Tony Leung and Zhou Xun as Secret Agents in “The Silent War”

Starring Tony Leung (梁朝偉) and Zhou Xun (周迅), this summer’s highly anticipated film, The Silent War <聽風者> will be released in China on August 10, 2012. China was plagued by frequent internal wars in early 1940s. Will a visually-impaired Chinese rogue with extraordinary hearing abilities be able to rescue the country’s key state intelligence agency from crumbling?

Other than Tony Leung and Zhou Xun, The Silent War also stars Wong Xuebing (王學兵) and Mavis Fan (範曉萱). The movie is directed by Hong Kong directors, Alan Mak (麥兆輝) and Felix Chong (莊文強). The story is based on the “Excellent Hearing Power that Catches the Sounds of Winds” chapter in well-known mainland Chinese author Mak Jia’s (麥家) novel, Plotting <暗算>. Zhou Xun’s character,  Zhang Xuening, was added to provide greater dramatic effects in the film adaptation. 

Yesterday, a poster of The Silent War was released. It features Zhou Xun dressed in a dark color coat and Tony in a suit wearing sunglasses. With Zhou Xun taking Tony’s hand, the two are walking in the woods. The mood exudes a strong sense of mystery. 

In The Silent War, Zhou Xun plays a state intelligence agent who trains Tony to become her counterpart. In the film, Zhou Xun carries multiple identities in the film. She is not only Tony’s female boss, but also a spiritual coach. Tony and Zhou Xun’s characters will have a unique relationship in the movie. 

Initially a rogue living on the streets of Shanghai, Tony is coached to become an agent at an intelligence agency known as “701.” Poorly taken care of by his mother when he was a young boy, he developed street smarts and a strong survival instinct from his early days in Shanghai. This makes him better equipped for his later work as a secret agent after meeting Zhou Xun. 

Tony accepted the invitation to film The Silent War due to his admiration of Zhou Xun as an actress, as well as his personal friendship with the directors, Alan Mak and Felix Chong. Tony praised Zhou Xun for her friendly demeanor and professional work ethic. Tony said, “I have worked with Zhou Xun before in The Great Magician <大魔術師>. Our collaboration for the second time shows that we are somehow connected by destiny.” 

Source: Sohu

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  1. Frankly, I never understand what is the appeal of Zhou Xun. I find her movies inaccessible, I find her at best mediocre. I really don’t get what’s so great about her when a few minutes of insignificant appearance becomes so overblown and top billing.

  2. Likewise, I find Tony Leung is way overrated as an actor (mostly by the HK media). The short ugly old guy has a very limited acting range and his on-camera frowns and sexual humps are blown way out of proportion as acting excellence.

    1. Terminator:
      “The short ugly old guy has a very limited acting range and his on-camera frowns and sexual humps are blown way out of proportion as acting excellence”

      Tony can be stoic, but his eyes speak volumes. He has the type of face that my eyes are glued to because I enjoy watching the transition in his expressions. He is best in playing tortured heroes with plenty of hurt.

      Tony’s films are not the type of films where you watch for the plot. I don’t really care who his costar is. I simply enjoy staring at his expressions, as he is able to convey raw emotions that well. His performances are affecting and never ostentatious.

      1. I agree with you Jayne and I have always found Tony to be a very special and gifted actor, but of course no matter how good anyone is they cannot be liked by everyone. I don’t think Tony won international awards for nothing. I have always noticed Tony way back in the days and knew that he is truly talented. But of course, talent is in the eye of the beholder….

    2. agreed with jayne 100%.
      i love tony. since i was really young, i always thought tony’s eyes were talking to me. he’s just so alluring

      1. Yes, I’ve also liked tony since his DOMD and “police cadet” days. He is always the original and best “Wai siu bo”.

        And I think he was very alluring in WKW movies like “in the mood for love” and “chungking express”.

    3. He isn’t as good as he used to be in the past, but he is more than sexual humps. His eyes can talk and it’s a rare thing to HK actors. This is why he is famous.

  3. Not interested. Bored of seeing the same people over and over again. The China/HK film industry is just like TVB. Lack of star power.

    1. Addy,
      I would pay to watch Tony Leung because he is truly a wonderful actor. He is a great acting talent, but I’m not sure about his ability to draw mass box office sales based on his name alone.

      1. Not many can do that anymore unless it is Jackie Chan or more to the point Stephen Chow. But Tony is good for global recognition as in awards. He is a good actor but sometimes can be quite a pain to watch. Which is why I like him in comedy. He can do both, drama and comedy but somehow in drama I find his performances pretentious. In fact in Infernal Affairs where he was wonderful, Andy Lau was great.

