Popular TVB hit series, “Line Walker”, took a stellar turn for the big screen in 2016 with Jazz Boon carrying the momentum over into feature film territory. I highly recommend catching the film promptly on Netflix or wherever it is sold or streamed. The sequel, Line Walker 2: Invisible Spy, is well on the way for fans who enjoyed the first and will likely expect bigger and better, and will get just as much.
Hong Kong A-listers Louis Koo, Nick Cheung and Francis Ng headlined the first film, bringing to life a fascinating crime tale with a great deal of action to couple with the unfolding drama and tragedy that ensued. The trio now make their return for a non-linear feature sequel that plays hard and heavy on espionage, global terrorism, explosive action and cathartic drama.
Aptly shepherded onward with new characters for the franchise’s amorphous writing and design similar to franchises like The White Storm and S.P.L., Line Walker 2: Invisible Spy sets sail with a story that kicks off thirty years since a violent attack unto two young boys at a camp in the Philippines.
A harrowing terrorist attack on a busy Hong Kong street triggers a larger investigation that soon reluctantly pairs up Superintendent Yip (Francis Ng) and Inspector Ching (Nick Cheung) with the apprehensive Superintendent Cheng (Louis Koo). Hacker Yiu Ho-Yee (Piyao Jiang) is fresh from a close call with death and seeing as she’s more than what she appears to be, it’s up to her to open a few doors that could bring the hammer down on an international terrorist organization once and for all.
The story soon spans the already beleagured streets of Hong Kong, then Myanmar and eventually Spain, as a search for a hard disk containing key evidence is thought to be lost in the heat of a deadly gunfight. With tempers flaring and caution to the wind, it won’t be long before everyone’s true cards are revealed and the blinds and double blinds are lifted, with Yip, Ching and Cheng ultimately forced to figure each other out before innocent lives are lost and an elusive terrorist fulfills his kill quota.
The mission will definitely turn some cards over with a story arc that eventually brings Yip and Cheng full circle. It’s simply a matter of when, and not before Boon himself pushes the needle forward with an explosive, exciting and palpable story riddled with suspense, brilliant set pieces and sleight-of-hand plot tools that help anchor some of the more major third-act revelations.
The only real nitpick I have about this film is some of the CG treatment during a few of the more spectacular, firey and destructive moments. I can’t ride much on this though in terms of a lengthy criticism, apart from the fact that yet again we have another Louis Koo movie where the actor’s superbly combed and cropped right-ward hair never misses a beat whether or not he’s in a knockdown drag-out fight with a key villain and a charging bull, or getting thrown from a high-speed rolling car down a hill.
I swear the man’s hair has its own workout regimen. Anyway, yeah, I could joke about the man’s hair for days, but Line Walker 2: Invisible Spy is still a fun film from top-to-bottom. The action itself truly kicks things up a notch, host to a melee of stunts and gun battle coordination akin to exactly the kind of favorable John Woo comparisons you might take a liking too. There’s nothing hackneyed about it either for its adept design and execution with just a few plush moments in between.
I got a kick out of some of the levity between the characters from Cheung and Ng, even at one point throwing in jabs at each other with film references a la Tom Cruise and Masaharu Fukuyama. The bottom line though, is that Line Walker 2: Invisible Spy almost never makes turns a wrong curb. It’s an A-grade action adventure that keeps the pages turning and the bars raising for the genre, and will surely keep you on the edge of your seat when it counts.