If you haven’t seen the first
*Line Walker* (2016), itself an adaptation of the 2014 TVB series of the same name, that’s cool. **LINE WALKER 2: INVISIBLE SPY** 2 to use its full on-screen title, really does its own thing. Of course, by that we mean that this Chinese-Hong Kong action thriller gleefully rips through the last few decades of action cinema

In an opening reminiscent of Stephen King’s
*Mr. Mercedes*, a car crash into a crowd sparks a war between the police and international. Superintendent Yip (Francis Ng) and Inspector Ching (Nick Cheung) arrest a hacker named Yiu (Kimmy Wong), leading to a chain of events and Superintendent Cheng’s (Louis Koo) suspicion that one of them is a double agent. It’s a race around the world to unearth the mole and uncover a child smuggling ring

Where the first film was constantly baiting and switching to build up some mystery and intrigue,
**LINE WALKER 2** is more straightforward action narrative. Taking our heroes around the world, from Hong Kong to Myanmar and Spain and back again, there is a fairly straight line between the introduction of the characters at a childcare centre in the Philippines in 1987 to the explosive climax. It’s best to just strap in an enjoy it

From the moment Koo jumps into the passenger seat of a moving sports car, the desire to be Hong Kong’s answer to
*Mission: Impossible* is evident. “Who do you think you are,” enquires Yip of Cheng. “Tom Cruise?” (This results in a very inside baseball joke about the similarity between Francis Ng and Masaharu Fukuyama’s hair, which fans of Asian cinema will surely find delightful). From there, the action only escalates, incorporating hi-tech magnetic explosive discs, *Heat* styleand a kind of Batcave for the IFF (Invisible Frontline Force) that comes complete with its own logo

Some of the effects and action sequences wind up being unintentionally hilarious in the back half of the film, including what can only be described as a monster CGI bull taking down several cars and a few agents in a tense finale. Yet if you can believe that 54 year old Nick Cheung and the 48 year old Louis Koo were kids growing up together in the late 1980s, you’llanything

**LINE WALKER 2** firmly establishes the franchise as an exportable action hit. If the series continues to expand andlike the US series it so desperately wants to be, here’s hoping that it doesn’t lose site of the retro Hong Kong charm that made the first film a little bit endearing. To use the Morse Code that the series is so fond of, this is definitely .– —– …. / .- /— —in cinemas. **2019 | Hong Kong | DIRECTOR: Jazz Boon | WRITERS: Cat Kwan | CAST: Nick Cheung, Louis Koo, Francis Ng | DISTRIBUTOR: Magnum Films| RUNNING TIME: 98 minutes | RELEASE DATE: 15 August 2019 (AUS