Gateway | Dragons & Tigers
Ace director Wilson Yip, dashing leading man Louis Koo and one of cinema’s greatest action choreographers Sammo Hung team up for this gritty crime thriller, part of the successful SPL action franchise. Koo plays a detective who travels to Thailand in search of his missing daughter; there he finds corruption, sleaze and plenty of danger. Yip and screenwriter Jill Leung weave a story of intrigue with colourful characters, an exotic setting and, of course, plenty of violence. The action is masterfully executed and quite brutal, too, with meat hooks the weapon of choice in the climactic showdown. Thai martial artist Tony Jaa features in a small but memorable role, displaying his skills in a chase-and-fight scene that ranks with the best. As far as drama goes, let’s just say the film has a lot of heart.
Asian action films beat their Hollywood competitors on many scores: they’re smarter, the violence is more creative and, best of all, their makers know how to tell a good story. Paradox succeeds as a mystery, a stomp-fest and, yes, a poetic reflection on grief, power and sacrifice. Come for the action, stay for the humanity.
"[A]n efficiently sleek actioner… Surprising as often as it is conventional."—Elizabeth Kerr, Hollywood Reporter