Hon zin (2012) Poster

(2012)

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7/10
A Nutshell Review: Cold War
DICK STEEL15 November 2012
And from the get go, we see Mongkok being bombed in a terrorist attack, before an EU squad mysteriously disappears from the police radar, together with five cops being held hostage for millions of dollars, threatening to blow this case wide open for the police, and become their PR nightmare. The safest city in the world is now under threat from forces and criminals unknown, and is now up to the highest echelons of the force to get their act together to crack the case, putting aside differences that have been festering for the longest time.

The first third of the film has an extremely political slant to it, where internal bickering, testing of loyalties, and the protection of fiefdoms in organizations rear their ugly head. Anyone working in any private or public sector organization will be able to see parallels that both Lok Man Leung and Sunny Luk had drawn upon to set their characters in, with supporting acts from Lam Ka-Tung, Chin Kar Lok, Andy On and even Charlie Yeung playing various department heads, being drawn into the deep divisions, where on one side, Lee takes over in brash fashion, only to come up against the more brooding, thinking Sean, the latter plotting a coup de tat to wrestle control and to instill some semblance of reason. After all, Lee has personal conflicts of interest and Sean is banging on that to relief the former of his position.

The second half becomes the Aaron Kwok show, with the police operations code named Cold War undergoing full swing, and the directors setting up plenty of action, with typical criminal- cop phone call conversations, and keeping things tight for the audience in wondering just who the perpetrators may be, in addition to rewarding everyone with a fairly realistic highway shootout scene. But the final act is where the prestige comes in, with the introduction of Aarif Lee as a fairly inexperienced ICAC officer who may have stumbled onto some secrets behind Cold War, and convinces his bosses to allow him to spearhead an investigations into the two deputy commissioners of police, turning the film into one investigative drama complete with red herrings and good old fashion police work.

If only that was expanded upon, instead of speeding it through, which was what some quarters were restless about that Mainland China may have influenced the outcome of the film in some way, given that the good guys have to come up on top as a requisite. It's most unfortunate that the final act turned out to be its weakest, since it's never about the destination, but the journey in getting there, and there's where the screenplay fell through with gaping lack of information, perhaps primed for expansion in a separate film altogether, and a flow that was rather choppy, as if glossing over details had severely knocked the wind out of what could have been a very strong finish.

But story aside, I felt that the perennial struggle between Scholar and Farmer was something that would be instantly identifiable with anyone in Singapore, where success with grades would guarantee being airdropped into a cushy job in any government organization. And clearly, Aaron Kwok's Sean Lau is one such scholar, promising and the youngest ever to be made deputy, and primed for the top job in what would be a railway ride to the top, barring any cock ups from this operation. This is clearly in contrast with one who rose through the ranks through sheer grit, determination and hard work in the case of M.B. Lee, being out there with operational experience with the men, versus someone brought into management and wielding presentation slides instead of risking his neck out there in the field. Debunking their respective stereotypes, is what made the characterization of both leading protagonists a joy to sit through and discover.

While we are largely aware of Tony Leung Ka Fai's versatility, and looking quite the bad ass with his bald and bearded look here, I felt Aaron Kwok has really matured and aged well like fine wine, and with it came loads of improvement in his acting chops as well, charismatic to a fault in his portrayal of Sean Lau as we get put through which side of the fence this chap is really sitting on. Despite big names like Lam Ka Tung, Chin Kar Lok, Andy On and Eddie Peng, all of them were severely underutilized, which is a pity given the ensemble, with the likes of Charlie Yeung to balance the testosterone level in what would be a stereotypical role of being the PR chief for the police. Look out for Andy Lau in his few minutes, where he really chewed up the scenery as the secretary of security, primed and ripe for an expanded role if a sequel does come true.

If only the ending wasn't so blatant as to leave it so open for a follow up film to be made, since it had left the door wide open to just how far the rot in the police force goes, despite being one of the safest cities in the world, that the organization tasked to keep the law and order gets bogged down by its own protocols, processes and power struggles. Still, as a first film effort, Cold War is still a very slick affair technical wise, with the leads propping the flimsy final act up on their shoulders with the promise of more. Recommended.
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I never even imagined Hong Kong cinema can be this excellent
Gordon-1110 November 2012
This film is about two Deputy Commissioners of Police dealing with the mysterious disappearance of a police car along with its five police officers.

