While it may seem repetitive on my part let me say once again that in doing reviews one of the greatest joys is the opportunity to see movies from around the world. Far too frequently foreign films are treated like the red headed step child in the US market. This means that few people get the opportunity to see some great movies out there. Then again there are a number of people unwilling to take the chance to be exposed to those same great movies for fear of having to read subtitles. Get over it. Take the time to enjoy the movie and don't sweat it.
That being said I was pleasantly surprised by a movie called SHOCK WAVE. Made is China this police thriller starts Andy Lau, a top star in the Asian market, as Cheung J.S., the top demolitions expert in the Hong Kong police department. The film opens with him on an undercover assignment as part of a bank robbing group that uses explosives to achieve their goal. After the robbery they've set up taxis with explosives to slow down or kill the police in pursuit. While the main organizer, Peng Hong (Wu Jiang) gets away, his brother Biao is apprehended.
Off duty at a bar Cheung meets a young woman overly intoxicated. Taking her to the local precinct he lets her sober up before taking her home. The two hit it off and are soon dating. A year passes and Cheung is back on regular duty. When a series of bombs are planted throughout the city he recognizes them as the work of Hong.
It isn't long before his plan is laid out for all to see. Sealing off both ends of one of the main tunnels that connect the mainland Hong Kong to the islands he takes everyone inside as hostage with the assistance of a group of mercenaries. He demands money from the government as well as the release of his brother to his custody. And the only person he'll talk to is Cheung, the man he feels betrayed him.
The movie works on a number of levels. There is the story of Cheung, a dedicated officer who puts his life on the line daily for the safety of others. There is the police force determined to do anything they can to insure the safety of the public while capturing the villain and his men. There is the story of two brothers, one still a criminal and one who wants to stop. And there is the imminent threat of explosions at both ends of a tunnel that will not only destroy it but all who are within.
Most people think of films from China as those old martial arts film with poor lighting, cheap sets and shot on terrible film stock. If that's what you think these films are then you're in for a surprise. Not only is the quality on display here equal to anything made in Hollywood the acting is superb as well despite the language barrier.
But none of that would matter if the story was lame or it plot holes were so large that you could fall into them. Face it, there is no such thing as a perfect movie but this one does a great job of not falling into those old clich styled Chinese films of the past. Those days are long gone and movies like this are more the norm than the exception. While watching this film I kept thinking it wouldn't be a surprise to see it remade here in the US with a few twists along the way.
By the end credits I found myself wanting to watch more of the films of Andy Lau. I've seen some in the past but look forward to more from him in the future. And I hope that others take note as well, taking the time to sit through and bear with the subtitles to discover a movie that is worth taking the time to watch. If you do my guess is you won't be disappointed.
Action / Thriller
Action / Thriller
When a terrorist who specializes in explosives takes hold of an underground tunnel, he threatens to kill hostages if his demands are not met.
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September 21, 2017 at 10:40 PM