From the director of Ip Man trilogy comes the third installment of action movie series Sha Po Lang, this time featuring different characters and plotline. Will his experience in such film allows him to make another hit? Read on below to find out!
Louis Khoo’s character is a cop and when his daughter goes missing in Thailand, he goes over determined to find her, with or without the local police’s help. As he slowly spirals more and more out of control trying to unravel the mystery, he realises things are not as simple as they first appeared. Although I think most trailers present this as a very action-heavy film, it has much more of a mystery feel to it, action coming second. Also, I would like to just say how great of a trailer this is? It tells me next to nothing yet presents enough to intrigue me
As mentioned above, those looking for a straight-up action focused kungfu flick might be disappointed as this is much more a mystery/psychological thriller first rather than a balls out action flick. The story here is actually not unheard of, even giving away one of the film’s “twist” pretty early on I feel. However, it is the way in which the story is presented to us that I feel really kept me engaged. There were also a variety of scenes with unusual and visually interesting cinematography. All in all, I am not very sure but I feel like this film is trying to capture a more international audience but still retains some Hong Kong Kung Fu film traits.
That being said, there are some action scenes in this film and when they do happen, they happen brilliantly in all it’s kung fu/muay thai glory. This film is a collaboration between Hong Kong and Thailand, the fight coordinator being Sammo Hung which I believe did the Ip Man films. It also features Tony Jaa and you know he can bring it in the action scenes. Great fight and chase scenes all around. That being said, I feel like they cut around Louis Khoo’s fight scenes a bit too much and it does feel a little worse off for the rest of the fight scenes.
Special mention to the track that opens the film and also plays during one of the final scenes. It is a hauntingly beautiful track. Unfortunately, this brings me to a rather weird moment I had with the film. This is a pretty dark film but it also includes themes of familial love and the darkness and familial love kind of takes turn storybeat-wise. There is one particular scene which I would say is one of the darkest moments in the film and the scene is amazing. However, the next scene immediately jumps to one of warm familial love and I felt it was a rather jarring transition which ruined the darkness of the previous film.
Ultimately a good effort, but it could have been better.