"Cold War" wastes no time in building up suspense and thrill. Within a minute we already have an explosion in the middle of the most popular hang out place in Hong Kong. After that, the action never stops. The plot is very fast paced, it twists and turns in unexpected directions every few minutes. It is so engaging, the story is so grippingly told, that I was completely transfixed. My mind was blank with no distracted thoughts. I was simply in awe throughout the film. "Cold War" is so brilliant, from the intelligent plot, the star studded ensemble, the intense action, beautiful cinematography and great acting. Everything about "Cold War" is outstanding.

I have heard great things about "Cold War". Not only does it live up to its expectations, it certainly surpasses every single praise I have heard. In fact, "Cold War" is undoubtedly, undeniable the best Hong Kong film I have ever watched. I never even imagined Hong Kong cinema can be this excellent. Words fail to describe how outstanding "Cold War" is. I unreservedly recommend this film to anyone.
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7/10
Casey's Movie Mania: COLD WAR (2012)
caseymoviemania8 November 2012
Touted as "the next INFERNAL AFFAIRS", COLD WAR is a bold, if heavily flawed action thriller that gives a fresh perspective rarely seen in a cop genre by showing an internal conflict between a group of high-ranking police officers struggling to solve a case.

The movie opens fast and furious, beginning with a sudden explosion at a crowded movie theater. Following immediately is a separate scene where an arrogant drunk driver speeds through the Hong Kong's freeways and ends up crashing his car pretty badly. An EU (Emergency Unit) van loaded with five cops arrives at the accident scene, which is reportedly being hijacked and vanishes from police radar. Despite all the so-called expensive and sophisticated technology at their disposal, the police can't even track down their own van. Apparently one of the five cops that ended up being kidnapped by masked hijackers is Joe (Eddie Peng), son of Deputy Commissioner of Police from Operation Division, M.B. Lee (Tony Leung Ka-Fai).

While the Commissioner of Police (Michael Wong) is out of the country, Lee has been appointed as acting commissioner and leads the rescue operation code named "Cold War". Lee's strategy is an all-out aggressive attack with "non-negotiable" policy against the kidnappers, but Deputy Commissioner of Police from Management Division, Sean Lau (Aaron Kwok) disagrees with his harsh decision and demands the situation to be evaluated thoroughly before any proper action is taken. Lau also suspects that Lee is overreacted especially since his son is being kidnapped as well. As the internal conflict is mounting up, Lee continues to bark his authority all for the wrong reasons when he harshly refuses to let his Head of Police Public Relations Branch, Phoenix Leung (Charlie Yeung) to release info about the kidnapping news to the public. The particular situation prompted Lau to step in with some top-brass supports from his best friend, Senior Superintendent Vincent Tsui (Chin Kar-Lok), Senior Superintendent Albert Kwong (Gordon Lam) and Secretary of Security for the Hong Kong Security Bureau, Philip Luk (Andy Lau) to overturn Lee's position so he can replace him as the new acting commissioner.

Once Lee is forced to step down, Lau immediately takes charge and proceeds on negotiating with the kidnappers who demands a huge amount of money or else. However, Lau's attempt to deliver the ransom money goes terribly awry and even leaves one of the crucial police officers dead. Now most of the money goes missing.

At this point onward, both Lee and Lau become prime suspects under the investigation of ICAC (Independent Commission Against Corruption), which is lead by a young ICAC investigator Billy Cheung (Aarif Rahman). According to Cheung, he has a reason to believe that Lee or Lau has something to do with the missing money and the overall conspiracy of the kidnapping case. Now the biggest question is: what really happens? If the synopsis above does sounds confusing to you, that's because first-time writers and directors Longman Leung and Sunny Luk stuffed way too many plots in a compact 102 minutes! Not to mention their script is overly convoluted, which is filled with lots of loopholes and questions that might frustrate a lot of impatient viewers throughout the movie. Then there's Kwong Chi-Leung's hyperactive editing which can be annoying at times especially with too many overlapping scenes (particularly during the rapid-fire, dialogue-heavy moments) that seriously demands the viewers to play some catch-ups. The second half, which involves the ICAC investigation between Billy, Lee and Lau as well as the elaborate conspiracy theory, is a serious head-scratcher when viewers tries to connect all the dots together.

