Shock Wave: Hong Kong Destruction review – one long tick-tick-boom symphony

Thu, 10 Jun 2021 06:00:11 GMT 9

Shock Wave: Hong Kong Destruction review – one long tick-tick-boom symphony

Andy Lau plays a bomb-disposal officer in this old-school action thriller with tricksy, Infernal Affairs-esque storytelling

The “2” in the original title of this film would suggest this Hong Kong-action thriller is a sequel – or more likely a prequel given its ending – to the 2017 film Shock Wave, which like this starred megastar Andy Lau and was directed by one of his regular collaborators, Herman Yau. In fact, there’s no connective narrative tissue at all between the films, apart from the fact that the hero in both works for the Hong Kong police department’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal (EOD) bureau, or bomb disposal unit. Still, the end result offers a regular drumbeat of suspense-followed-by-explosion throughout – one long tick-tick-boom symphony, in fact – which makes for fitfully stimulating entertainment.

Lau plays Poon Sing-fung, the EOD’s most reckless yet heroic debomber, who is best friends with his superior, Tung (Ching Wan Lau), and in a happy romantic relationship with pretty police officer Pong Ling (Ni Ni). The couple’s happiness is mostly represented in the early scenes by her looking simperingly at him while he laughs in a reckless yet heroic fashion. But one call-out goes wrong, and just when Poon thinks he’s saved everyone in a squalid flat, a cat in a booby-trapped microwave blows up and Poon loses half of his left leg. Nevertheless, he puts everything into building up strength in his remaining limbs in order to return to his old job, which not so coincidentally dovetails with Lau’s real-world support for the Paralympics and disabled athletes.

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