Cold War 2
One of the biggest cinematic successes in China and Hong Kong over the past few years, both critically and financially, was 2012's Cold War. Though we weren't a big fan of the bloated running time, overly convoluted plot, and blatantly obvious pro-China propaganda prominently featured in the film, no could deny the power of the performances and kinetic action sequences. Thankfully, the sequel (released in Asia last year and coming to the States courtesy of Well Go USA) cuts out a lot of the fat and political tinges, leaving a lean and mean action/drama that'll please most fans of the region's cinema.
The film still does have a weighty plot, but basically it boils down to police superintendent Sean Lau (played by Aaron Kwok) coming under fire from a conniving associate (M.B. Lee, played by Tony Leung Ka-Fai) and power-hungry politician (Oswald Kan, played by Chow Yun-Fat) who are looking to use a tragedy for their own personal gain. Sean soon unwraps a series of conspiracies and must find people that he can trust in a effort to stop his position from going to someone who wants to use it for their own ends.
Cold War 2 could still use a bit of trimming -- probably the end result of having three directors on board -- but for the most part, this is fast moving and entertaining fare. Sure, the acting comes off at times as award bait, but there is an underlying earnestness that is increasingly refreshing in the day and age, where far too many local Hong Kong releases come off as too slickly packaged fare that is more invested in pleasing their Mainland producers than delivering an interesting cinematic experience. Bookended by some impressive action sequences helmed by the veteran action coordinator Chin Kar-Lok, Cold War 2 shows that there is still at least a bit of life left in the Hong Kong film industry -- maybe, one day, they'll show this in more than one or two releases a year, as now sadly seems to be the path the region is on.
Cold War 2 will be released uncut and in the original Cantonese language in March 2017 in North America from Well Go USA. Bonus features include trailers and behind the scenes featurettes. Click here to order the Blu-ray and DVD from Amazon.
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