L Storm film review: Louis Koo, Julian Cheung reunite for perfectly generic crime thriller sequel

Sometimes exciting, often ludicrous and ultimately very forgettable, this by-the-numbers sequel to Z Storm and S Storm once again deals with the rivalry between Hong Kong’s police and anti-corruption investigators

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 7:08pm
UPDATED : Thursday, 23 August, 2018, 7:50pm

2.5/5 stars

No prior knowledge is required to sit through this third instalment of David Lam Tak-luk’s action series. Its premise is the delicate dynamics between the Hong Kong Police Force and the city’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), but its storytelling is among the most generic of any recent Hong Kong crime thriller.

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A sometimes exciting, often ludicrous and ultimately very forgettable sequel, L Storm sees Louis Koo Tin-lok reprise his role as ICAC principal investigator William Luk from 2014’s Z Storm and 2016’s S Storm. In the new film, Luk is soon suspended from official duties when a bribery report is filed against him by, as it turns out, a total stranger (Stephy Tang Lai-yan).

With an ICAC hotshot (played by Kevin Cheng Ka-wing) on his case, Luk seeks to clear his name with the covert assistance of his police buddy Lau Po-keung (Julian Cheung Chi-lam). Simultaneously, both forces are trying to crack a money-laundering operation involving a corrupt Chinese official and a violent international crime syndicate based in Hong Kong.

Like its predecessors, the movie’s least sophisticated moments are its most entertaining. Every protagonist has the combat skills of a professional assassin; the bad guys switch alliances and kill off their rivals as if this is a lawless free-for-all; and the narrative gives way to frenetic chase scenes and bloody shoot-outs so frequently, and so abruptly, that it feels tempting to shut down your mind.

Still, for all its uninspired direction, L Storm isn’t boring. This is one perfectly mediocre action thriller which should nonetheless satisfy Hong Kong movie fans looking for a quick fix.

L Storm opens on August 23

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