Line Walker 2 Invisible Spy
t.l. Sorveglianti 2 – La spia invisibile
使徒行者2：諜影行動 (Si Touh Hahng Je 2: Dihp Yihng Hahng Duhng)
Hong Kong, 2019, 98’, Cantonese
Directed by: Jazz Boon
Script: Cat Kwan
Photography (color): Jason Kwan, Jimmy Kwok
Editing: Azrael Chung
Art Direction: Jean Tsoi
Music: Hatano Yusuke, Timo Jaeger
Producers: Virginia Lok, Andrew Lau
Cast: Nick Cheung (Ching To), Louis Koo (Cheng Chun-yin), Francis Ng (Yip Chi-fan), Joe Ma (Commissioner), Benjamin Yuen (Chong), Jiang Peiyao (Yiu Ho-yee), Jacky Cai (Emma), Liu Yuning (Bill), Huang Zhizhong (Mr Tung), Zhang Yichi (Demon)
Date of First Release in Territory: August 8th, 2019
Premiere status: International Festival Premiere
When a CEO ploughs his Benz into a crowd of Hong Kong pedestrians early in Jazz Boon’s Line Walker 2 Invisible Spy, a high-tech scheme of kidnappings and infiltration comes to light. And as in the first Line Walker movie three years earlier, the stage is set for major action at home and abroad. Those heading in to catch part two without seeing the opening film need not worry, however: this time around Boon has the same three lead actors embark on an entirely fresh outing – new characters, new scenario – and significantly ups the big-screen thrills along the way.
After the opening carnage, Hong Kong’s Criminal Investigation Bureau calls in reporter Yiu Ho-yee (Jiang Peiyao), who’s following the story and has access to crucial evidence. Chief Inspector Ching To (Nick Cheung) and Superintendant Yip Chi-fan (Francis Ng) are first on the case, and they’re told by Yiu that a shadowy organisation has kidnapped children, trained them up and planted them as field agents in police forces worldwide.
Before Ching and Yip can act, however, the case is handed over to Cheng Chun-yin (Louis Koo), a steely senior officer in the Security Wing. But Cheng is nonetheless paired with Ching to fly down to Myanmar and seize a hard disk containing Yiu’s leads. When that mission descends into a firestorm and one of the pair suddenly goes missing, the scene is set for heavy international espionage and high-stakes drama.
Jazz Boon’s Line Walker three years earlier adapted material from his 2014 Hong Kong TV series of the same title, offered strong action in Rio de Janeiro, and scored well at the box office. Again drawing on the talents of action choreographer Chin Kar-lok, Boon goes large once more with shootouts and stunts.
An early sequence in Myanmar with explosions, a rooftop chase and a street battle offers plenty of firepower, but things get crazier when the location switches to Spain later on. As the leads get swept into the country’s famed running of the bulls, Boon and Chin seem perfectly happy to fling a healthy dose of the absurd into their grand action plans. The three top-billed stars for their part play up the material well, with Nick Cheung showing his credentials for tight modern-action performances, Francis Ng steady in support and Louis Koo handling an enjoyable role that moves from suave mystery man to horribly tormented soul.
Line Walker 2 regularly heads into super-techie territory, with gunfights livestreamed, intense surveillance systems on both sides of the law and a top-secret counter-espionage unit hidden away in a well-equipped cavern. But for long-time Hong Kong action buffs, there’s a certain old-school charm too: when the action gets going there’s a clear nod to the so-called “heroic bloodshed” cinema that drew so many devotees to Hong Kong films of the 1980s and early ’90s. As the charismatic leads struggle, grimace and bond amid grave threats to their lives, Line Walker 2 delivers a modern update for that much-loved side of local screen heritage.
Jazz Boon joined Hong Kong broadcaster TVB in the early 1990s as a production assistant and production manager, and also took up directing for the small screen. After promotion to producer in 2012, Boon turned out popular TV series including the crime drama Line Walker (2014). Boon later made a move to cinema, making his film debut with the 2016 movie-adaptation action thriller Line Walker and following it up with a sequel, Line Walker 2 Invisible Spy, in 2019.
2016 – Line Walker
2019 – Line Walker 2 Invisible Spy