I’m not even sure where to start with this review.  How’s this:  This movie is fantastic.  Simply amazing.  Phenomenal.

Cold War 2 is the sequel to the Chinese 2012 hit Cold War.  Called a “mega hit” in China here in the States the only Cold War I’ve ever known of is the one between the U.S. and the Russkies.  Having never seen the first film I felt it weird to tackle a foreign language sequel to a film that I had never even heard of.  I was up for the task certainly but didn’t know how lost I would truly be.  I felt like I could Wikipedia the first film and see exactly what I missed.  I chose to just throw the disc in and see if the film clues me in on what happened in that first film.

The film follows new police commissioner Sean Lau (Aaron Kwok) as he is forced into a horrible decision.  His wife his been kidnapped and all the kidnappers want for her safe return is Joe Lee (Eddie Peng) – a disgraced officer that I’m going to assume was captured at the end of the last film.  A series of events leads up to Joe Lee escaping and Sean having to take the fall for a bomb going off, the prisoner escaping, and take part of the inquiry that comes after.  The inquiry includes a legislator named Oswald Kan (Chow Yun-fat) who will get to the bottom of things at any cost.

The thing is all is not what it seems for Sean.  This includes the plans of a former police commissioner who has set all of the events in motion in the hopes of putting his own people high in power within not just the Hong Kong Police Department but in power positions within government.  Roped into it is MB Lee (Tony Leung Ka-fai) who was about to retire but is brought into this ingenious plan.  All they need to do is get rid of Sean Lau and their plans can be set in motion.  Sean though…man…he is one smart son-of-a-bitch and he is not going down without a fight.

NOW – I was a bit lost in the beginning and I had to gain my footing as the plot started to let loose.  The first Cold War film got its name from Operation Cold War – the plan set in motion in the first film.  I missed all of that plot – except for the threads that still had to be taken care of in the second film.  That being said once this film got going at about the ten minute mark it didn’t stop.  It was tense.  It had action.  It had some amazing scripting.  It is basically an action thriller that moves around its players like an intricate chess game.

And the cast?  Aaron Kwok, Chow Yun-fat, and Tony Leung Ka-fai are such a powerhouse cast of famous, well-known award-winning actors.  They kick major ass in each of their individual roles.  I mean that figuratively – as a lawyer Yun-fat does all his fighting with his wits, smarts, and words.

Is there a downfall to the film?  Not really – I mean if you don’t like foreign language films you have to sit here for two hours and read.  Some people don’t like that.  There is no bad dubbing option so you just don’t have that option.

The extras?  There’s some great featurettes here that talk about the cast, the movie, and even the special effects.  I was pretty amazed with some of the sequences that went on in this film (the explosions near the end were brilliant) and these featurettes do a great job clueing you in on the behind-the-scenes of the film.  There’s also a teaser trailer and the actual trailer for your viewing pleasure.  No directors’ commentary – I’m sure the Chinese release may have it but they probably figure American audiences don’t know Chinese so you won’t want to listen to the directors speaking Chinese for two hours.

This films was just incredible.  Even without watching the first film it is really, really, REALLY worth the watch.  My big advice?  Just pick up both films so you won’t be lost as I was in the beginning.  Even if you just pick up the sequel – trust me – you’ll be enveloped in this amazing world within minutes.

RANK: A+

SPECIAL FEATURES: B