Seoul Raiders

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 12/25/2006
Summary: A real dud

“Seoul Raiders” doesn’t really succeed on any level other than putting Shu Qi in front of the camera. Richie Ren isn’t an actor and proves it definitively. Tony looked as if he used all his energy just delivering his lines and always seemed to be on the verge of yawning or laughing. The action scenes, unlike “Tokyo Raiders” were dreadful—the fights looked as if no one involved in the movie was earning their paycheck. Allen Sit Chun-Way is credited as the action director although given the very slow, clumsy and unconvincing kicks and punches that were thrown he must have been taking a snooze during the filming.

It was impossible to empathize or even get interested in any of the characters other than the translator for Black Bear, a small but vital role that, unlike the rest of the movie, actually seemed as if a screenwriter had spent more than a few minutes on it. Meme Tian was imperturbably efficient with a dangerous edge and looked great in her black power suit and no-nonsense glasses. Shu Qi played Shu Qi and did so admirably. She is gorgeous, the camera loves her and even though she was victim of a few jarring continuity errors—going from no lipstick to bright red gloss then back to the natural look in three successive shots in a scene, for example—her presence almost makes “Seoul Raiders” watchable.

Not recommended

Reviewer Score: 2

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 11/10/2005
Summary: 6/10 - enjoyable but disposable

The way things work in Hong Kong, 2 films having similar names and the same director/star are as likely to have nothing to do with each other as not, but in the case of SEOUL RAIDERS we do get a genuine sequel to TOKYO RAIDERS, putting Tony LCW in a new Asian capital and giving him Richie Jen to make up for Ekin's disappearance. What to expect then - a slick & stylish action comedy with a silly plot, goofy humour and some gorgeous babes kicking ass. All present and correct, but somehow SEOUL doesn't quite deliver the grins that TOKYO induced.

Perhaps it's because the babes aren't quite as cute in SEOUL - sure they're pretty, but not nearly as perky or charismatic (except the Japanese one, who wears some odd head gear throughout the film). Obviously Shu Qi beats Kelly Chen hands down though, and delivers most of the film's charisma.

Perhaps it's the action scenes, which are over-edited and feature too much wobbly-cam. TOKYO seems to have disappointed many because the action scenes were heavily stylised, and the fighters weren't real martial artists. Personally I loved them, because the inventive choreography went really well with the innovative manipulations of camera speed, creating something quite fresh and unique. SEOUL's action scenes may feature some good choreography, but you can't really tell if it's good or bad - or who's actually hitting who - most of the time. Disappointing, though there's a few good bits in there.

Perhaps it's the soundtrack - the quirky latin-influenced music from TOKYO has been replaced by a really blatant knock-off of Tomoyasu Hotei's "Battles Without Honour And Humanity" (popularised in the west by the Kill Bill soundtrack). It's not a bad piece of music, but it is so similar to BWOAH it can't be ignored, and it doesn't imbue the film with the same sense of oddball playfulness.

Or perhaps it's simply that time has moved on - 5 years ago, TOKYO RAIDERS was a fresh and somewhat innovative return to action comedy in the Jackie Chan style, which wasn't something that we'd seen for a while. These days there's a lot more of it around (still not that much from Hong Kong, but other countries are picking up the slack), and the stylish visuals and editing have been imitated and out-done in other films.

Whatever the reason, SEOUL RAIDERS doesn't seem to have found too many fans - but then there are many people that hated TOKYO RAIDERS, which I still can't understand. Perhaps SEOUL will find its fans too :)

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 11/06/2005
Summary: enjoyable fluff

I was not a big fan of Toyko RAiders, but the more i saw it, the better the film.

This movie, i was suprised that i didnt use the fast forward button much.The movie's plot is paper thin, and there is a few laughs, action is standard, a big twist in the movie and a predictable ending.

What made it enjoyable though, i am not too sure myself, maybe because it doesnt take itself seriously and enough is happening to keep you interested.

A movie most enjoyable when you dont want to think too much!!


Reviewed by: sharkeysbar
Date: 09/10/2005
Summary: disappointing yet familiar

I admit that I didn't mind Tokyo Raiders, as it was a typical action movie, though in no way exceptionally good (or bad). However Seoul Raiders is a whole other story. It plods along, reminding me often of other (better or at least original) films. The story is weak, Shu Qi is Shu Qi and the music and slowed-action scenes seemed all too familiar.
I can't say I enjoyed it that much but it isn't all bad, it is probably what I expected as a sequel of sorts. I went into the cinema with low expectations and I guess it delivered, but I was also somewhat disappointed. This film could have been a whole lot more. This is not a film to rave about or wish to see again, I wouldn't recommend it to friends. I am yet to decide whether it is worth 90 minutes.... 3 out of 10.

