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Review Shock wave a.k.a. Chai dan zhuan jia (2017): Gripping action drama!

genre: action, thriller, drama

Shock wave is being called an old school action film. If by that they mean it's good then I agree wholeheartedly. But I think it's more than just a simple action film.

It certainly hit the right notes with me drama wise. In another review I read that someone said that the deaths of certain characters didn't affect the reviewer. I couldn't disagree more. It is true that there are quite a few characters of significance and that not all them get real time to have long arcs. However I think director Herman Yau managed to make you sympathize with these characters through simple but effective ways. And honestly if you aren't affected by some of the deaths of these characters you basically are a sociopath. The main villain and his gang definitely are among the most ruthless and despicable ones put on the film screen ever. Most of the acting is superb. Do I really need to state yet again how good Andy Lau is? Jiang Wu also impresses as the main villain. Mainly because he never is over the top or ridiculous. I mean the events certainly are but despite this he is very believable as a bad guy with a major grudge. Philip Keung also is incredibly likable and charming as the super cop. The one person who I found bothersome was the love interest, Song Jia as Carmen. I get that they wanted to deepen Cheung J.S. (Andy Lau) as a character but it didn't do that much for me. There is no real chemistry between her and Andy. Andy does his best to sell it but she constantly looks like either a reindeer who is about to be shot or someone who is bored. I personally could have done with this romantic sub plot. 

What really surprised me was the scale of this film. The set up of the main event and the aftermath is incredibly epic. The action is hard hitting and relentless. The way the film is paced also adds to the tension. There are times when you think the film slows down somewhat. To then suddenly ramp up the action and drama to such extent that you will need some time to recover from it all. 

Shock Wave is a must watch for sure. And I definitely am looking out for the sequel.

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