Chasing The Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch 追龍II: 賊王 (2019) Review

Co-directors Wong Jing and Jason Kwan team up for the second time in Chasing The Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch <追龍II: 賊王>, a sequel in name only that bears no direct connection to the first movie starring Donnie Yen and Andy Lau back in 2017.

But just like the 2017 movie which explored the true-crime drama of Donnie Yen’s notorious drug kingpin Crippled Ho (Limpy Ho) and Andy Lau’s corrupted police inspector Lee Rock (Lui Lok), the sequel continues the same narrative pattern but only this time, it centres on the real-life exploit of Cheung Tze-Keung a.k.a. “Big Spender”. Played by Tony Leung Ka-Fai, whose character is renamed as Logan Long for dramatisation purpose, Chasing The Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch <追龍II: 賊王> largely focused on the final days of his highly-publicised kidnapping operation. In order to apprehend Logan and his gang members (among them are Lam Ka-Tung, Sabrina Qiu and Sherman Ye Xiangming), Sky He (Louis Koo, playing a fictional protagonist) is tasked by his superior (Simon Yam) as an undercover disguising as Logan’s new explosive expert.

Whereas Chasing The Dragon <追龍> has bigger star powers and better production values, Wong Jing and Jason Kwan’s equally star-studded follow-up is no slouch either. Tony Leung Ka-Fai steals most of the show in his perfectly flamboyant yet charismatic performance as the leader of the kidnapping operation Logan Long. Louis Koo carries his role of an undercover well enough, while it’s nice to see Simon Yam playing a comic relief for a change. His role as Sky He’s superior offers the most laughs in the movie, particularly during an amusing scene in the hospital where he disguised as a doctor.

The rest of the supporting cast is adequate enough in their respective roles, particularly Lam Ka-Tung playing one of Logan Long’s gang members who have an agenda of his own while Sabrina Qiu’s (2017’s Colour Of The Game <黑白迷宮>) obligatory eye-candy role (this is a Wong Jing’s film anyway) as Logan Long’s girlfriend surprisingly works well in her favour.

The story is pretty much a standard-issue HK crime thriller mould, complete with a well-worn undercover subgenre added into the mix. And yet, Chasing The Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch <追龍II: 賊王> remains curiously entertaining, thanks to the aforementioned cast. It also helps that the sequel moves at a brisk pace with little excess — a result which is more than enough to distract you from overanalysing its thinly-disguised plot. The action may have been generic and lacking a certain distinctive visual flair seen in the first movie. But at least, Wong Jing and Jason Kwan still manage to get things done with a reasonably well-staged third-act to keep you occupied until the end.

THREE-stars

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