Despite all the glaring flaws, COLD WAR remains good enough to watch for. Kudos still goes to Leung and Luk for their ambitious move to present a cop thriller out of the ordinary, even though their executions are somewhat haphazard. As both being a first-timer, their directing efforts are still spotty in places. But it's hard to deny that Leung and Luk does possess some impressive feats in their overall directions.

The movie is benefited from lush production values and spectacular aerial shots (particularly the way how they framed the angle of skyscrapers), while the overall technical credits are equally top-notch. Except of course, some of the CG here are patchy (particularly in the climactic scene involving fireworks on the roof of a tall building). Peter Kam's music score is frequently intense throughout the movie.

Action scenes are adequate enough, particularly for the exciting shootout/car chase scene at the freeway overpass.

The cast, in the meantime, are rock-solid. Aaron Kwok gives a perfectly restrained performance (thank heaven he's not overacting like he used to!) as the calm and confident Lau, while Tony Leung Ka-Fai is especially a standout as the no-nonsense Lee who seriously deserves an acting award nomination (His scene involving him and Aaron Kwok barking at each other in the police headquarters, and another one where he coolly outwitted the two young ICAC investigators in the interrogation room, are downright memorable). The rest of the supporting cast are equally great, including Charlie Yeung, Gordon Lam, Aarif Rahman and even the cameo appearance from Andy Lau.

COLD WAR ends with a cliffhanger finale that screams a sequel. If the sequel is really made sometimes in the future, here's hoping that Longman Leung and Sunny Luk manage to polish their rough-on-the-edges direction and their overstuffed screenplay into a more balanced approach. As for now, COLD WAR stands as one of the best Hong Kong movies of the year.
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5/10
Mediocre crime-thriller in a sprawling metropolis...
paul_haakonsen27 April 2014
"Cold War" ("Hon Zin") is an entertaining movie, but it is far from the finest moment in Hong Kong cinema. And for a crime-thriller, well then it set out to do a lot of things, but it ended up looking as if directors Lok Man Leung and Kim-ching Luk had bitten off a bit too much and weren't able to fully bring it full circle.

The story starts out well enough, and quickly picks up pace, but towards the last third of the movie it started to become forced and somewhat messy, making the movie suffer in overall coherency and enjoyment as a result.

"Cold War" does have some of Hong Kong's top actors in it, and Aaron Kwok does carry the movie quite well. It was a shame that Andy Lau wasn't given more screen time in the movie, but his appearance was great nonetheless.

Personally I am not overly keen on crime movies such as these, and "Cold War" didn't really bring anything overly new or exciting to the genre.

The movie was nicely shot and edited, and it is enjoyable for what it is. But even with my love for Asian cinema, then I doubt that I will be making a second viewing out of this movie. It just didn't have that much to offer.
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7/10
Taut and smartly-paced, "Cold War" warrants a sequel
moviexclusive8 November 2012
An explosion in the heart of Hong Kong city and the mystery disappearance of an EU van with five armed policemen onboard kick start a series of events that not only threaten the innocent citizens of Hong Kong but also the cohesion of the police force.

Heavenly King Aaron Kwok plays Lau, the Deputy Commissioner of administrative services of the HK police force while Tony Leung Ka Fai plays Lee, the Deputy Commissioner of operations. With the Commissioner (Michael Wong) away on a conference in Copenhagen, Lee assumed the position of officer-in-charge and authorized an immediate rescue operation (codenamed Cold War) of the kidnapped officers. However, Lau has doubts over Lee's authority and a fight over the commanding position ensues. With the clock ticking including the safety of Lee's son, Joe (Taiwanese idol Eddie Peng) being one of the kidnapped police officers, operation Cold War is still a go despite the differences.