Reviewed by: evirei
Date: 07/25/2005

When I first saw Tokyo Raiders I think it is a easy-to-digest and funny movie. not much thinking needed and the ending is always the same. Yeap.... It's quite entertaining except the fact that emotionless kelly was in the show.

And well... without her in the sequal... I thought it would do much more good to the movie, but I was wrong.

The sequel was just so wrong. It shouldn't have happen. Besides the nice houses and cinematography... others was a piece of crap. The storyline, the directing... the words the girls are talking.... I could hardly understand. Like I always believe... dun speak when you can't. I would rather hear them talk korean or whatever language they are good at.

After watching the show... I wonder if it's really that easy to take something so important out from the US Embassador place.

And well... I could only cheer and ba glad that this movie have lots of pretty chicks to look at. Other than that.... it's just me paying money to waste my time drinking soda and eating popcorn in the dark room. Thank god I'm not the only one.

Rating 4 out of 10

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: JohnR
Date: 07/03/2005
Summary: Inaction Cinema

I went into this with low expections, but geez, this movie is just bad. I can hear the North Korean communists saying, "You see, this is exactly what we're afraid of."

I liked Tokyo Raiders. I don't mind weak plots in action films, I recognize that this movie was designed to be light-weight, tongue-in-cheek fare, but the only efforts put out in making it were by the casting director and the cinemotographer. In other words, it looks great, but there's nothing there besides looks. It's what you get when you take an action movie and remove the action, the brains., and the life force. It's like a zombie movie where the movie itself is the zombie.

There's even very little relief from the sidekick bunnies. The ones in TR had some personality; these ones are like mannequins (except for the one who wasn't the model or the bar girl). They just take up space.

The fight scenes are a joke. A previous reviewer called them slow motion slap fights; that's a perfect description. It's like watching two people fight, both of whom are too afraid to really hurt the other one because it might get them really mad. Except there's more than two of them; although the others generally stand around and take turns attacking. The scene where Tony and the Korean thug square off in a prolonged stare-down contest is a perfect metaphor for all the fight scenes in this movie.

Hsu Chi's scene where she is disguised as a guy is performed flawlessly; three cheers to her for it. The rest of the time she plays her ditzy character that just annoys; you want to slap her and say, "Do you know how old you are?"

This movie was apparently aimed at 12 year old Korean girls. If you don't fit this description, stay away. Far away.

Reviewed by: senordingdong
Date: 04/25/2005
Summary: pretty but thin plot

Those four words basically sums up the whole movie. The action scenes are fairly entertaining, and also stylishly editted to hide the fact that half the cast can't actually fight. The cast is very attractive, and so is the scenery. The plot however is extremely cliched and does nothing to keep you interest in it. Oh, I almost forgot to mention that the majority of the soundtrack is STOLEN from Kill Bill.

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 04/22/2005

Shu Qi is annoying, Tony Leung is... there, and I am sick of seeing Richie Ren in movies. Still, considering Tokyo Raiders tops my list of favorite HK films, this sequel isn't a complete waste of time, but it is definitely inferior to the original.


Reviewed by: Arshadnm6
Date: 04/21/2005
Summary: Lunar Year Crap for the masses, Tony Leung should know better!!!

Five Years after the hilarious ‘Tokyo Raiders’, Jingle Ma returns with a new cast of HK actors to make the second addition to the spy series.

Tony Leung Chiu-Wai returns as Lam, the toughest Chinese private eye in Tokyo, and a secret member of the Japanese Secret Bureau (which would be obvious if you’d happen to have seen the first movie). Lam is essentially a secret agent whom possesses the ability to choose any assignment in law enforcement – or simply chaotic undercover duties – that he wishes to divulge himself into. His newest assignment is ‘The Avenger’ – a pair of flawless counterfeiting plates created by Middle Eastern activists as a way of screwing over the United States, big surprise there!! Anyway Lam manages to steal them from a secret Japanese compound and during his escapade hooks up with a wanna-be cat burglar JJ (Shu Qi, from other demeaning roles in ‘Storm Riders’ and ‘So Close’) while having to shrug off the local enforcement militia, dressed up in black suits. Eventually Lam arrives to the US Embassy in Japan, but is betrayed by his CIA contact, Chinese-American Agent Owen (played by the new HK Star Richie Chen, from previous roles in ‘Honesty’ and ‘Breaking News’), who ironically drugs Lam and takes off with the plates, leaving all his tough work of retrieving them to waste.

