AKA SPL 2. I've seen the first, but not reviewed it. It was great though. This one... yupp! It's pretty awesome, 2.
Tony Jaa and Jing Wu are in the same movie! Isn't that enough? And they do battle both against and with each other, so expect some pretty awesome action sequences. The locations aren't the most varied - it's basically in a prison, and in a reception, but they make the most of it.
It's the long-promised sequel to SPL, or Kill Zone as it's alternatively (Americanizingly) called, and the intrigue is this:
While undercover officer Kit is taken prisoner by the syndicate, he befriends his keeper and discovers an organ trafficking ring.
Simple enough, right? It's not all that basic though, and there's plenty of character development inbetween the fighting. Both their bonds, their acting and the action's often a bit overly dramatic - as these movies tend to be, but in a good way, and the action is sublime. Gritty, fast, and furious.
There aren't that many moments that really stand out - no stunts that you'll remember over others (except maybe that seamless kick through the window, or the fall off the prison terrace, or... well, there might be a few), but it has a sort of over-exaggerated authenticity about it that way. It's both down-to-Earth and way too flashy, but it's a combination that makes for immersive and intense watching, and lasting impressions.
The bad guy looks a lot like the commander in Black Mask - a professional, serious and suitably oldskool type of antagonist, and I do love the villainous tone the criminal gang has to them, almost like the type you'd find in a Superhero movie. There are no superheroes here, of course, but it has that tinge to it. Transcending mortality, kind of.
It's a heavy dose of the cold, harsh realities of the world... and furious martial arts action. The new school artists in an oldskool style of movie - more so than the prequel. Will there be a third? I hope so!
rated 4/5: fo shizzle