Official film poster
|Mandarin||Shā Pò Láng・Tān Láng|
|Cantonese||Saat3 Po3 Long4・Taam1 Long4|
|Directed by||Wilson Yip|
|Produced by||Cheang Pou-soi|
|Screenplay by||Jill Leung |
|Music by||Chan Kwong-wing|
|Edited by||Wong Hoi|
|Distributed by||Bravos Pictures|
|Box office||US$80.8 million|
Paradox is a 2017 neo-noir Hong Kong action film directed by Wilson Yip, with action direction by Sammo Hung. Written by Jill Leung and Nick Cheuk, the film 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. Along the way, he encounters the mastermind of an organ trafficking gang (Chris Collins) who colludes with a local politician (Gordon Lam), leading to a series of hot pursuit. Paradox is the third installment of the SPL film series, following the 2005 film, SPL: Sha Po Lang and 2015's SPL II: A Time for Consequences. The film was released in China on 17 August 2017 and in Hong Kong on 25 August 2017 and has grossed US$80.8 million worldwide against a budget of US$14.5 million.
The film was well received by critics, praised for action director Hung's choreography, which won him the Hong Kong Film Award for Best Action Choreography, and Koo's physical and emotional performance, which netted him both the Asian Film Award for Best Actor and Hong Kong Film Award for Best Actor, winning his film first acting awards. Aside from winning the two aforementioned awards, Paradox also won Best Sound Design and received six other nominations at the 37th Hong Kong Film Awards, including Best Film, Best Director, Best Supporting Actor, Best New Performer, Best Cinematography and Best Film Editing.
When Hong Kong police inspector Lee Chung-chi (Louis Koo) is informed about the sudden disappearance of his 16-year-old daughter Lee Wing-chi (Hanna Chan) during her trip to Pattaya, he decides to travel to Thailand to search for her daughter's whereabouts. There Lee receives assistance from local Chinese detective Chui Kit (Wu Yue) and his Thai colleague Tak (Tony Jaa) and also encounters American gangster Sacha (Chris Collins).
Clues connect the disappearance of Lee's daughter to a case involving the mayoral candidate of Bangkok's urgent need for a heart transplant. Lee also suspects the mayoral candidate's assistant Cheng Hon-sau (Gordon Lam) of colluding with Sacha to abduct his daughter. While suffering from the loss of his beloved daughter, Lee kidnaps corrupt officer Ban (Ken Lo) in order to get to the bottom of the case. As a result, Lee becomes a nationwide wanted criminal. Seeking revenge, Lee can only ask Chui to assist him in finding the whereabouts of his daughter.
In a confrontation, Chui and Tak battle Sacha and his henchmen. Tak saves Sacha from falling off a building, but Sacha then throws a bystander child off the building. Tak saves the child, but is kicked off the building by Sacha, resulting in Tak's death. Under interrogation, Ban reveals the location where Lee's daughter is stored. On his way there, Lee's car collides with Cheng's car, which is carrying his daughter. Police pursue Lee after spotting a bloody Ban. Lee leaves Ban behind and barely escapes, while his daughter is brought to Sacha's headquarters by Cheng. Ban is then killed in the hospital. Police commissioner Chai (Vithaya Pansringarm), who is aware of the plot to save the mayoral candidate, tells Chui to drop the case, warning that a cover-up is already happening and that their own lives are already at risk.
With the heart transplant operation complete, Cheng orders Chai to have the police kill Sacha and his henchmen. Before the police enter, Lee rushes into Sacha's headquarters, defeating many of his henchmen, but is injured due to being overwhelmed. Chai mandates that the police operation should continue so that Lee is killed as well. Chui punches Chai, enters to save Lee, and continues the battle against Sacha and his henchmen. Chui managed to kill Sacha's men and engages in a brutal fight with Sacha. At Chai's order, the police storm Sacha's headquarters, killing all of Sacha's henchmen, forcing Lee, Chui and Sacha to hide.
