There have been a great many mixed feelings in the lead up to SPL 2, the sequel to a film that many consider one of the finest martial arts films of recent days and the film which triggered the mid career renaissance of leading man Donnie Yen.
On the negative side, why a sequel after so long for a film that ended with ... well, with not a lot of its original stars still standing? Given that neither Yen nor Sammo Hung - the two principal draws of the original - were to appear in this, was there any point at all? Or would this just be a cheap knock off?
On the positive side, however, SPL was also the film that introduced Wu Jing to audiences, lifting the multi time national martial arts champion out of the strictly local work he'd been doing to that point and becoming the standard to which all of his subsequent work has been measured. Oh, and there's that Tony Jaa guy. He's in it and pretty good, too. And with Soi Cheang directing ... well, if we can get the Cheang who did the ultra gritty throwdown Dog Bite Dog, well, we might just be on to something here.
Well ... with the arrival of the HK Filmart, the first teaser for the film has arrived and while it's slicker than some may have hoped for and there's clearly wirework at play this one very definitely appears to be landing on the positive side of the ledger.
After busting a local gangster Hong in an undercover operation,
hard-boiled cop Kit is captured by Hong's men and wakes up in jail in
Thailand facing a life sentence. While in police custody, Hong strikes a
deal with Kit's supervisor Wah to trade his freedom for Kit's. Wah
traces Kit to Thailand and manages to convince to new prison guard Chai
to help save Kit because Kit is one of the few eligible bone marrow
donors who can save Chai's daughter, who's suffering from leukemia. Hong
breaks out of jail and flees to Thailand and order Kit's executive.
When Kit learns of Hong's jailbreak, he's determined to bring him to