- POSTED: 06 Jan 2014 15:04
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"The Four 2" has better pacing than its predecessor but still features an outlandish, confusing plot, as well as some mediocre special effects.
SINGAPORE: Part two of a film trilogy based on Woon Swee Oan’s novel “The Four”, “The Four 2” is set shortly after the events of the first film.
In “The Four”, the heroes of the Divine Constabulary – Emotionless (Crystal Liu), Iron Hands (Collin Chou), Cold Blood (Deng Chao) and Life Snatcher (Ronald Cheng) - defeat Lord Ang (Wu Xiubo), a dangerous man with near-magical powers who wants to overthrow the Emperor with an army of zombies.
Unlike the first film, which mainly focuses on introducing the members of the Divine Constabulary and their fantastical abilities, “The Four 2” delves into the origins of Heartless, and a mysterious new arch-villain’s plot to take revenge on the Divine Constabulary's Master Zhuge (Anthony Wong).
With the introductions out of the way, the story in “The Four 2” unfolds at a comfortable pace, and avoids getting too draggy like the first film.
The lengthy exposition in “The Four 2” is also punctuated by fight scenes to keep things from becoming too monotonous.
Unfortunately, the fight sequences are nothing to write home about. The special effects are not very well done, with some bits like Cold Blood’s weird beast transformation more likely to draw laughter than a gasp of surprise.
Another problem with “The Four 2” is it virtually requires the viewer to have watched the first film, in order to grasp what’s going on.
“The Four” has a hard-to-follow storyline due to the its multiple sub-plots, but “The Four 2”, which heavily references the events of the first film and expands upon them, makes the outlandish plot even more confusing.
While there are short flashbacks in “The Four 2” which remind those who have actually watched the first film about pertinent bits of the story, they leave those who have not a little lost as they give very little context.
Largely mediocre performances from the film’s cast also did “The Four 2” no favours.
Neither did its abrupt ending, though it may be setting audiences up for the final film in the trilogy.
However, for wuxia (martial arts chivalry) buffs who take the time to catch the first film, and understand its complicated storyline, the “The Four 2” could still prove to be quite entertaining.
“The Four 2” opens January 9.