Ringo Lam’s first feature in 12 years sees the Hong Kong director return to familiar territory, as a former cop and his tearaway younger brother take on a violent gang of Taiwanese thugs after their paths cross that of a beautiful mainland woman.
A sequel in name only to Wilson Yip’s 2005 film, Soi Cheang’s SPL2: A Time For Consequences nevertheless recaptures the exhilarating energy of the original, expanding from Hong Kong to encompass Thailand’s criminal underworld. Showcasing a raft of top-tier martial artists, including Tony Jaa, Wu Jing and Max Zhang, Cheang’s film should transcend its narrative flaws to play strongly, both at home and to broad genre-loving audiences internationally.
Long-time screenwriter Lau Ho Leung (Painted Skin, Kung Fu Jungle) makes his directorial debut in this energetic action comedy following a gang of thieves who masquerade as cops to pull off a heist, only to encounter a rival posse with the exact same idea. Francis Ng and Simon Yam head up the cast, which sets its sights firmly on local audiences, delivering a winning combination of humour, action and camaraderie that transcends its budgetary limitations.
Sandra Ng looks to recapture the comedy and box office gold of her hugely lucrative Golden Chicken series with this cheeky peek at the male end of the Hong Kong sex trade. Re-teaming with director Matt Chow, the producer-star here trades genders to play a down-on-his-luck gigolo struggling to get his groove back and eke out a living amidst the city’s ailing financial climate.
Fruit Chan returns with a rare foray for Hong Kong cinema into the realms of science fiction. Adapted from a popular novel, the film sees a minibus-load of strangers thrown into an apocalyptic wasteland when their bus emerges from a tunnel to find the city deserted. Banding together they must figure out what has become of their loved ones and the city’s inhabitants, which tests their willingness to trust each other to the test. An entertaining if slightly uneven affair, never quite sure how funny or scary it really wanted to be, the film has plenty to say about the current state of Hong Kong, its value system and uncertain future as China’s presence and influence looms larger, but an enthusiastic cast including Simon Yam, Lam Suet, Kara Hui and Wong You Nam keep things moving along at a brisk pace.