Director: Jingle Ma
Starring: Tony Leung Chiu-wai,
Shu Qi, Richie Jen, Meme Tian, Saki Seto, Choi Yei Jin, Cho
Su Hyoun, Cho Han Na
RunTime: 1 hr 38 mins
Released By: Shaw
Released Date: 8 Feb 2005
Seoul Raiders is the sequel to director Jingle Ma’s
hugely successful blockbuster "Tokyo Raiders". Tony
Leung Chiu-wai reprises his role as Japanese special agent
Lam, this time on an intricate search for a pair of “The
Avenger” plates used for the making of counterfeit U.S.
notes. During the hunt, he comes across a foxy lady JJ (Shu
Qi) and a US Embassy staff named Owen (Richie Jen), who manages
to con the plates out of Lam and flee to Korea. Lam and JJ
immediately follow Owen to Korea, only to be confronted by
the legendary kingpin “Polar Bear,” a top dog
of the largest counterfeit organization in Asia. What ensues
is an exciting game of cat-and-mouse in an exotic country.
There was a time when the Hong Kong movie industry churned
out unforgettable action blockbusters such as the infamous
"Aces Go Places" series whereby high tech gadgets,
hair-raising stunts, exotic locations and bone-tickling antics
are heavily featured and cinema-goers walked out of the halls
highly entertained. Fast forward to the year 2000, a spy theme
fast-paced action comedy was launched during the period of
Chinese New Year and the movie was none other than the highly
successful "Tokyo Raiders". You got the feeling
that the long dormant HK movie industry is finally making
Jingle Ma is back to helm the sequel to his "Tokyo Raiders"
minus the original Kelly Chen and Ekin Cheng from the first.
This time round, new additions include the sultry Shu Qi and
Chinese pop singer Richie Jen. Unfortunately, the plot falls
flat (an easy guess on how's the plot goes) and the repetitive
ballet style of action doesn't help in the action department.
Pity the cast who are embroiled with lots of aimless running
around and fleeting from one scene to another to fill up the
90 minutes duration. There is even a cheesy sequence whereby
Tony and Richie's characters brawling in a hot spring bath
with a melodramatic Korean song playing in the background.
left for Ma is to rely solely on the charismatic Tony Leung
to shine the screen with his pair of "electric"
eyes and trademark smirk. Though Richie Jen tries hard to
be a icy, smart agent, sadly his performance doesn't leave
a deep impression, similarly goes to Shu Qi who should be
doing better work elsewhere say "City Of Glass".
Ma who begins his career as a cinematographer and has shot
"Rumble In The Bronx" and "Fong Sai Yuk"
maintained his skillful cinematography skills. Seoul has never
been so picture perfect, every single frame of the city and
skyscrapers are embossed with excellent lightings for the
night and full of vibrant for the day.
Raiders" sadly underperformed in a number of ways. For
such a great cast and location shooting, the script was never
given a good polish. The boys will be disppointed with the
lack of witty dialogue, fancy gadgets but the girls will find
the charming Tony Leung worth the ticket admission.
Movie Rating: C+