Saat po long: Taam long [Paradox] (2017)

Saat po long: Taam long
Director: Wilson Yip
Writer: Nick Cheuk, Lai-Yin Leung
Cast: Louis Koo, Yue Wu, Ka Tung Lam, Chris Collins, Tony Jaa, Jacky Cai, Ken Lo, Hanna Chan, Vithaya Pansringarm
Part of: /slash Filmfestival
Seen on: 26.9.2018

Lee Chung Chi (Louis Koo) is a police officer in Hong Kong. He is tough and good at his job, but when his teenaged daughter Wing Chi (Hanna Chan) disappears in Thailand, his position at home helps him very little. Nevertheless, he goes to Thailand, hoping to help in the investigation and to find his daughter again. In Thailand he finds officers Chui Kit (Yue Wu) and his partner Tak (Tony Jaa) who are in charge of the case, although not necessarily happy with having to deal with Chung Chi as well. But when Wing Chi’s disappearance leads to a criminal conspiracy, they need all the help they can get.

Paradox is a very cool film that manages to transcend its basic thriller set-up by a healthy dose of criticism of the system and really fantastic fight scenes. I enjoyed every second of it.

The film poster showing the faces of five men under a yellow background with the silhouette of a girl walking in front of it.

Father goes after his disappeared daughter / tough police officer destroys crime syndicate (practically) singlehandedly / two reluctant partners have to fight for the same cause – these are all stories we have seen a million times and that make the back bone of the film. If that had been everything the film had to offer, I’d probably have yawned and shrugged and immediately forgotten it.

But a lot of value is added to the basic concept: starting with the critical look at corruption in the system that I very much appreciated to the excellent pacing and handling of tension in the film, that made you sit up and pay attention from the first to the last minute.

Louis Koo in the film.

The real stars, though, are the fight scenes that really made the film for me. They were well choreographed and (almost more importantly) perfectly filmed and edited, so that we actually got to see what was happening. Since they found excellent fighters (above all, of course, Louis Koo, Yue Wu and Tony Jaa), it was a treat to be able to really watch them at work.

If there is one thing I would have wished for for the film, it’s at least one (1) woman in it who isn’t a victim and has some impact on the story. Despite the lack of female characters, though, the film works very well and I really enjoyed watching it.

Yue Wu in the film.

Summarizing: If you like fight scenes and/or thrillers, you should definitely watch it.

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