Line Walker 2/使徒行者2: 諜影行動 Movie Review

Line Walker 2/使徒行者2: 諜影行動 Movie Review


“Hong Kong’s Mission Impossible” is to make a decent movie from TVB content. Hi! Welcome to The Silver Spleen. My name is Juan Toothrie and this is my review of LINE WALKER 2: INVISIBLE SPY. If you’ve watched my reviews, you know I’m not a fan of TVB. Neither are quite a lot of other people in Hong Kong. TVB has a monopoly on local broadcast television, and you can tell. But what’s the big deal? I mean, after all, who really could compete with TVB’s sterling lineup of programming, featuring lighting reminiscent of 1980s pornography and plots so generic and simplified that people in a coma can follow them. Who doesn’t love when TVB crosses over from the little screen to the big screen with cinematic gems like PERFECT WEDDING, TRIUMPH IN THE SKIES, or the first LINE WALKER ? Well… me. Disclaimer: I really enjoyed BUDDY COPS. Maybe the government doesn’t want anybody competing with TVB because… they know TVB would lose. I’d rather watch the Botswana public access channel then lose another 90 minutes of my life to this three-lettered vomitorium. LINE WALKER 2, like the first movie, is directed (a very little) by Jazz Boon. Having the same person in the director’s chair is just one of the reasons LINE WALKER 2 carries on so many traits from the original. It has a resoundingly dumb, overplayed opening that had me wishing for a bout of dysentery so that I could, y’know, leave the cinema for medical and social reasons. There’s no reason to show your audience half a dozen Rubik’s Cube duels between children. All you need is… two? We get it, they’re rivals. But y’know, hey, screen time won’t waste itself, am I right? Ahhhh, TVB; filmmaking for (by?) the intellectually disadvantaged. But LINE WALKER 2 goes one step further in its altruism. As often happens in TVB shows, the producers are terrified that, y’know, a viewer might get lost, or have to get up from the couch such that they can’t see the TV screen. As a consequence, on TVB characters not only have dialogue, they describe what they’re doing, y’know, in case a viewer isn’t sitting right in front of the TV. LINE WALKER 2 is literally filmmaking for the visually impaired. You can listen to this movie with your eyes closed, and you’ll still know every single thing that happens in the movie. Trust me, I tried it for about ten minutes LINE WALKER 2 is cinema for the blind (and dumb). I realize, y’know, at this point some of you are saying “This isn’t even a review, it’s a rant!” Well, you’re right, I haven’t talked much about the movie, but that’s for the same reason that it took me so long to do this review: thinking about LINE WALKER 2 just… makes me angry. LINE WALKER 2 tells the story of two cops who work hard to bring down a shadowy cabal of evil who kidnap children and turn them into super secret agents (secret super agents?) and send them into law enforcement around the world to act as moles for nefarious purposes. They know this because a hacker has uncovered the plot and is targeted for death by the organization. We know this because it’s a TVB movie, so the hacker actually says “It’s a shadowy organization that kidnaps children and turns them into super secret agents to act as moles in law enforcement agencies around the world for nefarious purposes!” Y’know, because I might have been in the kitchen washing [email protected]#$in’ vegetables. The movie doesn’t explain anything to us; the characters do. There’s no exposition in LINE WALKER 2, it’s… it’s just dialogue. Which is fine, because this movie is 99% garbage and while I’m, y’know, rinsing the cucumbers (that’s not a euphemism) I can open the lid of the trash can, y’know, with my foot, and keep watching this travesty. Speaking of travesty, of course the regular polices [sic] can’t stop this juggernaut of badness. No, it has to be a shadowy government organization, so secretive and unknown that they actually have their offices in an underground lair. They’re so super-secret that they have a name specially designed to mislead people as to their actual purpose: Invisible Frontline Force! They’re so super secret that this name is part of a 6′ high metal logo that hangs on the wall of the underground lair, and is the wallpaper for all the computers in the lair, and is on the cover of all the three-ring binders the organization uses. They’re so secret that everyone has the same [email protected] haircut. “Hey, y’know, the metal logo up on the wall was expensive, so we gotta cut corners somewhere!” But don’t worry, they cut a lot of corners in this movie. Guess what? It’s a grenade launcher, not a rocket launcher. That’s not what it looks like. If they bothered to (spend two minutes on the internet and) be accurate, they could have saved the money they wasted on that particular visual effect Cheap and stupid; TVB or not to be. Why are their lingering close-ups of things you already showed us? Well, because it’s either that or spend the money and energy on creating something new. Which is relevant, because this movie will need no additional editing for television. The pacing and the scenes are already edited so that they’ll fit very nicely between commercial breaks, and it’s painfully obvious. But so is everything else in this dung heap of a movie. During a protracted shootout that comes off as a lazy version of CHINESE BLACKHAWK DOWN, Louis Koo and Nick Cheung spend at least as much time staring intensely into each other’s eyes as they do shooting at people. It started to make me uncomfortable and ask weird questions: At some point in this exercise in wrongness, someone solemnly intones “We taught you… that the people you love will suffer…” So this really means that, y’know, TVB loves its audience. I’m not reciprocating. LINE WALKER 2 is just as good as a TVB movie can be. I didn’t like this movie, and I knew I wouldn’t like this movie, but if you watch it and you enjoy it, I’m happy for you, I really am. So if you want to watch it, if you enjoyed the first one or you like TVB, go ahead and enjoy it. Thank you for watching, and if you enjoy the reviews, please… subscribe to the channel. You can leave me a comment if you want, but… I don’t know, I might leave you an inappropriate response. It’s up to you, really. Thanks for watching!

6 Replies to “Line Walker 2/使徒行者2: 諜影行動 Movie Review”

  1. But seriously, how will it play on the mainland? It certainly seems like it’s dumbed down enough to fit right in there. Oh, and it’s about goddamned time you came back! 😉

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