Benny Chan has made some really good movies recently, like Connected and Invisible Target.
So going into The White Storm/掃毒, I was slightly trepidacious [sic].
The trailer looked promising, but trailers always look promising.
Nick Cheung, Louis Koo Tin Lok, and Sean Lau Ching Wan play a trio of cops working to bring down Eight Faced Buddha, a Chinese drug lord in the Golden Triangle, engagingly overacted by veteran Lo Hoi Pang, who’s been having a pretty good 2013.
Lau Ching Wan plays Tin, the brash, ambitious leader of the group.
Nick Cheung steals a kiss in the background.
Nick Cheung Kar Fai plays Wai, the police equivalent of the quiet Beatle.
That actress was born with a penis. But so was Nick.
Louis Koo plays Chow, the undercover cop whose marriage (to a very pregnant woman) and sanity are both falling apart.
He moonlights for the Fashion Police. This perp is a capital offender.
Out of their element in Thailand, things go bad, and do so quickly and severely.
A firefight ends with Lau Ching Wan having to make a horrible choice.
“Yeah, he made Gallants… but he tried to rape Mag Lam!”
The consequences of that choice, and the disastrous events that led up to it, shape the next five years.
The White Storm/掃毒 features strong performances from the leads as well as the supporting cast, good cinematography and solid direction of both the dramatic and action sequences.
There’s a lot to enjoy about watching these three veteran actors share a story and bring so much charisma to a movie.
And that’s why it’s such a shame that right about where the third act starts, the film jumps the crocodile.
Not the shark, the crocodile.
A stupid crocodile.
It’s kind of sad, because the good parts of the movie I outlined before, you know, the acting and action, continue just like they did before.
But the story has suddenly tasked the viewer with overlooking a 10 lb. horse pill of a twist that literally and figuratively cannot be swallowed.
You want to still like the story, and the characters… and the movie.
But the plot now makes such unreasonable demands of you that watching it feels remarkably like… being married to a vampire.
With profound developmental disabilities.
Let that marinate…
I wanted to like this movie.
And I was enjoying it.
Ohhh Benny, why you do this to me?
You may want to watch this movie.
It’s up to you.
I’d recommend looking at it.
But don’t pay the story too much attention.
You’ll just get angry later.