Monday, 7 December 2009

The Storm Warriors (2009) @ 风云II

At a glance:
Storm Warriors has a lot of fans. We have the type who read the 1989 source material and saw the first movie. Then we have the electronic type that are brought in by the producers in large numbers to blow at Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng's hair. More graphic novel movie than martial arts epic, this sequel to 1998's HK cinema milestone Storm Riders is the greatest incarnation of Ma Wing Shing's celebrated Fung Wan comic and nothin short of box office blitz is expected when entrusted in the able hands of directors Danny and Oxide Pang. However, when the brothers themselves tell you that no decent movie critic can avoid comparin this wuxia reupdate to that Spartan SFX feast 300 because it uses the same software (!) that's when you know you have a novelty movie in your hands. Indeed it's special effects before story as we're swirled and twirled into the windy world of Nip Fung (Ekin Cheng) and Bou Keng Wan (Aaron Kwok) as the two heroes (and their emo hair) return to the silver screen after so long to battle evil once more. The story starts off coherently with some reference to the first movie and we are soon made to understand that this will be a two-hour battle with Wind, Cloud and Nameless (Kenny Ho, pic) against evil Lord Godless (Simon Yam) and his equally evil son Heart (Nicholas Tse). Layabout Piggy King (Lam Suet) joins the story later on, together with Lord Wicked (Kenny Wong Tak Bun), Second Dream (Charlene Choi) and Chu Chu (Tang Yan).
Bad news on the doorstep:
However, this synopsis is too simple - or frankly, unnecessary. In a CGI-heavy project such as this, too much have gone into dazzle and the story predictably suffers. Borin, really. Aside from Aaron Kwok who sustained some over-reported injuries, the supportin cast have little to do. That's why you won't mind soft porn actor Kenny Wong as an armless sifu or cute newcomer Tang Yan, who replaces Shu Qi as Cloud's romantic interest Chu Chu to no useful effect.
Perennial wonderment:
Ekin Cheng and Aaron Kwok never age.
Watch out for:
Incredibly bad actin by Ekin Cheng near the end. Very poor.
Amacam joker, berapa bintang lu mau kasi?
I slept through this movie TWICE. Let the next one be better, since we know Ekin and Aaron will still look young enough to do it. ★★