Power, corruption and lies are at the heart of Paradox, Ip Man director Wilson Yip’s brutal, bloody action thriller that (maybe) rounds out the extremely loose cops-and-robbers trilogy! Paradox trades in bone-crunching fight sequences and creative use of its locations — in this case, Thailand’s grimier side — as well as anything Hung and the nimble cast can get their hands on. This can include, but is not limited to, laundry, houseplants, patio furniture and, of course, exotic fruit (it’s Thailand after all). Hung’s fingerprints are all over Paradox, and under his masterful guidance he and Yip have managed the impossible: making Koo look badass. Louis Koo leads a stellar regional cast, including Tony Jaa, Gordon Lam and Vithaya Pansringarm.
We’ve previously had Donnie Yen, Sammo Hung, and Wu Jing starring in the first film, then Wu Jing and Tony Jaa in the second. We’ve seen some career best fight work from these legends in the previous installments, and then we get a dour drama with a handsome lead who can’t compete with the physical talents of those who’ve come before him? It just doesn’t compute. Again, dark drama has its place and I’m sure Louis Koo is great… but this franchise demands more.
Directed by Wilson Yip, with action direction by Sammo Hung. Paradox stars Louis Koo as a police inspector who travels to Bangkok to search for his teenage daughter and is aided by local detectives played by Tony Jaa and Wu Yue.