Owen plans to sell ‘The Avenger’ to a Korean Syndicate run by ‘Polar Bear’, a mysterious gangster, wanted by every law enforcement agency around the world. Lam follows Owen to Korea and enlisting with his usual gang of teenage style dressed Korean girls, with hardly any knowledge of law enforcement (you might be accustomed to this, from the previous movie), to act as his entourage. Unfortunately none of the Korean girls are well known actors in the Korean Film industry, most of them unfortunately making their fist appearance on the big screen, which explains the bad acting and silly shenanigans which irritate the viewer over and over again. Besides being the super-cool secret agent, with a more than uncomfortable interest in his hair, Lam is an incredibly popular ladies man who has associations with women from all over the world at his disposal and one call is all that is needed to have them come crawling back to him. Jingle Ma clearly over exaggerates the ‘James Bond’ style world and at most all you can really feel like is laughing out at the silliness of the whole idea. Eventually we see the return of the voluptuous JJ, whom wants a cut in on the action and makes a deal with Lam to retrieve ‘The Avenger’ and get a measly 10% of the reward. With all this garbage, we have the usual cast of Korean Style Mafia, getting in on the action and ruining the fun, but worst is their acting ability which cheapens the effect of the movie ten fold. All this, plus fighting and an abundance of smarty acting by Tony Leung Chiu-Wai. Somehow this is all supposed to be amusing.

Surprising the whole movie is amusing, but only up to a certain degree. Tony Leung is the only familiar face in the movie and the rest of the cast are somehow supposed to replace the better old cast of Tokyo Raiders, namely Kelly Chen replaced Shu Qi and Ekin Cheng replaced with the poor excuse for an actor ‘Richie Chen’. Personally the old cast, were a much better pack that the sore losers Jingle Ma tried out in this picture. The Korean Chicks had no integrity and at best were eye-candy for the male gender. In fact if you manage to survive the torture of watching the whole of this movie, you’ll realize they only get a few dialogues in total, probably 15 sentences if you count them. ‘Seoul Raiders’ has a ridiculous concept that’s thin even by Hong Kong’s water-thin standards.

Thankfully all is not lost, about 70 minutes into the movie; the plot thickens with a weary twist, which can be obvious to the more vigilant and perceptive viewers. Naturally sides must be chosen, and the baddies must be caught and friends must be put in peril, but as always a happy ending is inevitable. The one good thing about this movie, are the well choreographed fight scenes and car chases, which really should be the cream of any spy movie. Unfortunately Jingle Ma does recycle some of the old jokes and wackiness from its predecessor and the movie does look like its running on fumes most of the time. Tony Leung is really the only good thing about this movie and the fault is obvious, with the incredible ‘Ekin Cheng’ missing, whom probably was the one person that could save this movie from the holocaust it was turning out to be.

Overall for people looking for the same originality in ‘Tokyo Raiders’ will be rightfully ticked off, since this is nothing but consumption for the pitiful dull masses looking for a bit of entertainment. Actually there is one flaw in this movie, in the beginning of Seoul Raiders, Tony Leung had four Korean associates (Lam’s accomplices) to do his bidding, unfortunately during the chase with ‘Richie Chen’, which leads to the train station, only three of his Korean associates meet up with Lam, with no explanation of where the fourth girl disappeared to. Even by the end of the movie there is still no sight of her and all you can guess is that she might have been in a unfortunate accident during the chase and stunt work, which lead to her departure from ‘Seoul Raiders’. You’d think Jingle Ma could have better dressed this up!!

Overall Rating: 7.1/10

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 04/20/2005

Tokyo Raiders is one of my (and quite a few other people's) least favorite Hong Kong movies, but it did make a profit, so I guess a sequel was inevitable. Released during Chinese New Year -- when most every movie is packed with stars and offers stories that don't make you think too hard in order to pack audiences in -- Seoul Raiders still stands out as something totally plastic and banal; this is about as generic and lack-luster as films come. While Seoul Raiders isn't as bad as Tokyo Raiders (frankly, that isn't saying much), it still manages to bore, perplex and downright annoy the viewer at many points during its' running time.

Tony Leung Chiu-Wai returns as Lam, a freelance secret agent who is working for the US government to try and find some plates that can produce perfect counterfeit dollars. After Lam (with an assist from JJ, a thief played by Hsu Chi) gains the plates, they are taken by a US double-agent named Owen (Richie Ren). So Lam grabs a trio of cute assistants and sets out to grab back the plates... and that's about it for the plot. Hong Kong movies are known for the "flying paper" style in that a lot of stuff gets improvised on-set. However, I'm really starting to wonder if many of these movies have scripts at all. Like many recent HK pictures, Seoul Raiders was written by several people, and they still couldn't come up with something at least halfway original -- there's a big "plot twist" near the end which does really nothing except for stretching out the movie for another fifteen minutes.

