Cinema to get shot in the arm with new crime thriller
Anewcrime thriller promises to resurrect the golden years ofHong Kong cinema with a stellar cast of stars from Asia.
Heilos, set to be released on Thursday, surrounds the story of an internationally wanted fugitive only known as Heilos, who makes nuclear weapons to spark a crisis in Asia. Heilos is chased by military elites from China and South Korea.
Film critics say the film is a Chinese take on the 2008 US action movie 24: Redemption. Heilos is based on a similar anti-terrorism theme.
The feature-length film is co-directed by Hong Kong filmmakers Lok Man Leung and Kim-ching Luk, who shot to fame three years ago for their directorial debut,
The 2012 police thriller, depicting a mysterious hijacking case, was selected as the opening film to kick off the 2012 Busan International Film Festival in South Korea. It also pickedupnine prizes at the Hong Kong Film Awards in 2013.
Regarded by critics “updated” version of starring top actors Aaron Kwok and Tony Leung Ka Fai, Heilos has doubled its budget to 200 million yuan ($32.22 million) and has a bigger cast, with eight A-list stars fromHong Kong, Taiwan, the Chinese mainland and South Korea.
Onehighlight of the cast is Jacky Cheung, the Hong Kong singer and actor who has made rare appearances in the past 20 years, doing only one film every five years.
“The biggest attraction formeto take onthe movie is the impressive script and the reputation of the two directors. They are well prepared for all the scenarios and have a clear and accurate handling of the correct rhythm,” says Cheung, who plays a physics professor.
The other big names include award-winning actor Nick Cheung, Taiwan veteran actor Chang Chen, Hong Kong actor Shawn Yue, Chinese actor Wang Xueqi, and South Korean actors Ji JinHee and Choi Siwon.
Chen says the film required him to train to become a gun expert.
Critics say the film may help revitalize the struggling Hong Kong movie industry.
“Hong Kong movies are not dying, but sleeping,” director Leung has previously told reporters.
He says most Hong Kong filmmakers have limited budgets and tight schedules and have to make smaller films, limiting their ability to shoot big action scenarios.
When Hong Kong directors have a chance to make big-budget movies, such asHeilos, they should take the opportunity very seriously and spend more time polishing the script, says the director.