The most highly anticipated Hong Kong blockbuster of the year is finally out! Picking up from Cold War 寒战 (2012), a deceivingly simple kidnapping thriller now plunges into a darker conspiracy in Cold War 2 寒战2.
“Extreme times call for extreme measures.” In Cold War 2, writers and directors Longman Leung and Sunny Luk once again gathered a star-studded cast of veteran actors with hopes to create a sequel surpassing the first.
In addition to the original cast with Aaron Kwok 郭富城, Tony Leung 梁家辉, Charlie Young 杨采妮, Eddie Peng 彭于晏 and Aarif Rahman 李治廷, Chow Yun-Fat 周润发 makes a special guest appearance with Chang Kuo-chu 张国柱, both of whom are bound to heighten the tension of the plot. For Hong Kong drama followers, be sure to keep your eyes wide open to catch numerous familiar faces, like Frankie Lam 林文龙 and Cheung Chi-Kwong 蒋志光 in the film too.
So is the sequel better than the first? Worth watching? YES! ABSOLUTELY!
This film takes off spectacularly from the cliffhanger in the first blockbuster. I once held personal opinions that apart from the charismatic acting of the cast and explosive effects, the first film’s storyline seemed plain, typical of kidnapping crime thrillers. However, I was proven wrong in Cold War 2 when the plot reveals dark twists and bewildering character developments. It became apparent that the first film critically laid the foundation for the drama to follow. In Cold War 2, the line dividing the good and the bad becomes blurry. Characters transform and become increasingly difficult for audience to decipher their positions and even their beliefs.
Pay special attention to Leung’s role as Waise Lee 李文彬. Leung once again proved his status as a four-time winner of the Hong Kong Film Award with incredibly fine depiction of emotional turmoils as the plot unravels. Not only so, his character undergoes a huge transformation which would no doubt leave the audience clueless of his ulterior motives, unlike that in the previous film. As such, it does seem like an honest comment when Chow and Kwok jokingly admitted that they had troubles understanding the sequel.
In addition, the lineup of younger generations like Eddie Peng, Aarif Rahman, Janice Man 文咏珊, Tony Yang 杨佑宁 and Bibi Zhou 周笔畅 is bound to stun the audience too. Prior to the global release of the movie, Cold War 2 was chosen as the opening film in the 19th Shanghai International Film Festival. Amidst the loud praises awarded to the three veteran actors, Kwok, Leung and Chow, Peng and Man were also showered with compliments for their improvements in acting. In particularly, Peng was commended for his breakthrough acting, reprising his role as the antagonist, Joe Lee 李家俊, known for his charm and intellect.
Who’s on the dark side and who’s not?
I am certain that Kwok’s role, Sean Lau 刘杰辉, is the epitome of justice and righteousness in the film. To figure out the rest, one will have to catch the movie in theatres and discern the characters oneself.
Be sure to catch Cold War 2 in theatres from 8th July!