Art, Entertainment

Movie review: Cold War 2 is an old-school Hong Kong cop thriller but in Mandarin

How could the newly appointed head of the Hong Kong police force (Aaron Kwok) make such terrible decisions after his wife is kidnapped? Why would the corrupt cops, who may or may not include the previous boss (Tony Leung Ka-Fai), go through all the trouble and incrimination of kidnapping and killing instead of just paying off the commissioner to put one of their guys in his place? Most importantly, shouldn’t these Hong Kong movie legends be speaking in Cantonese in Hong Kong?

Perhaps some of these questions were addressed in the first Cold War movie, which I missed. But directors Sunny Luk and Longman Leung do a nice job of picking up where it left off and getting new audiences up to speed without resorting to flashbacks. The acting is outstanding, too.

The plot really starts rolling when Chow Yun-Fat, in a smaller-but-juicy role as a badass lawyer, gets caught in the crossfire between the new-jack commissioner and his old-school foe. It’s like “Spy vs. Spy” in Mad magazine with yet another spy added to the surveillance, shootouts, and double crossing. The situation is as well-constructed as it is tense.

Chow Yun-Fat freaks will be pleased to see his cinematic partners Waise Lee from The Killer, along with Kenneth Tsang from A Better Tomorrow. I don’t think Charlie Young ever acted with Chow before, but it’s nice to see female actors from Hong Kong’s golden age back on the big screen as well.

While there are bloody gunfights and a spectacular chase sequence, the ongoing and escalating mind games generate the most excitement and tension and ultimately settle the score–all pointing toward a promising third installment of the Cold War saga. Hong Kong may not be the Asia’s Safest City but it always provides the best cop movies.

See it on the big screen at Atlantic Times Square while you can:

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

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