L Storm L風暴 (2018) - Hong Kong / China
Reviewed by Andrew Chan (Film Critics Circle of Australia)
It is probably as generic as it gets in terms of the latest “Storm” series and ICAC promotional cinematic piece. Director David Lam whose only notable films in the past decades are “Z Storm” and “S Storm”, continues this tradition with a tag on patriotic ending that is in line with the Chinese government stance on anti corruption. Ignoring this aspect, the film is quite solid if never spectacular from the direction to film editing to the casts. Once again, the film is lead by ICAC senior investigator Louis Koo and ably supported by senior police inspector Julian Cheung. It’s really a by-the-numbers action thriller and that’s probably the kind of film that fills the action void and nothing else.
Louis Koo plays the same determined ICAC investigator that will literally stop at nothing. After cementing his position as action star from the SPL 3 best actor fame, Koo jumps from building to building and in one scene even falls from the top floor to the ground without a scratch. Such is the suspension of belief required. Julian Cheung plays 2nd fiddle and apart from being supportive, is given far too little screen time. On the other hand internal affairs ICAC got shot Kevin Cheng gets the juicy role to chase after Koo. Stephy Tang continues her good run as she shines in a small role. Patrick Tam impresses as the badass triad boss while Janelle Sing does well as the key mainland money launder.
All in all, “L Storm” plays extremely safe within the genre comfortable zones and never attempts to rise above its material than being plain generic and effective. As a result, we get the expected car explosions, the money fraud, the calculated murders and by the numbers but effective performances from the cast. The tag on ending of showing how great Mainland moral conduct is, remains the only mishap in an otherwise extremely generic action thriller for undemanding audiences.
I rated it 7/10