Review: THE STORM WARRIORS 風雲2 (2009) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Tuesday, 27 April 2010

Review: THE STORM WARRIORS 風雲2 (2009)

Review: THE STORM WARRIORS 風雲2 (2009)

THE STORM WARRIORS opens with Cloud (Aaron Kwok) and Chu Chu (Tang Yun, replacing Shu Qi) being held captive by the evil Lord Godless (Simon Yam). Among others that have been captured as well is Nameless (Kenny Ho), Cloud and Wind's new master. Apparently, Lord Godless and his son Heart (Nicholas Tse) plans to conquer all of the China and prove their influence over all martial artists. Luckily Wind (Ekin Cheng) arrives just in time to help them escape after a brief fight against Lord Godless and lay low for a while. As Nameless is nursing his injury after using a bulk of his power in an attempt to stop Lord Godless, he tells Cloud and Wing that only Lord Wicked (Wong Tak-Bun) has the power to defeat Lord Godless. And so Cloud, Wind and Chu Chu with the help of Piggy King (Lam Suet) journey to the cave to meet Lord Wicked. At first, Lord Wicked refuses to help them until the arrival of his niece, Second Dream (Charlene Choi) changes his mind. He warns Cloud and Wind that gaining special power in such notice is very risky and whoever wants the power needs to undergo "the evil way". He has experienced it before but the power is so overwhelming he once couldn't control himself and forced to cut off his own arms to avoid becoming totally consumed. Despite the warning, Cloud and Wind don't mind about the possible risk since they are so determined to save China at all cost. However, Lord Wicked only granted one of them to turn over his "evil power", and the particular warrior is Wind since Cloud proves to be too temperamental for the process. As Wind undergoes a long process to gain the power, Cloud is granted part of Nameless's power in which he later developing his own sword stance. In the meantime, Lord Godless and Heart has captured the Emperor (Patrick Tam) and the royal family while threatening them about the Dragon Bone's whereabouts. The Dragon Bone proves to be so important for Lord Godless and Heart since it is a powerful relic for whoever get their hands on it.

REVIEW: Believe it or not, it has been 11 years long since THE STORM RIDERS (1998) hit the big screen. The good news is, they finally made a sequel (everyone) has been holding their breath all along. Another good thing is, THE STORM WARRIORS is technically superior and visually spectacular than the first one.

Kudos also goes to the Pang brothers (Oxide and Danny) for achieving a heavily stylised comic-book feel ala 300-like style that will make creator Ma Wing-Shing proud. No doubt this is the most anticipated Hong Kong movies of the year but it's also the most disappointment one as well. THE STORM WARRIORS is all style but no substance and worst still, the movie is a two-hour snoozefest crippled with paper-thin characters, flimsy plot and stagy action sequences.

The biggest problem about this movie is how little the story is told throughout the course of its two-hour running time. Everything is basically summarised, and no depth is given to make the story all the more involving. It's like as if the plot is written at the eleventh hour and calls it a day. Yes, the story is so poorly-written that THE STORM RIDERS, which is an uneven movie, proves to be marginally better than this flimsy wreck. The characters are basically all about macho posing, and their acting are shockingly lifeless.

Despite the returning cast of Aaron Kwok and Ekin Cheng, they look more of the same throughout the movie while Simon Yam is very disappointing as the evil Lord Godless. At least those colourful characters that echo in THE STORM RIDERS is a welcome diversion where this movie has sorely lacked.

Action-wise, all the special effects-laden sequences does boost some credibility, especially the opening scene in which Nameless launches his "Ten Thousand Swords" power against Lord Godless.

Too bad most of the action are too stagy and annoyingly repetitive that the important word of "engaging" is almost out of the question. The ending, consists of long-winded fight sequence that is seemingly endless, feels anticlimactic and to make things worst, the movie closes with a literal cliffhanger.

Let's hope the third movie in the future can overcome this sorry outing because it's just plain hopeless.

This long-awaited sequel to the hugely popular STORM RIDERS is surprisingly reduced to a two hours' worth of flimsy wreck of lifeless performances, tepid storyline and stagy action scenes.

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