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Kill Zone 2 (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)

July 17, 2016 by  



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Pou-Soi Cheang’s “Kill Zone 2” is gritty and intense!  It is high adrenaline action from beginning to end, “Kill Zone 2” is an action film that truly kicks ass in many levels and martial arts fans will no doubt be captivated by this film.   Recommended!

Images courtesy of © 2015 Sun Entertainment Culture Limited. All Rights Reserved.


TITLE: Kill Zone 2

YEAR OF FILM: 2015

DURATION: 121 Minutes

BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, Cantonese, Mandarin and Thai DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English Dub, Subtitles: English

COMPANY: Well Go USA Entertainment

RATED: NR

Release Date: July 19, 2016


Directed by Pou-Soi Cheang

Screenplay by Lai-yin Leung, Yin Wong

Produced by Paco Wong, Wilson Yip

Associate Producer: Michael Selby

Executive-Producer: Yi-Qi Chen, Alvin Chow, Alex Tong, Dong yu

Cinematography by Kenny Tse

Music by Ken Chan, Kwong Wing Chan

Edited by David M. Richardson

Production Design: Horace Ma

Casting by Kimberly Hardin, Natasha Ward

Production Design by Niko Villaivongs

Set Decoration by Azul Hicks

Costume Design by Bruce Yu


Starring:

Tony Jaa at Chatchai

Jing Wu as Chan Chi-Kit

Simon Yam as Chan Kwok-Wah

Jin Zhang as Ko Hung

Louis Koo as Hung Mun-Gong

Ken Lo as Wong Kwong

Jun Kung as Hung Mun-Biu

Dominc Lam as Cheung Chun-Tung

Babyjohn Choi as Kwok Chun-Yat

Wai Ai as Dai-Hau

Philip Keung as Fan Ging-Hung

Andrew Ng as Uncle On


When an undercover cop gets too close to revealing the mastermind of a drug syndicate, his cover is blown. Double-crossed and under a false identity, he’s thrown into a Thai prison, where a guard discovers the inmate – claiming he’s a cop – is a bone marrow match for his dying daughter…and his warden may have an even deadlier operation hidden within the prison walls.
In this giddily frenetic follow-up (though not a sequel) to modern martial arts epic KILL ZONE (aka SPL: SHA PO LANG), action icons Tony Jaa (ONG BAK, THE PROTECTOR) Wu Jing (WOLF WARRIOR) and Zhang Jin (IP MAN 3) team up with Hong Kong megastars Simon Yam and Louis Koo for a breakneck story of dirty cops, prison riots, and black market organ transplants, all brought together by a non-stop series of inventive, bone-crunching setpieces.


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In 2005, the action film SPL: Sha Po Lang (a.k.a. “Kill Zone”) starring Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung and Simon Yam was released in theaters and was the top earning film for several weeks in Hong Kong.

Fastforward to 2015 and the sequel “SPL II: A Time for Consequences” (a.k.a. “Kill Zone 2”)  directed by Cheang Pou-soi (“Accident”, “Motorway”) and written by Lai-yin Leung (“Ip Man 3”, “As the Light Goes Out”) and Ying Wong was released in theaters.

Featuring a new story but reprising the roles by Wu Jing (“The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor”, “Shaolin”, “Wolf Warrior”) and Simon Yam (“Ip Man”, “Election”, “PTU”), the second film also stars Tony Jaa (“Ong-bak” films, “Furious 7”), Jin Zhang (“Ip Man 3”, “The Grandmaster”, “The Bounty”) and Louis Koo (“Drug War”, “Election”, “Triad Election”, “Flash Point”).

And the film will be released on Blu-ray in July 2016 courtesy of Well Go USA Entertainment.

The film focuses on several people.  Kit (portrayed by Wu Jing) is an undercover copy who becomes a drug addict in order to infiltrate a crime syndicate that has been kidnapping people and sending them to Thailand, where they are held by corrupt prison warden Ko Hung (portrayed by Jin Zhang) in hidden cells, are killed and their organs are sold on the black market.

The mastermind is Hung Mun-Gong (portrayed by Louis Koo), who has a rare heart condition and needs to undergo a heart transplant but the only person that can give him a matching heart is his younger brother.

So, Hung sends his men to kidnap his brother but the kidnapping goes wrong as Kit is able to relay the details to his uncle, Chan Kwok-Wah (portrayed by Simon Yam) of the police force.