Co-helmed by first time directors Sunny Luk (who serves as one of the writers and second assistant director on movies such as "Full Alert" and "On the Edge") and art director Longman Leung, "Cold War" is an intense crime thriller that collectively packed a lot of stuff into a compact 100 odd minutes. Taking into account the countless familiar faces that the duo has assembled, this factor probably already worth the admission ticket alone. The summary above only accounts for the first half of the movie, yes you heard that right. You got an electrifying scene between Lau and Lee's character. Two Heavenly Kings, one by the name of Andy sharing a scene together after their last collaboration in "Lee Rock II" almost two decades ago and a nail-biting scene involving Lau bringing a whole bag of cash to meet the kidnappers and ends with a gunfight on a busy road.

Another gentle reminder, all these happened in the first half of "Cold War" and we have yet reached the end.

Luk and Leung take a fresh spin on the usual crime genre and gave it a new life during the process thus instead of a straight out actioner liked Benny Chan's "EU Strike Force", we have a layered cop drama in the league of "Infernal Affairs". The story is also the duo's love song to their beloved homeland, a country that is run on a respected common law jurisdiction and enjoyed freedom of speech and accountability which is a stark contrast to the People's Republic of China. The two filmmakers refuse to rest on their laurels that they have to introduce a young ICAC rookie, Cheung (Aarif Rahman from "Bruce Lee, My Brother") in the next half of the movie to investigate Lau's alleged involvement in the missing ransom which in turn question the existence of a mole in the force. This is not to say the scripting of "Cold War" is perfect. In fact, in an enthusiastic move to generate more twists and turns, a couple of missteps including too many false endings and a CG filled finale actually hamper the overall enjoyment a little.

After being lambasted for his cheesy acting in "Murderer" and "City Under Siege", Kwok equipped with a salt-and-pepper hairstyle is surprisingly believable as the calm, confident Lau while the award- winning Leung shines in a role that screams for more. The other supporting cast includes Gordon Lam Ka Tong playing a role that he can virtually portrays in his sleep and action choreographer Chin Ka Lok doubling as Lau's subordinate, the ever pretty Charlie Young pops in as Head of Public Relations with Andy Lau in an extended cameo as the Secretary of Security. I can't say much for Eddie Peng but this young man unquestionably is a shining star to watch out for.

Even without the financial involvement of Mainland investors, "Cold War" is an impressive feat for the two relatively new filmmakers. The lush production values and picturesque aerial shots are examples of that. Although it doesn't feature wall-to-wall action (think "The Viral Factor"), "Cold War" is a recommended title proving the crime genre which the HK movie industry is famous for is still very much alive.
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Crimson Tide. Rings a bell?
sorpigusa28 January 2013
Warning: Spoilers
Not really a bad HK movie, although the storyline is way out there. A son plans a kidnap and ransom so that his father can become CP?Production and editing are both B+. However, seems disjointed at times. Leung Kar Fai's character is Gene Hackman and Aaron Kwok's character is Denzel Washington in the 1995 US submarine movie Crimson Tide. At the end, Denzel ran out to say goodbye to Gene (leashing his dog). Cold War's ending is similar. Coincidence or not, it's up to the viewer. There seems to be a few too many crime movies taking place at the HK Police HQ. The look and feel of the HQ are too corporate. The lack of the "precinct" feel makes the movie less authentic.
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7/10
Very Intelligent, Well Acted and Visually Stunning, but by the end, Your Hunger for a Decent Police Drama will not be Satisfied
totalovrdose7 February 2015
Honor is a major aspect focused upon during this Chinese action drama, which visually conveys the integrity and competent nature of the Hong Kong police department's ability to wage war on crime, and efficaciously ensure the safety of the city's public.

Out on the streets of Hong Kong one night, a van carrying five members of the police force, not to mention a wealth of tactical equipment, unexpectedly vanishes off the grid. The hijackers behind this daring plot immediately demand a ransom, and though the attackers are starting a war with the police, an equally hard battle is taking place between the investigating officers. Lau (Aaron Kwok) is Management's youngest Deputy Commissioner, while Lee (Tony Leung Ka-fai), an older gentleman, is the Deputy Commissioner of Operations, both with widely differing points of view.

While Lau wishes to negotiate, Lee, whose son Joe (Eddie Peng) is one of the five officers held for ransom, is ready to bring the entire force of the Hong Kong police department down upon those who would dare assault them. The reputation of these high ranking personnel is on the line, and with the Commissioner soon to retire, one of these two men will be crowned the next leader of the Hong Kong police - and what happens over the course of this investigation will shape their history.

