review by Bobby Blakey
In 2005 Donnie Yen and Sammo Hung teamed up for the martial arts action film SPL aka Kill Zone. In 2015 the next chapter of the SPL franchise hit with Kill Zone 2 with Tony Jaa joining the cast. Now the next chapter is here with Tony Jaa returning alongside Louis Koo, Lam Ka Tung, Wu Yue and Chris Collins in Paradox, but does it bring it the expected action of will it fail to bring the pain?
Paradox follows Hong Kong police negotiator Lee Chung-Chi who has learned that his 16 year old daughter Wing-Chi has disappeared while in Thailand. He travels to Thailand and teams up with Chinese officer Tsui Kit and his partner, Tak, as they face off against American gangster Sacha, who is operating a black market organ smuggling ring. A series of clues lead Chung-Chi to not only learn the fate of his daughter, but overcome the odds to stop the ring once and for all. When you see Tony Jaa on the cover of a movie you already get your expectations rolling expecting certain things, but be clear that this is not a Tony Jaa and I applaud them for making sure it states that it is a special appearance as opposed to trying to trick the viewer into sales with his name. That being said he is not in the movie all that much, but brings his usual flare and kicks some major ass when he is.
This movie falls in the hands of Lois Koo and Wue Yue who lead the charge in a story brimming with action and plenty of twists and turns. This story was way darker and heavier than I had expected right until the unexpected direction of the ending. There happens to be a lot of downtime in between the action, but it keeps things moving with a great story. Once we get into the action it is violent, furious and perfectly executed with some great memorable sequences and cringe worthy moments.
It is interesting how this SPL series continues to movie forward while reinventing itself with every film. Like the previous two installments it is not necessary to see the others to enjoy this one. Join the fight for his missing daughter when Paradox hits Blu-ray and DVD on May 8th from Well Go USA.