Reuniting star Andy Lau and director Herman Yau after 2017’s brilliant Shock Wave, this standalone sequel in-title-only refreshes the series with a new storyline and characters. The disappointingly bland and paint-by-numbers thriller fails to hit the exciting highs of the first film, and ultimately just confuses as to why they bothered maintaining the Shock Wave name and bringing Lau back when – spoilers for a 4-year-old film ahead – his original character died at the end of the previous film. Surely it would’ve been far less misleading to just call it something else entirely, rather than attempt to create some sort of misguided anthology series of films.
Shock Wave: Hong Kong Destruction is clearly going for a nostalgic and traditional approach, delivering an experience that feels plucked right outta the 90s. But ultimately it just feels badly dated and tired, offering absolutely nothing of note beyond some relatively exciting action sequences. The narrative around them is dull and meandering and thinks it’s far cleverer than it is, the performances are phoned in, and the special effects are often underwhelming.
This is just a dreary and unimaginative thriller that even makes some of Michael Bay’s explosion porn seem high-brow.
Trinity CineAsia presents Shock Wave: Hong Kong Destruction on Blu-ray & DVD 7th June and Digital 14th June