Hong Kong’s Shock Wave spared no expenses on its explosive action scenes

Hong Kong’s Shock Wave spared no expenses on its explosive action scenes

In Shock Wave, a bomb disposal expert has to foil an attempt to blow up Hong Kong’s busy Cross-Harbour Tunnel (CHT).

Most of the scenes in the action thriller take place inside the CHT, which is an underwater crossing connecting Kowloon and Hong Kong island. However, the CHT has a daily traffic capacity of 110,000 vehicles, therefore there was no way the movie could be shot on location.

So, director Herman Yau had to build a 1:1 life-size replica of the tunnel, which he said cost about RM100mil.

“One of our greatest challenges was the building of the tunnel for our shoot,” said Yau, in a phone interview from Hong Kong.

The production also blew up countless vehicles inside the tunnel and filmed several car chases as well as gun battles. How many cars were destroyed in total? “More than 200, for sure, including the ones that were wrecked in car chases and gun battles. I mean, we did not blow up everything!” Yau, 55, said with a laugh.

Despite the high cost of production, Yau said he didn’t actually blow his budget. “I just kept on spending money. Even when we hit HK$1bil (RM570mil), I was sure we were never over the budget. Because, no one ever told me to stop!” he said.

To ensure the success of his action blockbuster, Yau spared no cost in getting top-tier stars for his cast. He was overjoyed when Hong Kong’s most bankable movie star, Andy Lau, decided to be a producer.

“I needed a superstar to match the mega-production, and it had to be him. I’d known Andy for 30 years, and we first started working together in our 1999 rom-com Fascination Amour. In Shock Wave, everyone will get to see the Andy Lau that we are all so familiar with,” he said.

In Shock Wave, Lau plays Cheung Joi San, the No. 1 Bomb Disposal Officer attached to the Hong Kong Police Force Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) Bureau.

Working undercover to take down a crime syndicate, he raises the ire of trigger-happy mobster Blast (played by mainland actor Jiang Wu) when he foils the gang’s robbery attempt and arrests the bloodthirsty crime lord’s younger brother. To rescue his brother and exact his revenge against Cheung, Blast threatens to blow up the Cross-Harbour Tunnel and kill all the hostages trapped inside.

The movie also features Hong Kong actors Philip Keung, Ron Ng, Felix Wong, Shek Sau, Babyjohn Choi, Tony Ho, Wan Yeung Ming, and Felix Lok as fellow police officers.

Andy Lau is doing fine

The 55-year-old Lau could not attend the Shock Wave premiere in Hong Kong recently. However, he recorded a two-minute video to promote the movie. He also wanted to reassure his fans that he was fine.

“Like my character in the movie, who believes in destiny, I have to say that I am unable to attend any promotional activities now, because the heavens want me to take a long vacation,” said the singer-actor. Lau suffered pelvic fractures in January after a horse-riding incident while shooting a commercial in Thailand.

When asked why they had not considered postponing the launch until Lau could get back on his feet again, Yau replied, “The company did consider that possibility, but Andy reasoned that it would be better to go ahead, instead of leaving it on the backburner. Andy is fine now. But fractured bones take time to heal. So he needs to get much-needed rest to recuperate.”

In a brief video, Lau appeared to be in good spirits although he looked pale and his voice sounded tired. He urged everyone to “go and enjoy the movie Shock Wave with peace of mind”.

 




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