And if the script wasn't bad enough, the directing is even worse. Someone really needs to tell Jingle Ma to take an early retirement. At best, his films are generic fare, such as his previous effort Silver Hawk, which is probably the final nail for Michelle Yeoh's action movie career. At worst, Ma produces horribly-paced, over-produced crud that represents the worst the Hong Kong movie industry has to offer, like the previously mentioned Tokyo Raiders. Seoul Raiders falls somewhere in the middle. The movie really just seems to consist of chase sequences (none of which were very exciting) along with poorly-choreographed and over-edited fight sequences, but manages to squeak by by the charm of its stars. But it still begs the question -- what the hell was Tony Leung thinking when he agreed to do this movie? Did he lose big to Jingle Ma in mah-jong or something? I guess the payday allows him to concentrate more on fare like 2046, but, really, doesn't he have at least a few bucks socked away so he doesn't have to do pictures like this to pay the bills? At least Hsu Chi played it smart and only appeared in a few scenes.

At any rate, Seoul Raiders represents one of the bigger problems facing film-making worldwide these days. It just tries too hard to be cool and instead comes off as a marketing ploy instad of a movie. Chow Yun-Fat spitting out his toothpick before shooting someone in the head in Hard Boiled? That's cool. Tony and Richie having what amounts to a slow-motion slap-fight while a bad ripoff of "Battle Without Honour" (aka "O-Ren's Theme" from Kill Bill) blares in the background? That's not cool. Even when you take Seoul Raiders as the piece of brainless fluff that it is, I highly doubt that even the most diehard Tony Leung or Hsu Chi fan will find little more than a smidgen of entertainment value with this dud.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 03/26/2005

I can barely remember the original Tokyo Raiders, other than thinking at the time that it was not exactly great, but still one of the more decent new style HK action movies coming out at the time.

Well, Jingle Ma decided to make a sequel, and given that he has directed some pretty disappointing films lately (Silver Hawk!), I wasn't expecting much beyond nicely shot sets and a fluffy story with a few lame actions set pieces thrown into the mix.

But as a matter of fact, Seoul Raiders turned out to be a quite decent, good-looking and rather entertaining film. Sort of like one of the old Jackie Chan action comedies, with high production values, non-bloody action, and characters than seem to wink at the audience so that nobody makes the mistake of taking things too seriously.

The plot is straightforward, and not marred by the ridiculous holes and logical inconsistencies that nearly killed other recent action films such as So Close. The pace is tight, with just the right mix between actions scenes and dialog. The cinematography is slick and very good-looking. And the characters are all likeable without being annoying (Shu Qi haters may disagree on that one...). Richie Ren plays a bit against type, Tonly Leung sort of sleepwalks through his role and still comes off as pretty cool, and Shu Qi does her typical Shu Qi routine (except for one scene in drag with a painted-on beard - <shudder>)

There's also a bevy of babes to look at (Can someone tell me what's with the swim goggles one of them is wearing? Is that a new fashion thing?)

Anyway, the film won't make my end of year Top Ten list, but for what it aims to be, it delivers. Entertaining eye-candy with some decent action.

Reviewed by: bkasten
Date: 03/02/2005
Summary: Cool Tony

Tokyo raiders was an enjoyable lightweight movie that had Little Tony, Ekin, Cecelia and Kelly all in one movie! How could you go wrong with that cast? Well, you could...in fact, rather easily...but only just a little...Sure, Tokyo Raiders was confusing at times, and at other times I had virtually no clue what was going on...but so what? It was fun, it had actors I love, and had tons of style...

This movie follows pretty much in that same tradition (scriptwise, stylewise, and all)--with Little Tony being the only common actor...So after seeing Tony in 2046 a few months ago, and then seeing this, you cannot help but be amazed at his range. Tony is one of the coolest, hip-est, stylish, actors on the planet. And like his Wong Kar-Wai movie roles, this is also a great vehicle to display these particular virtues of his. This is the Tony show. In fact, even the normally good Ritchie Ren was vastly overshadowed.

Shu Qi is here too! And while she's got more screen presence in this role than say, Kelly; she's no Cecelia. But there is one scene that is absolutely hilarious. She dresses up as a guy, and has a painted on beard, and then goes into a men's locker room. She has just the right moves, and it's flawlessly done! I suspect Shu Qi really has a latent physical comedy talent just waiting to come out! I really like her (who doesn't?), and hope she can shed the sex-doll image and move upward and onward to more serious roles.

Lot of laughs. Lots of very well choreographed action (although it's heavily doubled action in the shadows). And style! Check it out!

Reviewer Score: 7