Following Z Storm (2014), S Storm (2016) and L Storm (2018) comes P Storm <<P 风暴>>, the fourth instalment of the Hong Kong crime thriller series. This time, William Luk (Louis Koo) goes undercover as an inmate to investigate correctional officers who are receiving bribes from an inmate.
The film opens with William Luk intentionally getting himself arrested for drink-driving. The next scene reveals his target: inmate Cao Yuen Yuen (Raymond Lam), the wealthy, cold-blooded son of a Chinese tycoon. Yuen Yuen is due for early release, but William believes that Yuen Yuen bribed the officers of the Hong Kong Correctional Services (HKCS) from inside the prison. Thus begins his one-man mission to infiltrate and secure evidence of corruption happening in prison.
Despite his partner Ching Tak Ming (Kevin Cheng) and Chief Inspector Lau Po Keung (Julian Cheung) from the Independent Commission Against Corruption (ICAC) backing him up from the outside, William will also have to deal with inmate Wong Man-bun (Gordon Lam Ka-tung), an ex-Superintendent of Police whom William put behind bars five years ago.
Meanwhile, the current Superintendent of the prison, Sham Kwok Keung (Patrick Tam), is on the take from Yuen Yuen and hence, turns a blind eye to the constant gang fights. With the help of comedic cellmate Wong Lam Luk (Louis Cheung), William powers through to complete his mission.
While knowledge of the previous movie sequels is not required, being familiar with the main characters is a bonus. Sadly, the movie was rather flat – it felt like the kind of movie you would watch at home while multi-tasking with your phone or laptop. Despite its interesting plot, I was rather disappointed as it was not as fast-paced as I had expected for an action movie.
Furthermore, the sting operation stretched out for most of the movie, making it vulnerable to predictability. The movie also failed to explain parts of the movie, especially the escape scenes – while the escapes were implied, it was never shown how they were executed, which left me hanging.
If it is worth any consolation, Lam Luk’s occasional comic relief was a saving grace in the film. As expected from Louis Cheng, Lam Luk’s scenes never disappoint; in particular, his theory on why youngsters should aim to go to jail got the theatre crowd laughing hysterically.
Avid followers of the Storm series may still want to watch P Storm on the big screen, but I would advise the rest to perhaps wait till it becomes available via other outlets. It may not be a complete waste of your time, but it is likely you will feel that it was not your money’s worth.
Visuals courtesy of Shaw Organisation.