With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013
With Dada Chen at NYAFF 2013

Tuesday, March 07, 2017

COLD WAR 2 reviewed; debuts on Blu-ray & DVD today

Well Go USA
Cold War 2
Directed by: Lok Man Leung and Kim-Ching Luk
Starring: Aaron Kwok, Tony Leung Ka Fai, and Chow Yun-fat
Hong Kong/China, 2016, 110 minutes

Cold War 2, which continues the original film’s saga of intra-police rivalry, debuts toady, March 7th on Blu-ray™ and DVD from Well Go USA Entertainment. (It's been available on digital since February 7th.) This review is based on my watching the Blu-ray release.

The original Cold War (2012) also was directed by Leung and Luk. I also had Kwok and Leung starring as rivals in the Hong Kong police force. It was shown at the 14th New York Asian Film Festival in 2015 as one of several films starring Aaron Kwok, who was in attendance to receive that year's Star Asia Award.

M.B. Lee (Tony Leung Ka Fai, right center) is pissed at Sen Lau (Aaron Kwok, left center)

This second installment, which includes Hong Kong superstar Chow Yun-fat as eminent legislator Oswald Kan, picks up after the events of the first film. Sean Lau (Kwok), a straight-arrow bureaucrat, has risen to the position of Commissioner of Police, besting M.B. Lee (Tony Leung Ka Fai), the former Deputy Commissioner of Operations.

Lee's son, Joe Lee (Eddie Peng of Call of Heroes), is a criminal in police custody. His buddies kidnap Lau's wife and demand his release in exchange for her life. This sets things in motion, including a behind-the-scenes conspiracy to control the Hong Kong Police Force.

Chow Yun-fat as legislator Oswald Kan

The film starts out at a funeral and numerous characters are identified by subtitles, in Chinese and English, as they appear on scree. This tends to get things off to a slow start. There are a few decent action scenes, but nothing all that spectacular.

Frankly, the best thing about the film was the opening credits which feature ice figures such as those seen in the Blu-ray image above. It's truly lovely to watch, and every bit as good as the best Bond film openings credit sequences.

Disc Specs:
-- Audio
   -- Cantonese DTS 5.1 HDMA
   -- Cantonese 2.0 Stereo
   -- Mandarin DTS 5.1 HDMA
   -- Mandarin 2.0 Stereo
-- Subtitles
   -- English
   -- Chinese
   -- Off
-- Bonus
   -- Behind the Scenes
      -- A Powerful Cast
      -- The Story
      -- The Three Powers
      -- VFX and Action
   -- Teaser
   -- Trailer
-- Previews
   -- Sky on Fire
   -- Operation Mekong
   --  Three

AsianCineFest Rating: 2.5 out of 4 stars. A decent-enough policier,  but not all that great.

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