Chui reveals the awful truth to Lee, who goes on to find his daughter's corpse and grieve. Chui manages to almost defeat Sacha, but Sacha uses a fire extinguisher to knock out Chui and attempt to kill him with a bonesaw, but a raging Lee interrupts. Locked in a struggle, Lee savagely bites Sacha's ear and fatally slashes Sacha's throat with the bonesaw. Chai arrives and nearly executes Lee, but stops at Chui's urging at Chai that they are still cops. Chai then shows Chui that Chui's wife has been kidnapped at the behest of Cheng.
Lee volunteers to save Chui's wife. Chui drops him off at the mayoral candidate's residence, during the birthday celebration of the mayoral candidate's granddaughter. Lee handcuffs Chui to the steering wheel of his vehicle to avoid interference and breaks into the sleeping mayoral candidate's room and listens to his daughter's heart. Cheng appears and tells Lee that he, not the mayoral candidate, is the one behind the crimes. Lee asks if Chui and his wife will be left alone with his own death, Cheng agrees. Lee kills Cheng and spares the mayoral candidate. Having lost his wife and daughter and driven over the edge, Lee turns the gun on himself and Chui hears the sound of a gunshot outside.
Chui's wife is released; she eventually gives birth. Chui is initially elated at the childbirth, but his happiness fades as he remembers Lee's sacrifice for him.
- Louis Koo as Lee Chung-chi (李忠志)
- Gordon Lam as Cheng Hon-sau (鄭漢守)
- Wu Yue as Chui Kit (崔傑)
- Chris Collins as Sacha (沙查)
- Tony Jaa as Tak (阿德) (special appearance)
- Michelle Saram as Lee Chung-chi's wife (guest appearance)
- Jacky Cai as Siu-man (小曼)
- Ken Lo as Ban (阿斌)
- Hanna Chan as Lee Wing-chi (李穎芝)
- Vithaya Pansringarm as Commissioner Chai (猜局長)
- Sompob Benjathikul as Mayor Azis (阿齋茲市長)
- Siraphun Wattanajinda as Soei (桑兒)
Filming for Paradox began in Bangkok on 29 October 2016, where a filming commencement ceremony was held which was attended by producers Cheang Pou-soi and Paco Wong, director Wilson Yip, action director Sammo Hung and cast members Louis Koo, Gordon Lam, Tony Jaa, Wu Yue, Chris Collins and Ken Lo. For his role as an assistant for a Bangkok mayoral candidate, Lam learned to speak Thai from Lo, who is fluent in the language. On 26 December 2016, it was announced that filming for the film's action scenes have all been complete. Production for Paradox officially wrapped up after over three months of shooting in Hong Kong and Thailand in February 2017 with a wrap up banquet held on the 4th on the same month attended by the cast and crew members.
Paradox made its world premiere as the Opening Film of the 2017 Cine Fan Summer International Film Festival organised by the Hong Kong International Film Festival Society on 15 August 2017 before being theatrically released in China in MX4D and China Film Giant Screen on 17 August and in Hong Kong on 25 August 2017.
Paradox received mostly positive reviews, with critics praising Louis Koo's performance and Sammo Hung's action choreography. Edmund Lee of the South China Morning Post rated the film a score of 3.5/5 stars, praising Koo's physical and emotional performance, choreographer Sammo Hung's ferocious action scenes. Elizabeth Kerr of The Hollywood Reporter praised Hung's creative action choreography, writer Jill Leung's use of time to uncover the protagonist's indiscretions and cinematographer Kenneth Tse's use of colors. James Marsh of Screen Anarchy praised Hung's brutal action choreography, Koo's performance as having "gone above and above" and concludes his review by stating that the film "packs one hell of a punch".