While Hung’s brother is accidentally shot, he is retrieved and kept by the Hong Kong police, meanwhile Kit is kept by Hung’s men and sent to Thailand where he is held in prison for a life sentence by the corrupt prison warden, Ko Hung.

Meanwhile, in the prison is the good-natured prison guard Chatchai (portrayed by Tony Jaa) who is desperately trying to save his daughter Chatchai who has leukemia and needs a bone marrow transplant to survive.

But as desperate he is to save his daughter, he learns about Ho Kung’s secret rooms of people victims being kept inside.  One young girl who can save his daughter’s life.

Will Chatchai continue to serve Ho Kung after discovering the illegal activities in the prison?  Will Chan Kwok-Wah be able to rescue his nephew Kit from the Thailand prison?  And will young Chatchai be saved?


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VIDEO:

“Kill Zone 2” is presented in 1080p High Definition. As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is good as there is a good amount of grain.  Upclose details are very good and skintones are natural, black levels are nice and deep.

AUDIO & SUBTITLES:

“Kill Zone 2” is presented in Cantonese, Mandarin and Thai 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio and there is also an English dub soundtrack. While the lossless audio manages to utilize the actions sequences, from gun shots to vehicle crashes to just pure fighting chaos and the ambiance of various locations utilize the surround channels with efficacy.

Subtitles are in English.

SPECIAL FEATURES:

“Kill Zone 2” comes with the following special features:

  • Making Of – Featuring three segments (about two minutes each): The Story, The Fights and The Vision
  • Deleted Scenes – Featuring eight deleted scenes.
  • Trailer – Theatrical trailer for “Kill Zone 2”.

EXTRAS:

“Kill Zone 2” comes with a slipcover.


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When the original “SPL” film was released, the fact that it starred two martial arts legends, Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung together in a film definitely made it an anticipated film.

But when you have a sequel without its two stars, how will you improve on the original, if possible?

The answer was bring in Thailand’s well-known martial artist, Tony Jaa and create a storyline that would feature the return of Wu Jing and Simon Yam and find a bridge between Hong Kong and Thailand for its next storyline.

And here we are with the second SPL film a.k.a. “Kill Zone 2”.

A storyline that deals with abducted children from Hong Kong, being sent to Thailand and being kept in the secret walls by a corrupt prison warden, who kills them and sells their organs to the black market.

Wu Jing plays the role of the Hong Kong undercover detective who manages to infiltrate the Thailand prison, but the journey to get there is not easy as it would require becoming a drug addict and putting his own life at risk.

Running the operation is his uncle, played by Simon Lam who does all he can to protect his nephew but knows that greater things are at stake.

And then you have Tony Jaa as Chatchai, a prison guard and loving father for his daughter who needs a bone marrow transplant due to her leukemia.

Louis Koo plays the role of a Hung, a man who is responsible for the syndicate that kidnaps the children and this time, he is dying and wants his younger brother’s organs, so he devises a plan for his men to kidnap his younger brother and send him to Thailand but the plan is thwarted by the Hong Kong police and the younger brother is retrieved by Hong Kong police, while Kit is taken and imprisoned in the Thailand prison.

For these men, they come from different paths but those paths start to converge and things quickly become chaotic.

As the film tries to tell the story from different vantage points and timelines, at times, things can get a little confusing.  But once the storyline plots start to converge, the story starts to make sense.

The fight choreography is fantastic and while you expect physicality from Tony Jaa, both Wu Jing and Zhang Jin were equally impressive.  But its the fight choreography that was amazing to watch and in someways, it was reminiscent to the classic Jet Li martial art films.

Louis Koo was also surprising because he is not even recognizable in the film and I didn’t even know he was in the film until I watched the special features.

As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is good as there is a good amount of grain.  Upclose details are very good and skintones are natural, black levels are nice and deep.  While the lossless audio manages to utilize the actions sequences and ambiance of various locations with efficacy.  There are also a few special features such as the making of the film, deleted scenes and more.

Pou-Soi Cheang’s “Kill Zone 2” is gritty and intense!  It is high adrenaline action from beginning to end, “Kill Zone 2” is an action film that truly kicks ass in many levels and martial arts fans will no doubt be captivated by this film.   Recommended!






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