Friday, December 16, 2016

From the Rental Vault: Z Storm (2014)

Given that the zombie craze has given us crappy television, crappy novels, crappy movies and crappy comic books, you might be forgiven in thinking that David Lam's 2014 Hong Kong crime drama Z Storm was a part of that ordure oeuvre. But while it has a definite lurching quality, there is nary an undead to be seen during its zippy 92 minute running time.

Investigator William Luk (Louis Koo) has had a whiff of a major financial swindle in the offing that involves high-level financiers, government officials and corrupt law enforcement. He spends much of the movie trying to get a handle on someone involved who can open a window into the scheme, and let him gather evidence to stop it and arrest the conspirators. He's blocked by sneaky lawyer Malcom Wu, played by Michael Wong, who runs interference for his top-level money boss. Shady police inspector Wong Man Bin helps keep the bad guys a step ahead of Luk, threatening or otherwise silencing potential witnesses.

Though it has a high-powered cast to go with its high-powered Hong Kong action pedigree (Lam and producer John Chong were at the helms of some of the biggest titles in the Hong Kong crime action genre in its 1990s heyday), Z Storm never shows any common thread in its various scenes and set pieces. Although we know they're a part of the same story because they have the same characters who talk about the same things, there's no internal consistency that helps the narrative build up from a start to a finish, and no sense of real movement along the way.

Come to think of it, the relationship Z Storm bears to those 1990s action movies is not considerably different than the one the shambling undead are supposed to bear to real people, so maybe that stand-alone 26th letter indicates more than I thought. 

No comments: