Thinking Back丨"Cold War": Extraordinary times have extraordinary themes

    Editor's note: This is a nostalgic theater.

    In 2012, ten years after the birth of the "Infernal Affairs" trilogy, which was enough to enter the history of Chinese film, a Hong Kong-produced film "Cold War", which also described the police force catching traitors, was born. The director and screenwriter are mainly shared by Liang Lemin and Lu Jianqing, which can also remind people of the success of "Infernal Affairs" co-created by Liu Weiqiang and Mak Siu-fai.

    In the combination of "Cold War", judging from past resumes, Liang Leqing, who mostly worked as an art artist, should be the main designer of the film style, while Lu Jianming used his experience as an assistant director for more than ten years before for the final presentation. Screen effects provide the finish. The way of co-directing implies that the film style will not be as personalized as the author-director, but more of the creativity and presentation within the film industry system. And this kind of blockbuster film that conforms to the "Hong Kong style", in the next ten years, almost every year, there will be one or two films that can achieve both box office and word-of-mouth success in the mainland film market. But among the newly promoted directors who can still be regarded as young, there are basically only two directors, Liang and Lu.

    The slogan "Use extraordinary methods in extraordinary times" on the poster was quite attentive at the time, summarizing the characteristics of the film.

    The story of "Cold War" describes that an assault vehicle and five policemen of the Hong Kong police force were hijacked by unknown persons and extorted tens of millions of ransom. Complicated power struggle. In the end, it was revealed that the real purpose of the so-called hijacking was just a conspiracy designed to allow the top management to secure their positions.

    It sounds similar to other popular commercial blockbusters, but the characteristic of "Chill" is that the two new directors are trying to create an "imagined high-level struggle environment" in addition to the traditional police and gangster films, so that undercover, scheming, The elements of traditional Chinese action films such as betrayal and friendship are pushed into a new story field to present.

    The success of the previous "Infernal Affairs" has actually written to the extreme the struggle of human nature in the undercover police and robbers. The so-called "infernal hell" cannot extricate themselves; and the undercover story of the Hong Kong drama "Sneak Sniper" continues, it may " There are not many jobs that really belong to the underworld, and they are filled with police undercover agents at all levels from the younger brothers to the big bosses. Obviously, if a story has been made up to the point of vulgarity by a large number of similar themes, it can only change its shell and find another way. The story of "struggle within the police station", "police fighting against police", coupled with the intervention and assistance of high-level ICAC, Security Bureau and other agencies, coupled with the political and political "Hong Kong - the safest city to practice common law". The label of culture makes the film present a complex, realistic meaning of exploring social governance, and finds a new way of entry for the theme.

    The label in "Cold War", in "Cold War 2", is concretized into a line of words engraved on the wall, which is the governance goal of the police force and the grand background that the film tries to show.

    In fact, if you leave aside the superficially complicated background of government departments, the story of the film is not that complicated. It is still a new wine in an old bottle of a traditional Hong Kong film "society vying to be the boss". Even though the "high-level management culture of the police station" was created by the director of the film, the brutal and straightforward struggle between people is similar to many previous Hong Kong films, reflecting the complex human relationships and systems in Hong Kong. Fusion, the local meaning of the fusion of Chinese and Western cultures. A large number of literary dramas in the film are not only like the squabbles in daily company management, but also like the competition of strength and face in the confrontation between clubs, which makes people watch quite heartily. Today, on major platforms such as Station B, it is still an excellent material for re-cut introductions and second-time dubbing.

    A large number of hormonal confrontation dramas between various male characters, mixed with a few well-designed action scenes, make "Cold War" more novel and interesting than many Hong Kong police and gangster films after that. It is also realistic and exaggerated. A rare balance has been found. Even for "Cold War 2", the word-of-mouth has dropped a lot compared to the previous work. The big reason is that although the political environment of the previous high-level struggles has been retained, the way of fighting is too involved in the imaginary political system, which has attracted many audiences. Sometimes it loses the focus that can maintain the sense of tension in the previous work. And the two directors later created "Equator", which introduced the crisis of international terrorists threatening Hong Kong. It also has too many traces of fabrication, and fell into the old road of Hong Kong blockbusters. mediocre.

    It was supposed to be an occasion of fierce struggle, but for some reason, there was always a sense of humor in the nervousness. In contrast, the Cantonese version is more engaging than the Mandarin version.

    In fact, compared to action movies, "Chill" is better understood as an "office cool movie" like "Naoki Hansawa". The characters are tense, and the atmosphere of confrontation is achieved in the slightly exaggerated performance of the actors. The vivid characterization is more memorable than the plot.

    Most of the focus of "Chill" is on the characters played by the two leading actors, Aaron Kwok and Tony Leung Ka Fai. Although in the Mandarin version, the two speak "Liu Sir" and "Li Sir" one by one, because of the ambiguity of the plastic Mandarin, it always makes people feel like a tongue twister. But for commercial films, there is also a kind of contrived fun, which will not make you laugh. In particular, "Li Sir" played by Liang Jiahui, as the soul of the whole film, has a high-pressure management method that is both good and evil, a fiery attitude towards people, and a "deputy police chief" modeled in a "rogue boss". ", can leave a very deep impression on the audience, and it can be called the biggest highlight of the whole film. And a large number of choreographers and directors deliberately designed the way of quarreling between the characters, so that in the face-to-face acting competition, the actors can be seen at a glance who plays the more brilliant character. For example, in the confrontation between Li Sir and the ICAC, Li Zhiting was completely overwhelmed by Liang Jiahui. It can be seen from the side that Liang Jiahui's interpretation of this character is outstanding-he also won the Hong Kong Film Award for best actor.

    Li Sir's speech in the face of ICAC scrutiny is still regarded by many viewers as a teaching to learn the unspoken rules of company management. The lines in this film are very chewy, and Leung Ka Fai's performance is also very charming.

    Equally impressive is Andy Lau's role as the head of the Security Bureau, who is very polite and elegant on the surface, but has a sense of a hero that makes people hard to understand. Even though there were only two short scenes, many movie fans called for "Andy Lau to run for chief executive immediately". And in "Cold War 2", Chow Yun-fat's special performance also made the top barrister act out a sense of banter in the street, which is quite an interesting performance design.

    As the leading actor, Aaron Kwok, although he has been acting for 20 years and has received awards, he cannot always be considered by the audience as an actor with outstanding acting skills. Objectively speaking, his performance in "Cold War" is quite satisfactory, and he has completed the task. He has created an image of an upright and straightforward deputy police chief, which is also in line with Aaron Kwok's usual feeling of being a bit "stupid". It's just that as the character "Liu Sir", there is a scheming side behind him, and it seems that he didn't show some "sinister" feeling in the place where he should exert his strength. It is a pity that the level of performance is not enough.

    But generally speaking, the group drama of "Chill" is quite outstanding. Every character has shown his own position and energy in the incident. good stubble. The confrontation between these men, face to face or hidden, has the style of head-to-head American drama, which seems to be very enjoyable.

    Andy Lau, Lin Jiadong, Peng Yuyan, and other actors, many male characters in "Chill" have their own different charms, it is a full-flavored group portrait of men.

    These advantages that make "Chill" stand out in style also conceal some of the film's actual shortcomings. Although the confrontation and dramatic conflict in the story are very intense, the design of the plot is too tricky at key points, which still makes people feel that it is "outrageously edited" and unbelievable. For example, the son of the deputy director is the last big boss, and he did a bunch of complicated actions of taking hostages, just to get his father to take the position, but he didn't know whether he really wanted to take the position; or Liu Sir The purpose of scheming to expose the inside information of the police station to the ICAC is to find out the criminals hidden deep in the police station from the outside. However, in fact, the criminals and the most critical evidence can already be obtained through physical forensics in the laboratory. These superfluous actions make people realize that the plot is still made up after all. "Office politics" is still a product of imagination, and real high-level struggles will not be as sharp-edged as quarrels in the market. mouth, secretly solved the problem relationship.

    "Cold War" stills

    After all, even if "Chill" is wonderful, it is impossible to study it as a management text. The real power struggle is often not so superficial, but more will be used in invisible places. However, the plot setting and lines of "Cold War" are still very beautiful. The characters are in a series of crises. It's full of negotiating and pulling flavors, which makes up for the weaker conventional police and gangster dramas.

    It's a pity that if such a subject is written further up, the higher the level of writing, the stronger the flavor of fabrication will be. In "Cold War 2", the plot of several high-level figures deciding the Hong Kong chief executive in the wine cellar is no longer credible, and "Chill War 3", which has been said to be on the way all these years, is said to be released in the summer of 2023. But whether you can really see it is left to fate.


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