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Review Cold War a.k.a. Hon Zin: Don't believe the hype this is an average crime / thriller!

genre: thriller, crime, action

After such raving reviews and comments where people even were saying that this was the next Infernal  Affairs I could not wait to see how Cold War would dazzle me. And now having seen it I am dumbfounded. Cold War is nowhere near as good as Infernal Affairs. It never reaches any of the complex cat and mouse play or dramatic impact of that film. Sure it does it's best to confuse you like crazy early one but that does not matter much because halfway the film the movie slows down considerably and the so called mystery gets unfolded piece by piece. Too bad though that long before though I already stopped caring about what was going on. And maybe it was because I was distracted by the fact that the little conflict between Sean Lau (played by Aaron Kwok) and M.B. Waise Lee (played by Tony Ka Fai Leung) reminded me too much of the interactions between Denzel Washington and Gene Hackman. The way it played out and was set up was very poorly done and almost completely ruined the film for me. It did not make sense at all. We never get introduced to these characters properly and we barely have time to figure out what their functions or ranks are. It's real sloppy and distracts from the main mystery too much. Speaking of that. Only through the dialogue does it become clear that an EU van and the police offers in it are hijacked. Why weren't we shown this? And why was this matter so pressing? This never gets explained well. The audience is being told that it is of utmost urgency and is something we have to accept. I am sorry that is just incredible poor writing. Why should we care about this van or any of these characters in it? It's hard to do so when we don't ever get to know them well. And in this tale context was very much needed. Thankfully Cold War is not a complete waste of time because of some factors. One of them is the action. They are choreographed well and are exciting. Only there are only a few of them so don't get your hopes up. Another factor is the cast. Aaron Kwok, Tony Leung and Andy Lau are exactly the names that can elevate an average production into the blockbuster action thriller it was hyped up to be. And they do just that. Here and there you will read in reviews and comments how intelligent this film is. Cold War is many things, but it's not intelligent by a long shot. It fails to compel when it needs to be and only at the start does it manage to draw you in somewhat if only because you are left in the dark of what is going on. For the rest the story is quite average and boring. Like I said I could care less at one point. Also this film felt very clinical or detached. It lacked emotion. At least apart from the obvious. Infernal Affairs was very well balanced in that department. In that film they made sure you got connected to the main characters. In Cold War they aren't even trying. I think I said enough already. Overall I found the viewing experience to be very disappointing.

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