“Z Storm” will be released on DVD and Blu-ray from Well Go USA tomorrow.
As a rabid film watcher, every so often you stumble onto a film that is so ridiculous and so ludicrous that you can’t help but think that it has to be a joke. Everything is so god awful that you’re under the impression that it’s somehow a parody of itself. Maybe the humor in it is so dry that it soared over your head or maybe you missed that one piece of the puzzle that somehow brings everything together.
But alas, the realization sets in that this is in fact a concrete film attempting to be taken seriously and all you can do is sit back and be completely gobsmacked while this abomination runs it course. You’re so stunned by its atrociousness that you can’t even get up to turn it off or walk out of the room or even shout bad commentary at it. You let the film play out while you watch with dry, unblinking eyes and your mouth agape like some comatose mental patient. The dust eventually settles and the thick fog begins to dissipate only to reveal that “Z Storm” is likely and always will be one of the worst films you or anyone else has ever seen.
When an on-the-rise superintendent named Wong Man Bin (Gordon Lam) from the CCB (Commerical Crime Bureau, the Hong Kong police force) is reported for corruption by his physically abused ex-wife to the ICAC, it ignites an investigation that would affect the entire population of Hong Kong. Billions of dollars from both the government and the general public will be combined into the Z Hedge Fund once it’s publicly listed. ICAC agent William Luk (Louis Koo) and his team only have a matter of days to figure out how deep this investigation really goes.
The events of “Z Storm” play out like a really bad episode of “Criminal Minds.” You follow Luk and his team as they delve deeper and deeper into this massive conspiracy and the film could not be more boring if it tried. The blaring music is so dull and lifeless, but the same overdramatic arrangement is put on a loop whenever the ICAC are on the move. The acting is also more stiff than a pile of frozen cadavers. Louis Koo seemed like a promising Chinese actor after seeing “Drug War,” but all he does is laugh at inappropriate times and attempts to keep his plastic Ken-doll face from getting too wrinkled.
This case has another case buried within it and a ton of suspects that branch all over law enforced and state empowered entities. Every character seems like they’re being followed by someone else because everyone has something to hide. “Z Force” is sluggish and overwhelming at absolutely every turn because everyone likes to talk about what needs to be done and what procedure or protocol calls for, but nothing is ever exciting or action packed. You watch a group of people in fancy suits sit around and talk for an hour and a half. Then when things do finally pick up it’s cluttered with the most horrendous special effects you could possibly imagine; even fired pistols look to have their explosive ammunition added in later as a post-production effect.
“Z Storm” does offer unwanted fornication, a crawling car chase, and a sloppy gun battle, but it never distances itself from feeling like a training video for a new recruit at the ICAC. With its micro-budget, asinine screenplay, unbearable acting, and monotonous atmosphere “Z Storm” feels like a cheap college film drunkenly slapped together in a messy dorm room five minutes before deadline.