What to make of director David Lam’s latest thriller Z Storm? It is slick, complicated and loaded with action. But is it also a well-produced propaganda piece?
Viewers will have the opportunity to make their own assessment of Z Storm on Aug. 18 when Well Go U.S.A. brings both DVD and Blu-ray editions to the domestic market.
The ICAC, which dates back to British rule of Hong Kong, is short for Independent Commission Against Corruption. Agents of the ICAC are the heroes of the story (think: FBI) as hints and tantalizing clues of a massive financial con are slowly uncovered in the film’s build up to the big reveal.
A black bag full of money (maybe … no proof, just a tip) is supposedly brought in from neighboring Macau by Superintendent Wong Man Bin (Gordon Lam/Ka Tung Lam — Internal Affairs, IP Man, etc.) of the Hong Kong Police Force’s Commercial Crime Bureau. ICAC top cop William Luk (Louis Koo — the Overheard film series, Drug War, The White Storm, etc.) orders him brought in and questioned.
There’s no evidence, but something seems amiss. Which eventually leads Luk’s investigators to a high-powered Hong Kong law film run by Malcolm Wu (Michael Wong — Knock Off, Cold War, etc.) and that’s when the political heat descends on Luk’s investigation. Push back … by individuals with heavy connections.
Wu is up to his ears in the pending launch of the Z Hedge Fund, a multi-billion dollar enterprise with (sinister) international connections. Not only are there political foes pushing back against Luk’s investigators, but soon guys in suits with guns are in on the action.
A tangled web of financial wheeling-and-dealings, a mystery woman (played by Dada Chan) and a shootout on the otherwise peaceful streets of Hong Kong are all played out against a fixed deadline. Will the debut of the fund bring financial ruin to Hong Kong … only the ICAC stands in the way!
The suits of the ICAC shine … evil, especially the foreign corruption of local officials, will not be tolerated. Yes, Z Storm is an action thriller with a message.
Z Storm is presented in Cantonese with English subtitles.