In China, the film grossed ¥212,476,100 during its opening weekend. debuting at No. 2. By its second weekend, the film has dropped to No. 4 and has accumulated a total gross of ¥440,437,600 by then. On its third week, the film grossed ¥12,810,300 and has grossed a total ¥502,799,402 by then. During its fourth week, the film grossed ¥2,818,498, accumulating a total gross of ¥518,116,101 so far. The film has grossed a total of ¥521,573,000 in China.
Released on 25 August 2017 in Hong Kong, the film grossed HK$3,153,559 during its opening weekend, debuting at No.4. During its second week, the film grossed HK$3,551,677, accumulating a total gross of HK6,705,236 by then. On its third week, the film grossed HK$872,290 and has grossed a total of HK$7,577,526 so far.
Awards and nominations
|37th Hong Kong Film Awards||Best Film||Paradox||Nominated|
|Best Director||Wilson Yip||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Louis Koo||Won|
|Best Supporting Actor||Gordon Lam||Nominated|
|Best New Performer||Hanna Chan||Nominated|
|Best Cinematography||Kenny Tse||Nominated|
|Best Film Editing||Wong Hoi||Nominated|
|Best Action Choreography||Sammo Hung||Won|
|Best Sound Design||Kinson Tsang, George Lee||Won|
|12th Asian Film Awards||Best Actor||Louis Koo||Won|
|Best Action Film||Paradox||Won|
|24th Hong Kong Film Critics Society Awards||Film of Merit||Paradox||Won|
|12th Hong Kong Film Directors' Guild Award||Best Actor||Louis Koo||Won|
|54th Golden Horse Awards||Best Action Choreography||Sammo Hung||Nominated|
|Weibo Star Awards 2017||Best Actor||Louis Koo||Won|
|23rd Huading Awards||Best Supporting Actor||Gordon Lam||Nominated|
|MOVIE 6 Hong Kong Film Awards Public Voting||Best Film||Paradox||Won|
|Best Actor||Louis Koo||Won|
|1st Kongest Film Awards|
|Best Director||Wilson Yip||Nominated|
|Best Actor||Louis Koo||Nominated|
|My Favorite Hong Kong Film||Paradox||Nominated|
- "FilMart: Sun Entertainment's 'Paradox' Packs Powerful Punch".
- "Paradox - Box Office Mojo".
- 陳廣隆 (2017-08-30). "【殺破狼：貪狼．影評】古天樂未竟全功的轉型嘗試？". HK01 (in Chinese). Archived from the original on 2019-01-05.
《殺破狼》的精髓，在於其「野」（raw），在於其「黑」（noir），在於其「冷」（cool），缺一不可。[The feature of Paradox is on its raw, its noir and its cool, all must be indispensable.]
- "《貪狼》沿用《殺破狼2》班底曼谷開鏡 古天樂Tony Jaa 吳樾 Chris Collins 連場開打 林家棟學泰文盧惠光叫「好爽」!".
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- "Louis Koo plays negotiator in "Paradox"".
- "LOUIS KOO HAS FUN WITH THE PARADOX FIGHT SCENES".
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- "Film review: Paradox – Louis Koo channels his inner Liam Neeson for Wilson Yip's brutal return to SPL action series".
- "'Paradox': Film Review - Hollywood Reporter".
- "Review: PARADOX Scores Another Hit for the SPL Franchise".
- "China Box Office, August 18–20, 2017".
- "China Box Office, August 25–27, 2017".
- "China Box Office, September 1–3, 2017".
- "China Box Office September 8–10, 2017".
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- "hkfilmart.com - 每週票房".
- "Nomination list of The 37th Hong Kong Film Awards".
- "Our Time Will Come wins five awards, including best film, at star-studded Hong Kong Film Awards". South China Morning Post. April 15, 2018.
- "Asian Film Awards 2018 nominations". South China Morning Post. January 11, 2018.
- "Asian Film Awards: 'Youth' Wins Top Prize From 'Demon Cat'". Variety. March 17, 2018.
- "第23届华鼎奖提名：《战狼2》、《芳华》双雄逐鹿". Sina (in Chinese). March 20, 2018.