The two aforementioned leads, alongside Gordon Lam as Albert and Chin Kar-lok as Vincent are strongly portrayed as dutiful officers. Moreover, Aarif Rahman as Cheung, the lead ICAC officer assigned to investigate the procedures taken to thwart the hijackers is deserving of being mentioned for his equally adept performance. At the same time though, I found his character to be rather unlikable due to his attitude, which seems awfully confident, to the point of being egotistically pretentious.

The focus on these characters leaves little room for Charlie Young, who portrays Phoenix, the head of the public relation branch of the police, or Grace Huang, who plays probationary inspector May, despite their loyalty's been clearly outlined. Moreover, the inclusion of Ma Yili and J. J Jia as the wives of Lau and Vincent, both of whom had barely a minute's screen time, was unnecessary, although were clearly included to show an alternate familial side to these hardworking characters. If the developers adamantly wanted the wives to be included in the plot, I believe additional screen time and emotional dialogue would have beneficially increased the impact.

Visually, Cold War is quite sublime, the film taking advantage of its setting, Hong Kong been visualized as the technologically powerful, secure environment the police claim it to be, with a number of great aerial shots revealing the grandness of the metropolis. Not only this, those portraying the officers in the film are accompanied by the luxurious attires they continuously wear, making them appear as competent and dedicated as they continuously seem.

Despite the front cover's insinuation that Cold War is an action film, it is in fact a dramatic thriller. Despite the movie beginning with an explosive start that immediately catches your eye, the action scenes are incredibly infrequent, the most captivating aspects of the movie been its intelligent and thought provoking script, that is continuously twisting like a snake, as the characters attempt to unravel the conspiracy they have unwittingly fallen into. However, Peter Kam's score, much like the cover, offers a similar assumption regarding the film's genre, and despite its entertaining properties, the over the top orchestral soundtrack, when used in conjunction with events that are neither eventful or action oriented, seems unnecessary.

As the film progresses and the antagonists behind the plot are slowly revealed, the lacking background behind what caused them to orchestrate the attacks is rather unsatisfactory in a film which contained such an effective build up. With the exception of the lead instigator, whose motivations we are able to comprehend, the film's finale is less wowing than I would have imagined from a film that really keeps you pinned to the screen, and rather, my attitude towards the end was more like 'uh, so that's how it is, eh?' Furthermore, at the film's conclusion, text appears on screen notifying the viewership that this is definitively 'the end', which contradicts not only the visuals, but the dialogue which suggests there could be more to come. This anti-climatic conclusion inevitably falls short of whatever expectations audiences would have acquired over the course of the film.

Despite being entertaining and intelligent, with great acting all around, superb visuals, and the rare, but still well executed fight scene, Cold War is a movie that keeps you attentive, yet will leave you wanting a finale better fitting a feature of its caliber.
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7/10
it's a roller coaster ride , alright .. smirk *
dumsumdumfai6 February 2013
Warning: Spoilers
All the way from the beginning of the film up to the point of the taking over of power from the 2 brass cops were fairly well done. Then the movie tries to get smart. Too smart.

*spoilers ahead*

The story is about an incident that triggers an internal power struggle between the .. shall we say... brains and bronze side of the HK police force. So that's setup, very fast pace, so fast that in the opening credit they distinctively shows you an org chart dividing left and right to make sure you see the split.

Then the story twists into who is the behind it all and the resolution. But there are so many holes to this story it isn't funny. And the open ending asks for an sequel is pitiful.

Holes: - the commish can't be reach in such an emergency? really? - how did the plotter know Aaron will override the case? - if they want to kill Aaron on the highway why bother with the plot? - if they have the guts to kill head of Treasury with car bomb, why not kill Aaron in the process as well? - why did Albert (a top brass himself) goes up with 1 hand gun, to the roof when there's a SDU gun fight with explosive ? - if Aaron don't want to blow this up, why all the cops near the end to capture the son?

Man, the rooftop explosive sequence is sooooooooooooo unnecessary and badly filmed and choreography that it took me right out of the movie.

