Hong Kong crime thriller Z Storm captivated audiences with its riveting ponzi-scheme racket in 2014. Two years later, its sequel S Storm promises to create intrigue with its sports gambling scams.
Director David Lam, who emerged from semi-retirement to direct the first movie, also returned to work on its sequel. Recently, the director and cast member Bowie Lam shared their thoughts about their latest movie in separate phone interviews from Hong Kong.
Asked about his inspiration for the movie, the director spoke about the dark side of football gambling: “It all started from the World Cup in 2014. In the short span of a few weeks, there were five suicide cases in Hong Kong. All of them were young people. And, every single one of them decided to end their lives as they were overwhelmed by gambling debts from losing World Cup bets.”
The chatty director went on to talk about his interesting cast for S Storm, which also includes Louis Koo, Julian Cheung Chilam, Vic Chou, Ada Choi and Dada Chan.
“Louis reprises his role as the ICAC chief investigating officer. Julian plays a CID detective who has been blacklisted for his gambling issues. So, being assigned to a gambling-related homicide case really tests his resolve. Vic plays a professional hitman, who somehow gets caught in a syndicate and finds it hard to extricate himself.”
Bowie plays a jockey club security manager who is actually an ICAC senior investigator and Koo’s superior in the movie. The veteran actor said his long-drawn fight sequences with Chou were his most challenging scenes. “Vic is supposed to kill me. We fought long and hard for one whole day and night and ended up all covered in bruises and grazes. My character is not much of a fighter, being an investigator, not a Donnie Yen type!
“The night-long struggle finally ends with him wrapping a steel wire around my neck, and dragging me on the floor,” he continued. “Vic is very much a professional. He was concerned about injuring me, so he knew how to hold back his punches. We did a few takes before wrapping the scene.”
Working with Chou for the very first time, Bowie was surprised by the Taiwanese heartthrob. “He’s really not what I’d expected from a pop idol. He is diligent and pours his heart into his acting and everything else he does. It’s not just about his looks. He’s got real skills.”
Even the director was impressed by Chou. “I like the expressiveness of his eyes. He gives the impression of being cold, but inside, he seems to harbour countless secrets and has lots of unspeakable stories to tell,” he said.
“In the movie, there is a scene where he has to race through the streets on a bike while firing a gun at his intended target. It’s a very powerful portrayal of his killer character. And, he has complete trust in the stunt directors, to the point that he never asks questions or even raise any concerns about his own safety. He sits quietly waiting for his scenes, and does not talk much, which is very much in character with the role he plays. But he delivers whatever we ask of him. This kind of actor is a joy to work with.”