After her father died, a Hong Kong girl discovers she has two hitherto unknown sisters, one in Taiwan and one in China. To settle her father's debt, she must reunite with them to run the ... See full summary »
Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) investigator William Luk and Joint Financial Intelligence Unit (JFIU) officer Lau Po-keung are respectively investigating a corruption and ... See full summary »
There is an iron rule in the Ching Hing Gang: No drug dealing. The gang leader, Yu Nam (by Kent Cheng), has two right-hand men: one is Tin (by Andy lau), a bright and sober adherent of principles and loyalty; the other is Jizo (by Louis Koo), a cold-blooded smart man who secretly runs a drug business without Nam's knowledge. Ordered by the top leader, Tin taught Jizo a lesson by cutting off one of his fingers and expelled him from the gang. On the same night, policeman Fung (by Michael Miu)'s wife was killed in Jizo's nightclub during an operation. Meanwhile, Tin swore to change sides after his beloved girlfriend walked out of his life. 15 years later, the local drug market is now quadripartite. Jizo becomes the biggest drug dealer in Hong Kong; while Tin has now established himself as a financial tycoon and a philanthropist, and is offering a $100 million bounty to eliminate the No.1 drug dealer in Hong Kong. It causes a stir in both the society and the underworld. Inevitably, a ...
This Movie Storms In and Grabs Your Attention, Though at the Loss of Development
White Storm 2: Drug Lords, has nothing to do with the original. The sequel is interestingly a mixed bag, that probably has something for everyone, though only on a peripheral level. Tin (Andy Lau), begins the film as a member of the Triad, who is ordered by his uncle, the gang's boss, Yu Nam (Ken Chang), to punish his long-time friend of twenty years, Dizang (Louis Koo), who has been pedalling drugs, despite the gang's strictest rules to never touch the stuff. Thus, Tin chooses familial loyalty over his friend, gravely wounding him for his betrayal, and having him exiled from the gang.
Tin and Dizang's brotherhood is merely spoken about, and is never appropriately shown, making this moment not cut as deeply as it could have, though the acting of both leads marvellously propels the drama of this feature forward. Beginning in 2004, the film rushes chronologically through events until reaching the present day, glossing over Tin's achievements in leaving the Triad and becoming a successful businessman and philanthropist. This is seriously underdeveloped, his business being given little depth, while his financial situation is merely used as a plot device.
His marriage to business partner, and lawyer, Man Fung (Karena Lam) is also provided no backstory. Their on-screen chemistry is limited to only a few scenes, while her professional duties are rarely glimpsed, the main drama being her battle to conceive, this dizzyingly beautiful actress not provided the screen time she deserves.
Not long into the movie, Tin receives a letter from former lover, Mei (Chrissie Chau), who, diagnosed with terminal cancer, reaches out to him about their son she had in secret, who has turned to drugs. This propels Tin back into the grisly underworld he escaped, which leads him back to Dizang. Koo does a terrifyingly good job at making his character appear psychopathically savage, though for the most part, he is unfortunately forced to portray a pseudo playboy, rather than the intelligent, ruthless mastermind that he is.
Thus begins Tin's battle to bring down the city's biggest drug lords, the film, annoyingly, rarely showing just how involved in this battle he is. Inevitably, his decisions put him at odds, with by-the-book police officer Lam (Michael Miu), who you would occasionally be forgiven for forgetting was even in the movie. With the death of his wife by the hands of drug addicts, and his daughter pleading for him to bring down those responsible, it is amazing that he believes justice will prevail, in a film that continuously shows how unjust society and human-nature can be. The main members of his unit however, Jack (Carlos Wan) and Apple (Michelle Wai), along with their supposed romance, are provided even less detail - if that is at all possible.
The film quickly jumps from one character to another, never giving anyone (exception, the two main leads) enough opportunity to shine, and nowhere else could this be truer than in the film's action set pieces. Here, the editing is as fast as an automatic weapon. True, this intensifies the excitement, with cars performing elaborate stunts and people shooting left and right, though the sporadic nature of the cuts makes establishing who's fighting who; who's pursuing who, and who is dead or dying, difficult to comprehend. It is also disappointing that the leads are seldom seen during these frantic moments, though they are given a fabulous moment together in a uniquely amazing car chase.
The film's drama is slowly built up until boiling point, through a series of melodramatic set pieces, threatening conversations and provocative staring competitions. The film is loud and boisterous, and left me thoroughly entertained, despite the serious lack of development of characters, relationships and agendas. This is a movie with a simple, but effective narrative, that desperately wants to get to its exciting ending, no matter the cost, and if the wild car chases and shoot-outs, and professional chops (and handsome faces) of Lau and Koo can't cut it for you, not much probably will.
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