It is more logical Albert is the devil behind the scene. Save him for the sequel for a second attack or revisit the

Sigh. Maybe 2 more draft of the script.
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4/10
We're cops, not mad dogs
nogodnomasters23 January 2018
Warning: Spoilers
The film is also called "Laan jin." It has nothing to do with the cold war, nor is it much of an action thriller. The film is a Hong Kong police drama which utilizes a kidnapping and bombing as background for a police commissioner struggle. There are long dramatic scenes of internal office conflict and politics which follow a very orderly process.

The translation is not herky-jerky, but very straight slang English, no reverse syntax. Some of the dubbing made the actors look bad, especially the woman crying for her dead husband. The film focuses on Deputy Police Commissioner Sean Lau (Aaron Kwok) and his relationship with the commissioner (Tony Leung Ka Fai) and operation Cold War. Cold War is a police emergency that happens when an emergency van with five hostages are stolen and a bomb goes off at a cinema. While part of the story involves solving the crime, a good two thirds of the film is a complex multi-sided office drama.

The film uses a stock made for TV sound track. It has some cliche tough guy language like "Desperate times call for desperate measures" and "I was never here." It then ruins it with "I prefer latte." There is also some mention of police and government openness, something I didn't know if it was a criticism of government or a government propaganda statement. The film lost me for a moment when the internal office conflict started as I was expecting a Chinese Dirty Harry. Instead I got a Joe Friday arguing with his boss and then apologizing. Clearly the Chinese don't have the genre down for American audiences.

Parental Guide: Some minor F-bomb usage. No sex or nudity. Woman in lacy top and panties.
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7/10
Worth a look, but it is a work of fiction.
sbwords24 October 2015
Warning: Spoilers
I've now seen this film a couple of times and enjoyed it. However, can I just affirm that its portrayal of the culture and methods of the Hong Kong Police Force is pure fiction. I acknowledge that a bit of poetic license is given for the creative process, but this film is so far off the mark its laughable.

Having said that, the cinematography is impressive, bringing out the best that the Hong Kong skyline has to offer. The acting is impressive, except for Micheal Wong. He is his usual staid self and unappealing in portrayal of the Commissioner. Wong neither has the acting chops or the gravitas to fill the role.
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7/10
What is it good for?
kosmasp14 August 2014
I wouldn't agree with the "absolutely nothing" that follows in that particular song, but then again it does only refer to war, which itself is a solid sentiment. But this movie is worth something, even if it is not up to par, with other productions we are now almost accustomed with. Still better than any average US Hollywood action movie, this gives you what you want from it.

And that is action and suspense primarily. Not the best stunts I have seen, but with a stellar cast and a story that is trying to be as tricky as possible (especially morally wise), this does entertain and keep you guessing until the end. A more than decent effort which can be recommended
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5/10
An Almost Great Film But Could Have Been More Better
SadnessNeverGoes10 March 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this film today on DVD i don't care about critical reception critics got no business watching films there is something very underrated about this film specially the middle of the film its very deep when hong Kong police investigates and it involves a lot of politics and dialogs that could spin your head and think again about who to trust i liked the film for what it was but it comes with flaws like overused cgi & cheesy climax.

The Plot:in honk Kong one night a van loaded with high tech equipment & 5 officers disappear out of the map,the hijackers make demands but the whole police department goes insane trying to figure out is there a mole among them or they have became weak that anyone can attack.

The Cast:Andy Lau & Aaron Kwok looked smooth but Charlie Yeung surprises with her new hairstyle but Toney Leung Ka Fai Steals the show with brilliant performance, i have to say this film is better then departed or any other stupid film that Hollywood makes but in the climax it looses itself specially the rooftop action scene and unnecessary explosions but overall its a good film worth watchable you'll get to know what its like and how the police in china operates there is also a big surprise in the end which i wont tell.

Cold War 2012 is a fine film filled with heavy suspense,dialogs and its quite entertaining to see actors taking full advantage of the environment of work place my rating is 5/10 its almost the best film made but could have been more better but do see this film:Recommended.
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7/10
Deputy Lee is clean
stoicendurance8 July 2013
Warning: Spoilers
This review, brainstormed by multiple great pieces of Chinese reviews, combined with the clarifications made by the directors, aims at uncovering the suspense and unsolved puzzles of the movie.

