Gen-X Cops

There is a new breed of criminal out there and so a new breed of cop is needed. If this sounds like a plot from the Mod Squad, it’s because this film very much follows in its footsteps. Cops who can be hip and blend in with the very stylish crooks in HK these days is the basic gist of this film. It is completely style over substance and character development – and much of the dialogue is close to laughable – but unlike the recent Mod Squad movie, this film has a lot of energy and zest and is overall good mindless fun.
Fung, Yip, Tsang and Tse
As this was a summer release with much fanfare – with some special effects created by the team that made Independence Day (and yes they blow up a HK landmark as well!) – and a number of good looking young actors – this is exactly what the filmmakers were no doubt trying to accomplish. This is a popcorn movie – sit back and don’t worry about how silly much of it is. Instead focus on some very good action scenes, the characters cool names (Alien, Y2K, Match), mod hair styles and great fashion sense.
Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung and Grace Yip
Most of the young actors – both the good and bad guys – are fairly new to the HK film scene – and though no one actor has enough screen time to really make an impact – they all come off reasonably well and there is eye candy for both sexes to enjoy. To keep the film from completely blowing away in a breeze, there are two veteran actors – Eric Tsang and Francis Ng – with smaller but good parts and they bring a bit of intensity to their parts that the Gen-X kids can’t quite manage.

Directed by Benny Chan (Big Bullet, Who Am I, Moment of Romance) the film is sleek and fast moving most of the time and there are a number of well executed action scenes that are fairly large in scale. Utilizing quick editing and I assume a large number of stunt doubles, the actors come off looking good and reasonably authentic. None of them really have the look of developing into major action stars – but for a film like this they do fine – its looking good that really counts.

Yip, Daniel Wu, Tse and Sam Lee
A Japanese criminal (Toru Nakamura) is in HK looking to get his hands on some weapons for a little scheme he has in mind and the cops can’t seem to track him down. Basically to get him out of the way, the police task force allows Eric Tsang to form a little group of his own to track Nakamura down. He goes to the police academy and finds just what he wants – three recruits – Nicholas Tse (Jack), Sam Lee (Alien) and Stephen Fung (Match) – who fit his profile. They are troublemakers – on the verge of being kicked out – rebellious – but most important very fashion conscious. They soon infiltrate the gang of Daniel Wu’s where Fung comes across an old flame from Canada who oddly speaks with an Australian accent – the very lovely Jaymee Ong.

The three of them are also soon joined by Grace Yip (Y2K - I guess because she likes computers!) and they are soon on the trail of Nakamura. First though they have to deal with another triad gang leader that Wu wants them to kill – Francis Ng. Ng’s role here is fairly small – but he has a few terrific scenes in the film. Also, look for the Jackie Chan cameo near the end of the film.

Jaymee Ong at the far right
All along the way there have been various shootouts and conflicts with the police authorities who think Tsang is crazy to use these punks – very Mod Squadish. There are really a number of moments that in most films would make you groan because they are either so corny or just plain idiotic – but in a popcorn movie why let it worry you. Just sit back and wait for the next big explosion or change of clothes.
And like every summer blockbuster - they get to outrun an explosion!

My rating for this film: 7.0