Line Walker 2 Review: One Of The Best Hong Kong Films In 2019
The Movie directed by Jazz Boon. Starring Francis Ng, Nick Cheung, Kimmy Wong, Louis Koo.
A stranger moment couldn’t be chosen for the U.S. release of a movie out of Hong Kong about the police. It was impossible for director Jazz Boon to anticipate the ongoing protests lingering over the city when he made Line Walker 2: Invisible Spy, but still it reckons with crime and corruption in Asia’s world city.
In the wake of a car crash that targeted and killed dozens of pedestrians in Hong Kong, Superintendent Yip Kwok-fan (Ng) and Detective Ching To (Cheung) track down a hacker whose attempt to tip off the police to the attack came too late. They take journalist Yiu Ho Yee (Wong) into custody, where she admits to hacking into a human trafficking organization’s database for a story, and warns that, among the files, she found a number of police officers in Hong Kong and abroad were working to cover up the group’s activity. Suddenly, everyone is a suspect. Ching To fears the mole is his former partner, Inspector Cheng (Koo), who, in turn, suspects Yip. As the three policemen work together to hunt down the head of this underground organization, traveling from Myanmar to Spain, their allegiance to each other and to Hong Kong is tested, their motivations obscured to the very end.
Louis Koo (front) and Nick Cheung in a still from Line Walker 2.
For every cop trying to do his job, there’s another with ulterior motives. These are men with families, troubl backstories, and a great deal to prove. Though Boon may not have meant to excoriate the nature of the police in Hong Kong (and elsewhere), his film pictures them as fallible, prone to brash actions and mistakes. In one scene, as Yiuis pursued by a masked assassin, she hides in plain sight on a bus. “Relax, I’m a cop,” whispers the man seate behind her, just out of view. The worry doesn’t leave her face – perhaps rightly so. In a world where it’s impossible to determine the good from the bad, the citizen has no choice but to look out for herself.
Boon is no stranger to an action thriller; his fight scenes are tense, crisp, and often flinch-inducing, if a little over the top. The film shines in these moments of fast-paced combat, shifting expertly from gunfights to fisticuffs and then back to guns, incorporating cars, futuristic gadgets, and even a herd of bulls. This is a movie that excels in confounding expectations, for better or worse, motioning one way only to pistol-whip you in the opposite direction.
Genre: Action & Adventure, Drama
Directed By: Jazz Boon
In Theaters: Aug 16, 2019 Limited
Runtime: 98 minutes
Starring: Nick Cheung, Louis Koo, Francis Ng, Jiang Peiyao, Joe Ma , Huang
What are the Critics saying about Line Walker 2:
Pat Padua (The DC Line)
May require more than the usual suspension of disbelief. But the breathtaking stunt work will keep viewers too busy to notice
Andrew Parker (The Gate)
Will scratch the itch of anyone who wants to watch something with a ridiculous plot, hard boiled performances, and a handful of impressive set pieces.
Daniel Eagan (Film Legacy)
Action fans may feel like they’re back in Hong Kong heaven.
Richard Yu (Cinema Escapist)
Plot takes a backseat to action in Line Walker 2. The story merely existing to provide some context for shootouts and car chases
John Tan (The New Paper – Singapore)
This Hong Kong police action film has the potential to be a compelling tale about brotherhood but is gunned down by shoddy writing.
Edmund Lee (South China Morning Post)
Action fans should be thrill. … This is one of the best Hong Kong films of 2019.