‘Cold War II’

“Cold War II” follows the success of its prequel, which won nine awards including best actor, best film, best director and best screenplay at the 32nd Hong Kong Film Awards in 2013. Featuring the likes of Aaron Kwok (郭富城), Tony Leung Ka-fai (梁家輝), Janice Man (文詠珊) and Chow Yun-fat (周潤發), the movie follows the drama between two groups of high ranked officials, one attempting to gain absolute power in Hong Kong, the other taking extreme measures to keep them from doing so.

Filled with tension and high-action scenes, “Cold War II” will surely keep you on the edge of your seat. Sean Liu (Aaron Kwok) is a solemn man who wants the best for the citizens of Hong Kong, taking extreme measures to protect them. M.B. Lee is the father of Joe Lee and claims Joe does not deserve to die. The color rendering brings a somber mood to the movie, and references to the first movie appear throughout. “Cold War II” introduces many new characters, expanding the already complex rivalry between Liu and Lee that developed in the previous film.

The film explores the fragility of power, and how easy it is for corruption to sneak in safe places, as Hong Kong is hailed as one of the safest cities in Asia. With its car chase scenes, explosions, intense standoffs, and power struggles, the sequel projects the fragility of the balance of power.

While the action scenes were very well-executed, the plot itself was difficult to follow at times. Of course, with political thrillers come switching sides and shifting alliances so a complicated storyline is to be expected. Nonetheless, the fact that whenever an important character was introduced, their name and title were explicitly put on-screen was a bit much. Although the text did clear up some confusion, the movie could have done a better job showing, not telling.

“Cold War II” is great for fans of the first movie, or those who enjoy political thrillers. It is available in Cantonese, with both English and Chinese subtitles. It does contain some blood and gore, so it is probably not the best for those who are squeamish. The spectacular aerial scenes and cinematography immerse the audience in the plot for all to enjoy.

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