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The White Storm 2: Drug Lords film review

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Source: SCMP/MingPao


Considering that 2013’s over-the-top police thriller The White Storm was conceived by Benny Chan Muk-sing as 

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 of the 1980s and ’90s, this sequel in name – with a different director, screenwriters and main actors (except the returning Louis Koo Tin-lok, who is in virtually every Hong Kong film anyway) – might have seemed like a rip-off on first glance. Under the direction of the reliable Herman Yau Lai-to ( 

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, however, The White Storm 2: Drug Lords does succeed in replicating the original film’s exhilarating action and outrageous body count, even if it makes a mess of the theme of brotherhood that gave substance to the melodramatic core of Chan’s film. This is a thoroughly thrilling, if also unabashedly superficial popcorn movie.

The White Storm 2 opens with a 2004-set prologue, where triad member Tin (Andy Lau Tak-wah, a co-producer of the film) is ordered by his boss and uncle (Kent Cheng Jak-si) to chop off the fingers of Dizang (Koo), his blood brother for over 20 years, as the latter’s punishment for disobeying the gang and selling drugs on home turf. Meanwhile, the wife of police inspector Lam (Michael Miu Kiu-wai) dies in a related incident.

Fast forward to the present, and Tin has left behind his criminal life, married a lawyer (Karena Lam Ka-yan), and reinvented himself as a business tycoon and philanthropist. Due to multiple drug-related tragedies in his family, Tin is hell-bent on eliminating all the major drug dealers in Hong Kong; this puts him on a collision course with the vengeful Dizang, who has since become the biggest drug lord of them all.

In a convoluted story that occasionally gives way to shoot-outs and car chases of little significance to the main plot, we see Tin neglect legal obstacles, often brought up by Lam, to put a bounty on the drug dealers’ heads, while Dizang takes out his competition to become Tin’s No 1 nemesis. And then it’s all rendered redundant when the action climax, refreshingly set inside the crowded Central MTR station, arrives to save the film.

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