“Paradox” is the newest entry on the famous SPL saga, which began in 2005 with the cult action film “Kill Zone” starring Sammo Hung, Simon Yam and Donnie Yen. “Paradox” is the third installment, again directed by Wilson Yip, who directed the first installment (Cheang Pou-Soi was in charge of the second one, here attached as producer). “Paradox,” which plotwise has nothing to do with the others, stars Louis Koo, Wu Yue, Tony Jaa, Chris Collins, Gordon Lam, Michelle Saram, Ken Lo, Tang Stephy, Hanna Chan and Vithaya Pansringarm among others.

“SPL 3: Paradox” is screening at Five Flavours Festival

Louis Koo plays a Hong Kong policeman named Lee Chung Chi, who has a daughter of which he feels very protective. It goes to the point that he makes decisions for her and he does not let her live to his liking. Due to the little freedom she has at home, the daughter (played by Hanna Chan) makes a trip to Thailand to free herself and visit a friend. In the process of this trip, the daughter disappears without any trace. Soon, Lee Chung Chi will discover the appropriate clues that will lead him to Thailand, and there he will collaborate with the cops Chui Kit and Tak (Yue Wu and Tony Jaa) to find out what happened to his daughter and where she is. Between the paths of a thriller plot, there will also be time for a good dose of fighting.

The plot is simple and interesting enough. In this way, you can also be interested in the story other than be invested only in the action, although the script written by Nick Cheuk and Lai-Yin Leung takes some licenses when it comes to the fact of capturing plausibility. Due to the happening of some facts throughout the film that are either not entirely credible or to be later ignored as if nothing had happened, but this does not take away the total enjoyment of the film. The mystery plot, despite these errors, is well-written and structured, dosing the action scenes throughout the film giving some time to breathe and taking its time for the plot to advance.

One of the aspects that stands out apart from the action scenes is the acting. Louis Koo, above all, does an exceptional job, not only in terms of dramatic acting but in the aspect of the action as well. Louis Koo is not as renowned a martial artist as Tony Jaa or Donnie Yen for example, but his exceptional work makes his character believable in both aspects. The same can be said of Yue Wu, which we have already seen in productions like “The Brink,” making his own action scenes in an amazing way. And we also have the always awesome Tony Jaa, unique in his way of fighting. While the movie does not use him as one would like in terms of quantity, it excels whenever he appears and his fights scenes are truly amazing and very entertaining. We also have Gordon Lam and Vithaya Pansringarm playing the villains. Already the presence of Gordon Lam is satisfying and pleasant to watch, especially at the time of being the villain; so he is great in the role.

On the other hand, what is also to praise in “Paradox” is Wilson Yip’s direction along with his DP Kenny Tse, whose well shot and well-framed cinematography is really welcome, especially at the time of shooting action scenes. Then, the action choreography is the icing on the cake, where Sammo Hung is in charge and as always does a remarkable job at creating action spectacle choreography.

“Paradox” is a well-directed, well-acted and (for the most part) well-written action/thriller film with really awesome and breathtaking action set pieces. You will remember that action scene at the rooftop and the other one with the butcher knives. Another proof that the Hong Kong action cinema is well alive and present. Don’t miss it.