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L Storm

Opening Date
23 Aug 2018
NC16 Violence
97 mins
Mandarin with English & Chinese subtitles
Action, Crime, Drama
David Lam
Louis Koo, Julian Cheung, Kevin Cheng, Stephy Tang
ICAC Investigator William Luk (Louis Koo) and JFIU Chief Inspector Lau Po-Keung (Julian Cheung) both hit a dead end in their investigation of a bribery case and a money laundering case. In the meantime, Luk was suspended when model Eva Ng (Stephy Tang) went to Inspector Kenny Ching (Kevin Cheng) of ICAC’s Internal Investigation Group L, to file a report against him for accepting a $12M bribe. Lau discovered that Luk was set up and whoever framed him was connected to the case. He began to suspect the bank manager Thomson Yau (Adam Pak) as an accomplice to Wong Hoi-Wo (Patrick Tam), a gangster involved in money laundering activities. When Director Hong Liang (Ding Hai-Feng) of China’s Anti-Corruption & Bribery Bureau (ACBB) provided Lau with crucial information, it became clear the money laundering activities were connected to a corrupted Vice-Ministerial Level cadre. To clear his name, Luk has to put everything on the line…
By Flora  23 Aug 2018
Following the success of Z Storm (2014) and S Storm (2016), director David Lam is back with another Hong Kong crime thriller featuring some of the biggest movie stars including Louis Koo, Julian Cheung, Kevin Chung and Adam Pak. 
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Following the success of Z Storm (2014) and S Storm (2016), director David Lam is back with another Hong Kong crime thriller featuring some of the biggest movie stars including Louis Koo, Julian Cheung, Kevin Chung and Adam Pak. 

Louis Koo reprises his role as investigator William Luk in L Storm, a senior agent with Hong Kong’s Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC), as well as Julian Cheung reprising his role as Chief Inspector Lau Po Keung of Joint Financial Intelligence Unit (JIFU), who was introduced in S Storm. 
When a money laundering case enters Hong Kong, both the ICAC and JIFU teams work together in hopes of stopping the transaction from happening, but the undercover mission was foiled, leaving the suspects at large and a unsolved case that became increasingly complicated. Meanwhile, Luk finds himself embroiled in a bribery accusation, with HK$12million transferred to his bank account. ICAC team L, led by Ching Tak-Ming (Cheung) is tasked to investigate his senior’s case, only to hinder the investigations against a multi-national organisation. To prove his innocence, Luk risks his life to gather evidence and trace the mastermind behind the conspiracy. 

While L Storm does not deviate too far from its predecessors, it tries to cram in too many narratives with its stellar but underused cast. While focusing on a character’s linkage to a case, it quickly jumps to another criminal case, but both are somewhat associated with each other. A nice addition to the testosterone-filled film is Stephy Tang, who plays Eva Ng, the model who lodged a complaint against Luk to the ICAC in order to pay off her debts with a criminal organisation. Her forthright charm and banter with Luk are infectious, one of the more chirpy scenes in the 90-minute film. 

There are many characters that play a crucial part in the entire scheme, but because of the extensive and complicated storylines to cover, these characters fall short of its development and depth that viewers would be more inclined to empathise with. Many of the supporting characters don’t even have a proper conclusion to their narratives - unless you consider a white text overlaying a black matte background count as one. 

What L Storm exceeds in, however, is the fight choreography and beautifully expensive locations most scenes were shot in. The penultimate scene from a gunfight showdown to the luxurious yacht presents rather thrilling fight sequences, with close combat attacks and grand setups that viewers have come to enjoy in most Hong Kong action movies. 
Its plot complications and underutilised actors have marred this crime thriller franchise. If one were to catch this movie for its police-related elements, then L Storm doesn’t quite meet the mark. Alternatively, if you were to purchase a ticket to get a kick out of its action component, don’t be too surprised if this doesn’t impress. 
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