shock Value is a high-end crime flick and disaster movie hybrid starring one of Cantopop’s Heavenly Kings, Andy Lau.

What starts off like another undercover cop movie takes a detour when mole-turned-bomb-squad-expert is hunted by his old target, an explosives-happy terrorist who traps and uses hundreds of motorists in one of the island’s three commuter tunnels as hostages.

While the movie has more than enough production value and polish to compete with actioners from Hollywood or Mainland China, Yau still goes way over the top when it comes to gunfights, car chases, and the blackest of humor. There’s a drawn-out scene involving the bad guy’s brother and a gurney that is pure Hong Kong cinema.

The balance of mainstream polish and exploitation aesthetics is a real winner, delivering emotion and kicks as well as all the explosions, bullets, and guts you can handle for two full hours. Boom!

See it in Cantonese at Atlantic Times Square.

AMC Atlantic Times Square 14
450 N. Atlantic Blvd.
Monterey Park


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