      2. Funn:

        Who did u like better in “the departed”? Leo dicaprio or Matt Damon?

      3. Neither. I thought The Departed was such a poor imitation of Infernal Affairs which should have been the one winning the oscar. The Departed was not just poor imitation, the story doesn’t make sense, no one is likeable, no one has redeeming qualities and I am still pissed off over the Oscar announcement that the story is originally from first Korea then Japan or wherever else BUT HK until Martin Scorcese set things right but still one of the worst remake, ever.

        Infernal Affairs rules.

  4. I agree with Terminator. Tony Leung is the most over-rated actor in HK. His extra efforts to play his roles w/ subtlety seems too contrived and he is horrible in period dramas. I cringed watching him in Hero. And he looked really out of place in Red Cliff. He also struggles when he tries to mourn or cry.. He’s just not convincing. On the other hand, he’s really good in dry humor & slapstick comedy. He has really good timing and his facial expressions are well suited for comedies.. He’s just not great in dramas.

    1. Maybe you should try to see him in Happy together or In the mood of love as a movie and TVB’s Ode to Gallantry as a series. You will see how Tony acts out the emotions.

      However, recently, he slowly decreases the chams of his eye-acting and using more facial expression instead. Don’t know why. I can see the tired face of him. I guess it’s time for him to see that he passed his peak and need to refresh himself for a new peak.

    2. I think he’s over-rated as well. Seriously I dont see what’s so special. He’s not even that good looking!He’s just OK!

  5. Another boring film from Tony Leung… when are people going to get over him. He is a 1, 2, 3 actor. Same expression all the time. His earlier movie roles in slap sticks comedy are much better.
    Don’t know why but there seems to be this ‘following’ of film award winners and praise regardless of how crap the film is. As long as that actor/actress is casted, it will get good review. Is it becoz if you critise you are deem ‘no taste’?

  6. I don’t particularly like Tony Leung either. He may be excellent in his facial expressions, but his built has limited him in acting different types of characters. He is a bit too small (in size) for a typical 1st lead role.

    1. He is ok for his age. But the young actresses are getting taller so he becomes small. Comparing him to Jet Li, for example, you will see that his height is quite normal.

      He actually tried a lot of types of roles in his all career. Recently, he has one type but in the past, he has many.

  7. has this turned into a tony bashing page? i really like him and his acting

    1. actually thy were right. Tony is over rated and over praised! He’s not a horrible actor but he’s a stoned and limited actor

      1. I actually like his subtleness. Kinda like bowie lam.

      2. Bowie Lam is sexy. I always feel he is TVB’s sexiest actor. Now that he is gone, no other can take over that mantle. I mean he is ugly and yet when he is panting and all that, he is darn sexy. He makes men look dangerous sexy sort of way but when in person, we know his sexual preference and the way he dress is like your benign next door uncle. How can a man can be so different onscreen and off screen? That is why Bowie is great. Very few actors have that innate quality; that dangerous edge. No one in fact in TVB right now has that.

      3. Over praised? Lolz, how can he get the over-praised comments if he can’t do anything good and being stoned :P? I still find Tony one of best Asian actors.

      4. Dont think he’s like Bowie.
        Bowie is very special.
        Tony is just over-rated.
        I think he has a hard time trying to live up to his image.

      5. Uhm, I think Tony Leung’s acting is far special than Bowie Lam. Maybe Bowie isn’t my type of actor but Tony definitely is.

      6. I like Tony’s acting. His eyes can speak volume.

  8. Got to give this a try because of Tony, however im more looking forward to “cold war” with Aaron 😀

  9. I liked Tony Leung until his role just became recycled over and over with his serious face. Someone throw him a role that not anything to do with constant seriousness? If anything, Andy Lau seems to be a better actor. He plays almost every roles!

    1. I disagree with Andy Lau being a better actor. Tony becomes the ‘person’ (role) in the movie, whereas for Andy, what I see is Andy Lau ‘acting’, his character doesn’t have life of his own.

    2. I like both Andy and Tony, but I have to admit that Tony is a better actor. But talent is in the eye of the beholder…

    3. Recently it’s quite true but in the past, you will see the happy face of Tony in countless comedies. I love the Duke of Deer Mountain modern version! He was very very funny in it.

    4. I heard ‘The Great Magician’ is a comedy. You can check it out.

  10. Calling Tony Leung overrated, sure, everyone’s got their own opinion.
    But when you say Andy Lau can’t act, something tells me your opinions aren’t really backed up by watching their movies, but instead with just personal bias influenced by the younger drama stars.

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