REVIEW: Shock Wave sequel not as thrilling as the first movie

Lim Yian Lu
·3 min read
In Shock Wave 2, former bomb disposal officer Poon Shing-fung (Andy Lau) enlists the help of his former comrade, Tung Cheuk-man (Sean Lau), and his ex-girlfriend Pong Ling (Ni Ni) to thwart a terrorist attack in Hong Kong.
In Shock Wave 2, former bomb disposal officer Poon Shing-fung (Andy Lau) enlists the help of his former comrade, Tung Cheuk-man (Sean Lau), and his ex-girlfriend Pong Ling (Ni Ni) to thwart a terrorist attack. (Photo courtesy of Golden Village Pictures)

Rating: NC16
Length: 120 minutes
Director: Herman Yau
Cast: Andy Lau, Sean Lau, Ni Ni
Language: Mandarin with English and Chinese subtitles

Release date: 24 December 2020 (Singapore)

3 out of 5 stars

Produced by and starring Andy Lau, Shock Wave 2 follows the story of bomb disposal officer, Poon Shing-fung, who loses a leg after a bomb incident. Despite his vigorous training to get back into shape, he is still denied resuming his duties and is instead given an admin role. Angrily frustrated with the system, Poon gives up his job as a police officer and embarks on a different life.

One day, Poon is injured in an explosion and falls into a coma. He becomes a top wanted criminal after the police suspect he has ties to the criminal organisation, Vendetta. However, after waking up from his coma, Poon appears to have lost his memories and cannot remember who he is, much less what he has done. Poon escapes from custody in order to investigate the truth, enlisting the help of his former comrade, bomb disposal officer Tung Cheuk-man (Sean Lau), and his ex-girlfriend Pong Ling (Ni Ni), who is now the chief inspector of the Counter Terrorism Response Unit.

In Shock Wave 2, former bomb disposal officer Poon Shing-fung (Andy Lau) enlists the help of his former comrade, Tung Cheuk-man (Sean Lau), and his ex-girlfriend Pong Ling (Ni Ni) to thwart a terrorist attack in Hong Kong.
Sean Lau as bomb disposal officer Tung Cheuk-man. (Photo courtesy of Golden Village Pictures)

Desperate to discover the culprit behind a series of explosions, Pong Ling persuades Poon to infiltrate Vendetta to find out their next terrorist move and prove his innocence. In the midst of investigating the truth, Poon gradually recovers bits and pieces of his memories.

First of all, you should know that the story of Shock Wave 2 is not a continuation of the 2017 film of the same name, although it also stars Andy Lau, and has the same director Herman Yau. Shock Wave 2 features an entirely new storyline with new characters, although it strikingly pales in comparison to the 2017 Shock Wave. It is, sad to say, not as exciting and nerve-racking, and lacks the brutality of terrorism that the first film has.

In addition, this sequel has included a few tribute scenes to the original film, such as disposing of a grenade in a sand pile, and dismantling a bomb in a plaza. But for those who have watched the 2017 Shock Wave, you would be able to guess what happens next, which makes the story less surprising.

In Shock Wave 2, former bomb disposal officer Poon Shing-fung (Andy Lau) enlists the help of his former comrade, Tung Cheuk-man (Sean Lau), and his ex-girlfriend Pong Ling (Ni Ni) to thwart a terrorist attack in Hong Kong.
Ni Ni as Pong Ling. (Photo courtesy of Golden Village Pictures)

The movie opens with a mind-blowing scene of powerful bombs going off at the airport, destroying everything within a wide radius that could take 20 years to re-build. Perhaps most of the budget went into producing this big-scale scene; the subsequent bomb incidents feel relatively insignificant. It is also said right at the start that this will be a story about how a man prevents this from happening, but little did we know that this was probably the only stimulating scene.

That being said, all hope is not lost for Shock Wave 2 because of the wonderful computer graphics employed in portraying Andy Lau with a prosthetic leg. Quite a bit of screen time is given to seeing how a disabled Poon trains his body, which is more than enough eye candy for fans of Andy Lau. Some of the scenes cleverly used a mirror to hide the prosthetic leg, which not only serves as an easier way out (less editing!), but also shows how much Poon wants to become “normal” again.

If you are expecting from Shock Wave 2 the same level of intensity and thrill factor as the 2017 Shock Wave, you will be disappointed. Then again, it is always difficult for sequels (even more so for those sequels in title only) to achieve a breakthrough, especially when the first one did so amazingly well.