Kill Zone 2
Director: Cheang Pou-soi
Year of release: 2016
Running time: 2 hours
Hands down, the most thrilling action film released in 2016, Cheang Pou-soi's Kill Zone 2 features Thai martial artist Tony Jaa as a prison guard caught up in a labyrinth of gangsters, organ harvesting, and human trafficking. There's an undercover cop, an ailing gangster who looks like an 80s David Bowie clone, an estranged brother with a big heart (literally), and Jaa's overwhelmed officer's dying young daughter, but the film only uses its ever-shifting narrative as an excuse for astounding wide-angle action sequences.
Throughout, Cheang uses his former collaborations with celebrated action filmmaker Johnnie To as a stepping stone to unleash his own rhythmic sense of fight choreography, which is some of the more creatively bone-crunching and kinetic since The Raid pictures. Brutal, beautiful, and operatic, Kill Zone 2 puts all wannabe American action movies to shame.