Wednesday, 18 May 2016

Killzone 2 (4 Stars)

The original name of this Hong Kong action film is "Saat Po Long 2", so in England it's marketed either as "SPL 2" or "Killzone 2". I'll stick to calling it "Killzone 2" to avoid confusion.

The first film was made in 2005, starring Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung. It's generally regarded as a classic action film. The sequel has nothing to do with it. None of the original cast return, and the locations are different. Is the film studio just trying to cash in on the popularity of the first film? It's not necessary. "Killzone 2" stands as a first class action film in its own right.

The film takes place in Hong Kong and Bangkok. Frequently the action is taking place in both cities simultaneously, and the camera cuts from one city to the other. This unusual film style is very effective.

The film's main character is Kit, a Hong Kong police officer who goes underground to infiltrate an organ trafficking organisation. After his cover is blown he's sent to a prison in Bangkok, which is also used as a place to hold people waiting to be killed for their organs. The boss of the organisation needs a heart transplant himself, and he plans to kill his brother to use his heart. When the brother is taken into protective custody by the Hong Kong police an offer is made to exchange him for Kit.

Another important character is a prison guard called Chatchai who feels guilty when he finds out about the innocent men being held in his prison. There are connections between him and Kit that are a result of coincidence. We often see coincidences in films. Random connections between characters make a good story, but are they plausible? I say yes. There are many coincidences that link people together in real life. We don't recognise them until they happen. How often have you bumped into a friend or work colleague in a place where you never expected to see him?

I've noticed that "Killzone 2" has a 100% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The incredibly intelligent critics must like the film. I like it too.

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