Cold War

2012 [CN]

Action / Crime / Mystery / Thriller

11
IMDb Rating 6.6 10 4078

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Synopsis


Uploaded By: FREEMAN
June 07, 2020 at 02:46 AM

Director

Cast

Grace Huang as May Cheung
Byron Mann as Chan Bin
Andy Lau as Philip Luk
Andy On as Michael Shek
720p.BLU 1080p.BLU
936.47 MB
1280*534
Chinese 2.0
R
24 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S 3 / 35
1.88 GB
1920*800
Chinese 5.1
R
24 fps
1 hr 41 min
P/S 4 / 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by DICK STEEL 7 / 10

A Nutshell Review: Cold War

And from the get go, we see Mongkok being bombed in a terrorist attack, before an EU squad mysteriously disappears from the police radar, together with five cops being held hostage for millions of dollars, threatening to blow this case wide open for the police, and become their PR nightmare. The safest city in the world is now under threat from forces and criminals unknown, and is now up to the highest echelons of the force to get their act together to crack the case, putting aside differences that have been festering for the longest time.

The first third of the film has an extremely political slant to it, where internal bickering, testing of loyalties, and the protection of fiefdoms in organizations rear their ugly head. Anyone working in any private or public sector organization will be able to see parallels that both Lok Man Leung and Sunny Luk had drawn upon to set their characters in, with supporting acts from Lam Ka-Tung, Chin Kar Lok, Andy On and even Charlie Yeung playing various department heads, being drawn into the deep divisions, where on one side, Lee takes over in brash fashion, only to come up against the more brooding, thinking Sean, the latter plotting a coup de tat to wrestle control and to instill some semblance of reason. After all, Lee has personal conflicts of interest and Sean is banging on that to relief the former of his position.

The second half becomes the Aaron Kwok show, with the police operations code named Cold War undergoing full swing, and the directors setting up plenty of action, with typical criminal- cop phone call conversations, and keeping things tight for the audience in wondering just who the perpetrators may be, in addition to rewarding everyone with a fairly realistic highway shootout scene. But the final act is where the prestige comes in, with the introduction of Aarif Lee as a fairly inexperienced ICAC officer who may have stumbled onto some secrets behind Cold War, and convinces his bosses to allow him to spearhead an investigations into the two deputy commissioners of police, turning the film into one investigative drama complete with red herrings and good old fashion police work.

If only that was expanded upon, instead of speeding it through, which was what some quarters were restless about that Mainland China may have influenced the outcome of the film in some way, given that the good guys have to come up on top as a requisite. It's most unfortunate that the final act turned out to be its weakest, since it's never about the destination, but the journey in getting there, and there's where the screenplay fell through with gaping lack of information, perhaps primed for expansion in a separate film altogether, and a flow that was rather choppy, as if glossing over details had severely knocked the wind out of what could have been a very strong finish.

But story aside, I felt that the perennial struggle between Scholar and Farmer was something that would be instantly identifiable with anyone in Singapore, where success with grades would guarantee being airdropped into a cushy job in any government organization. And clearly, Aaron Kwok's Sean Lau is one such scholar, promising and the youngest ever to be made deputy, and primed for the top job in what would be a railway ride to the top, barring any cock ups from this operation. This is clearly in contrast with one who rose through the ranks through sheer grit, determination and hard work in the case of M.B. Lee, being out there with operational experience with the men, versus someone brought into management and wielding presentation slides instead of risking his neck out there in the field. Debunking their respective stereotypes, is what made the characterization of both leading protagonists a joy to sit through and discover.

While we are largely aware of Tony Leung Ka Fai's versatility, and looking quite the bad ass with his bald and bearded look here, I felt Aaron Kwok has really matured and aged well like fine wine, and with it came loads of improvement in his acting chops as well, charismatic to a fault in his portrayal of Sean Lau as we get put through which side of the fence this chap is really sitting on. Despite big names like Lam Ka Tung, Chin Kar Lok, Andy On and Eddie Peng, all of them were severely underutilized, which is a pity given the ensemble, with the likes of Charlie Yeung to balance the testosterone level in what would be a stereotypical role of being the PR chief for the police. Look out for Andy Lau in his few minutes, where he really chewed up the scenery as the secretary of security, primed and ripe for an expanded role if a sequel does come true.

If only the ending wasn't so blatant as to leave it so open for a follow up film to be made, since it had left the door wide open to just how far the rot in the police force goes, despite being one of the safest cities in the world, that the organization tasked to keep the law and order gets bogged down by its own protocols, processes and power struggles. Still, as a first film effort, Cold War is still a very slick affair technical wise, with the leads propping the flimsy final act up on their shoulders with the promise of more. Recommended.

Reviewed by paul_haakonsen 5 / 10

Mediocre crime-thriller in a sprawling metropolis...

"Cold War" ("Hon Zin") is an entertaining movie, but it is far from the finest moment in Hong Kong cinema. And for a crime-thriller, well then it set out to do a lot of things, but it ended up looking as if directors Lok Man Leung and Kim-ching Luk had bitten off a bit too much and weren't able to fully bring it full circle.

The story starts out well enough, and quickly picks up pace, but towards the last third of the movie it started to become forced and somewhat messy, making the movie suffer in overall coherency and enjoyment as a result.

"Cold War" does have some of Hong Kong's top actors in it, and Aaron Kwok does carry the movie quite well. It was a shame that Andy Lau wasn't given more screen time in the movie, but his appearance was great nonetheless.

