Two years ago, Chasing the Dragon, starring Hong Kong stars Andy Lau and Donnie Yen, was a gritty crime movie of epic proportions. This sequel, entitled Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch, features none of these famous actors, is about half an hour shorter and only an above average thriller that is loosely connected to the first part. The movie revolves around undercover cop Sky who inflitrates the gang of criminal mastermind Logan. The veteran attempts to kidnap an influential millionaire in Macao before retiring to Hawaii. Sky has to gain the mastermind's trust step by step but soon becomes a pawn in his game. Things get even more complicated when Sky realizes that some gang members have their own secret ambitions.
Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch convinces with gripping action scenes leading to an intense finale. The three main characters consisting of the protagonist undercover cop, the antagonist criminal mastermind and the gang member with his own ambitions are fleshed out very well and complement one another perfectly. The story comes around with a few minor turns to keep things entertaining throughout. The film's rock soundtrack is catchy, contemporary and energetic as it even made me discover great new music. Sabrina Qiu and Lukian Wang look particularly stylish, elegant and beautiful as the movie's only relevant actresses.
The movie however lacks the charismatic presence of Andy Lau and Donnie Yen that made the first movie stand out. The actors and actresses in this film only deliver good average performances at best and lack energy and charisma. The film's pace is at times quite slow in the introduction and especially the middle section at the criminals' hideout is rather dragging. Occasional flashbacks further harm the pace. Despite a few minor twists, the plot is overall rather unspectacular and can be decsribed as Hong Kong action-thriller by the numbers. The locations are also tedious and mostly consist of the hideout and random highways.
In the end, Chasing the Dragon II: Wild Wild Bunch is a classic Hong Kong action-thriller that will keep you entertained for just above one hour and a half. It however fails to leave a deeper impression due to a lack of charismatic actors, interesting locations and gripping plot. This film never equals the first movie and is only recommended to faithful genre fans.
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