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Fast X

Director – Louis Leterrier – 2023 – US – Cert. 12a – 141m

*1/2

In this latest entry in the Fast & Furious franchise, the son of a crime lord killed ten years ago sets out to exact his revenge on daredevil driver Dom Toretto and his family and associates – out in UK cinemas on Friday, May 12th

The tenth installment in the Fast & Furious franchise turns out to be the first part of a two-parter, with Fast X Part 2 now in preproduction. So don’t be surprised when this ends on a cliffhanger (actually a couple of cliffhangers).

Ten years ago, in Rio de Janeiro, crime lord Hernan Reyes was pursuing along a lengthy bridge two cars which had physically ripped the vault containing all his monetary wealth out of the middle of his headquarters building before dragging it behind them, during which Dom Toretto (Vin Diesel) turned back to swing the vault on its chain to crush the crime lord to death in his car Hernan’s son Dante (Jason Momoa) survived the incident, and has sworn to inflict suffering and death upon Dom and his family. This is the move (or at least the first of two) in which he gets to work that out.… Read the rest

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How To
Blow Up
A Pipeline

Collaborators – Daniel Goldhaber, Ariela Barer, Jordan Sjol, Daniel Garber – 2022 – US – Cert. 15 – 103m

****

An eco-terrorism thriller based on the manifesto by Andreas Malm – out in cinemas in the UK on Friday, April 21st.

Credited as a film by its four main collaborators (its three writer-producers and its editor) rather than (as is the usual industry practice) merely its director Goldhaber (Cam, 2018), this is based on climate change activism apologist Andreas Malm’s non-fiction treatise which argues for the destruction of property e.g. fossil fuel industry infrastructure as part of the fight against the fossil fuel industry which is causing climate change. What the book doesn’t do is tell the reader the techniques and specifics that would enable them to actually blow up a pipeline.

Likewise, this movie doesn’t provide the viewer with the knowledge and technical wherewithal that would enable them to blow up pipelines after watching it. Like Malm, it offers moral justification(s) for the act. It shows a committed group of young people who have between them carried out extensive research into everything necessary for their planned act and reached a point of moral choice where they feel they have no other option than to carry out such an action.… Read the rest

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Shock Wave 2,
(Chai Dan
Zhuan Jia 2,
拆彈專家 2)

Director – Herman Yau – 2020 – Hong Kong – Cert. N/C 15 – 120m

****

A former bomb disposal expert suspected of a terrorist atrocity must prevent a terrorist organisation from destroying the Hong Kong International Airport and taking numerous innocent lives in the process – now available to rent online in the new Chinese Cinema Season 2021 in the UK & Ireland as part of the Hong Kong, Reimagined strand until Wednesday, May 12th

If you’ve seen Shock Wave (Herman Yau, 2017) you’ll know that a sequel with Andy Lau reprising his character wouldn’t be possible. Both director and star clearly wanted to capitalise on the first film, however, so they’ve simply dumped character names and most of what happened in the first film, reinvented the main character and started all over again with a completely different story. This has the effect of making the audience feel that they’re seeing another film in the series but at the same time seeing something that’s brand new, not at all a carbon copy.

Except that in the broadest outline it IS a carbon copy: once again, Andy Lau plays an heroic member of the Hong Kong Police’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau (EOD) with Philip Keung as a friend and colleague in the force, this time round named Lee Yiu Sing, while the plot involves the potential huge bombing of an important Hong Kong landmark – here the Hong Kong International Airport which is blown up at the start only for a voice-over to explain that this terrorist atrocity has been prevented thanks to one man.… Read the rest

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Features Live Action Movies

Shock Wave
(Chai Dan
Zhuan Jia,
拆彈專家)

Director – Herman Yau – 2017 – Hong Kong – Cert. 15 – 118m

****

A bomb disposal expert must prevent a bomber from destroying the Cross Harbour Hong Kong Tunnel and taking numerous innocent lives in the process – now available to rent online in the new Chinese Cinema Season 2021 in the UK & Ireland as part of the Hong Kong, Reimagined strand until Wednesday, May 12th

Undercover police bomb disposal expert JS Cheung (Andy LauInfernal Affairs, Andrew Lau, Alan Mak, 2002, Days Of Being Wild, Wong Kar-wai, 1990, As Tears Go By, Wong Kar-wai, 1988) of the Hong Kong Police’s Explosive Ordnance Disposal Bureau (EOD) blows his cover during a daring operation by a gang of criminals to kill as many cops as possible using car bombs. The car chase mayhem ends with the arrest of Biao Hong (Leo Wang Zi-yi) the explosives nerd and little brother of gang leader Peng Hong (Jiang Wu – Wrath Of Silence, Xin Yukun, 2017; Monster Hunt, Raman Hui, 2015). Some time later, Peng Hong Blocks traffic in the busy Cross Harbour Hong Kong Tunnel running from Kowloon to Hong Kong, trapping motorists and passengers as hostages and threatening to blow up the tunnel unless his brother is released.… Read the rest