Personally I am not overly keen on crime movies such as these, and "Cold War" didn't really bring anything overly new or exciting to the genre.

The movie was nicely shot and edited, and it is enjoyable for what it is. But even with my love for Asian cinema, then I doubt that I will be making a second viewing out of this movie. It just didn't have that much to offer.

Reviewed by caseymoviemania 7 / 10

Casey's Movie Mania: COLD WAR (2012)

Touted as "the next INFERNAL AFFAIRS", COLD WAR is a bold, if heavily flawed action thriller that gives a fresh perspective rarely seen in a cop genre by showing an internal conflict between a group of high-ranking police officers struggling to solve a case.

The movie opens fast and furious, beginning with a sudden explosion at a crowded movie theater. Following immediately is a separate scene where an arrogant drunk driver speeds through the Hong Kong's freeways and ends up crashing his car pretty badly. An EU (Emergency Unit) van loaded with five cops arrives at the accident scene, which is reportedly being hijacked and vanishes from police radar. Despite all the so-called expensive and sophisticated technology at their disposal, the police can't even track down their own van. Apparently one of the five cops that ended up being kidnapped by masked hijackers is Joe (Eddie Peng), son of Deputy Commissioner of Police from Operation Division, M.B. Lee (Tony Leung Ka-Fai).

While the Commissioner of Police (Michael Wong) is out of the country, Lee has been appointed as acting commissioner and leads the rescue operation code named "Cold War". Lee's strategy is an all-out aggressive attack with "non-negotiable" policy against the kidnappers, but Deputy Commissioner of Police from Management Division, Sean Lau (Aaron Kwok) disagrees with his harsh decision and demands the situation to be evaluated thoroughly before any proper action is taken. Lau also suspects that Lee is overreacted especially since his son is being kidnapped as well. As the internal conflict is mounting up, Lee continues to bark his authority all for the wrong reasons when he harshly refuses to let his Head of Police Public Relations Branch, Phoenix Leung (Charlie Yeung) to release info about the kidnapping news to the public. The particular situation prompted Lau to step in with some top-brass supports from his best friend, Senior Superintendent Vincent Tsui (Chin Kar-Lok), Senior Superintendent Albert Kwong (Gordon Lam) and Secretary of Security for the Hong Kong Security Bureau, Philip Luk (Andy Lau) to overturn Lee's position so he can replace him as the new acting commissioner.

Once Lee is forced to step down, Lau immediately takes charge and proceeds on negotiating with the kidnappers who demands a huge amount of money or else. However, Lau's attempt to deliver the ransom money goes terribly awry and even leaves one of the crucial police officers dead. Now most of the money goes missing.

At this point onward, both Lee and Lau become prime suspects under the investigation of ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption), which is lead by a young ICAC investigator Billy Cheung (Aarif Rahman). According to Cheung, he has a reason to believe that Lee or Lau has something to do with the missing money and the overall conspiracy of the kidnapping case. Now the biggest question is: what really happens? If the synopsis above does sounds confusing to you, that's because first-time writers and directors Longman Leung and Sunny Luk stuffed way too many plots in a compact 102 minutes! Not to mention their script is overly convoluted, which is filled with lots of loopholes and questions that might frustrate a lot of impatient viewers throughout the movie. Then there's Kwong Chi-Leung's hyperactive editing which can be annoying at times especially with too many overlapping scenes (particularly during the rapid-fire, dialogue-heavy moments) that seriously demands the viewers to play some catch-ups. The second half, which involves the ICAC investigation between Billy, Lee and Lau as well as the elaborate conspiracy theory, is a serious head-scratcher when viewers tries to connect all the dots together.

Despite all the glaring flaws, COLD WAR remains good enough to watch for. Kudos still goes to Leung and Luk for their ambitious move to present a cop thriller out of the ordinary, even though their executions are somewhat haphazard. As both being a first-timer, their directing efforts are still spotty in places. But it's hard to deny that Leung and Luk does possess some impressive feats in their overall directions.

The movie is benefited from lush production values and spectacular aerial shots (particularly the way how they framed the angle of skyscrapers), while the overall technical credits are equally top-notch. Except of course, some of the CG here are patchy (particularly in the climactic scene involving fireworks on the roof of a tall building). Peter Kam's music score is frequently intense throughout the movie.

Action scenes are adequate enough, particularly for the exciting shootout/car chase scene at the freeway overpass.

The cast, in the meantime, are rock-solid. Aaron Kwok gives a perfectly restrained performance (thank heaven he's not overacting like he used to!) as the calm and confident Lau, while Tony Leung Ka-Fai is especially a standout as the no-nonsense Lee who seriously deserves an acting award nomination (His scene involving him and Aaron Kwok barking at each other in the police headquarters, and another one where he coolly outwitted the two young ICAC investigators in the interrogation room, are downright memorable). The rest of the supporting cast are equally great, including Charlie Yeung, Gordon Lam, Aarif Rahman and even the cameo appearance from Andy Lau.

COLD WAR ends with a cliffhanger finale that screams a sequel. If the sequel is really made sometimes in the future, here's hoping that Longman Leung and Sunny Luk manage to polish their rough-on-the-edges direction and their overstuffed screenplay into a more balanced approach. As for now, COLD WAR stands as one of the best Hong Kong movies of the year.

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