The debate over whether Mr. M.B. Waise Lee the Deputy Commissioner (Operation) takes part in the scheme is undoubtedly the most controversial issue.

This review proposes that Deputy Lee is almost completely innocent. To justify, it is necessary to differentiate of which Deputy Lee's sentiments is acting and not acting. What the silver screen progressively shows are:

At the outset, Lee openly scolds Man To for the failure of telecommunications system. Afterwards, Lee urges a swift assault at a dockyard in an attempt to rescue the kidnapped policemen. He expressed disappointment when the operation paid in vain. Next, being questioned by Deputy Lau and PR Phoenix Leung at headquarters, Lee defended himself furiously with offensive words. After the policemen had been rescued, Lee started to calm down for the first time and expressed his gratitude peacefully to Deputy Lau.

Subtle emotions of characters played a prominent role in deduction. If Lee was part of the scheme, first, it came no sense for Lee to point the finger at Deputy Lau and Man To in the kick-off meeting such that Lau could gear up in advance mentally against the scheme targeting him. Furthermore, it would be totally meaningless for him to sigh to nobody at dockyard operation if it was all planned and managed under him.

It would be over-skeptical to put forward the idea that Deputy Lee was acting throughout the entire motion picture. Not only would this storytelling be far too intricate for moviegoers to follow and digest, but it would also be incoherent with characters' sentiments.

Also, the conspirator must have instructed S.D.U. Commander Michael Shek to wipe out those ex-operatives when an independent government authority ICAC steps in. However, if Lee, who cares for the well-being of front- line policeman, was the man behind, his primary motive must be gaining power or money for the betterment of remuneration of policemen and these ex-operatives whom Lee looked after upon the completion ND157. So it would be insane, contradictory and against his will to sell out his ex- subordinates together with numerous police casualties in the wipe-out mission.

Indeed, the directors have already clarified that, under their storyline, Deputy Lee is not the ultimate puppet master behind the scheme. It is otherwise the unexposed one(s), who is even out of Lee's scope, as also pointed out by his son at last. On top of this, an interview with the directors by a Hong Kong media outlet has also alleged that Deputy Lau and Lee will work jointly in fighting against the ultimate boss in Cold War 2.

The puzzle remains ambiguous for who is the mastermind. As this movie is partly brainstormed by the U.S. presidential election campaign, this godfather could possibly be a syndicate of some tycoons, in favor of candidate Lee, working for their own interest i.e. sales of arms, chaos or whatsoever. Therefore, any casualty inherited in this war is not their concern. Those dead ex-operatives are simply being manipulated as their foot soldiers.

It is uncertain and guessed that Deputy Lee finally senses the involved parties after ICAC questions him about ND157. Later, when his son is about to take the gun, there is a subtle smile shown on Deputy Lee's face. It is because his highly intelligent son chooses correctly not to uncover the truth to the police in ambush so as to keep them both safe (His son might get killed like those ex-operatives?).

Some interesting food for thought:

1. The seemingly drunken driver intentionally provokes the Emergency Unit van in order to isolate it. This driving expert could be an overseas English-speaking hired gun who does not own Hong Kong Identity Card which leaves no trace. It is all planned. However, there is argument because the driver thinks he can leave after the stalling car accident is engineered, which is being cheated. M.Y. Shum the policewoman, whom the driver hands the phone to, may also take part in the scheme with limited knowledge.

2. By the directors, Senior Superintendent Vincent Tsui is not a mole. It can be deduced from the fact that Vincent Tsui warns Deputy Lau to run away when Tsui's car is about to hit Deputy Lau at highway.

3. Senior Superintendent Albert Kwong is believed to be clean as he does not know the ND157 ex-operatives are back. However, his appearances often seem suspicious.

4. Man To the I.T. Chief Officer is believed to be a traitor. Otherwise Hong Kong Police Force is unreasonably and incredibly easy to be hacked. Still, because of his gratitude to Deputy Lau for his generosity to his department for development in past few years, he implies a few times that he is one of the rotten links. (Speculated)

Cold War is a marvelous and necessary war to affirm Deputy Lau's capability. It is well written and well filmed. Yet, too little background information and a number of suspects while no clear clue turns this movie hard to digest.
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