Gen Y Cops

Should I ever be diagnosed with a brain tumor, should it ever be discovered that I can’t sire children, should I ever go mad and start mumbling to strangers on the subway, should Hong Kong ever be attacked by a plague of locusts – I will strongly suspect that it all began with this film. I am not sure if I have ever come across a film so barren of intelligence – so devoid of any reason to exist – so lacking in entertainment value - as this embarrassing dreck. This is not just an embarrassment to those involved with the film, but to any one who has savored and cherished Hong Kong films for their unique characteristics. This film is a black hole in which all who enter have their life source diminished. I would gladly have flung the DVD from my apartment window into the darkness below, but for my concern that some innocent would find it and play it – thus forever destroying their likelihood of becoming a Hong Kong film fan. Instead, I bury it beneath old dusty tax returns - hopefully never again to see the light of day.
Edison Chan, Sam Lee, Stephen Fung
Watching this film de-combust for its seemingly never ending 105 minute running time is like sticking your head in a frazzled video game machine and being assaulted by armies of  gammas, goblins and gerbils until your head is ready to explode. It’s a live hopped up cartoon with Beavis and Butthead over for dinner and a firecracker down your pants. Its like they let out the patients from a mental asylum and they decided to make a movie.

This film takes irritation to a whole new level. It begins with the acting. How bad is it? Let’s just say the gweilos in the film are an oasis among the refuse – they are at least very close to being real stock movie characters. The Chinese actors on the other hand in no way resemble human beings – living or dead. Director Bennie Chan elicits performances from them that should in all fairness bring their careers to a dead stop. It is as if he is pumping them with mood altering drugs and withholding light and food – he was certainly withholding the dailies from them.

Maggie Q, Edison and Christy Chung
Let’s begin with Sam Lee and Stephen Fung who play two cops like underage delinquents whose parents have gone away for the weekend. This comedy duo is from the inner circle of Hell. Sodom and Gomorrah were more fun than these two – Nixon and Agnew were more amusing. The constant moronic banter and odd facial contortions make you want to impose an acting ban on them for life. First time actor Edison Chan is not so much irritating as incomprehensibly bad – he delivers his lines like a schoolboy on lithium reciting his assignment to the class. Christy Chung pops in only often enough to make you cover your eyes with embarrassment. Perhaps the lowest point of her career is when she leads a cheer on the airport tarmac for the FBI – give me an “F”, give me an “B”, give me a break.

But none of this even begins to approach the magnitude of the ineptitude of the performance from the lead Chinese villain – Richard Sun – who apparently got confused and seemed to believe he was in a Snoop Doggy Dog video. You mainly wanted this guy to die just to shut him and his mistreated English up. Compared to this, Maggie Q and Anthony Wong come up like roses only because they don’t make total fools of themselves. Maggie is an FBI agent and though admittedly her fish net blouse and black bra don’t strike me as standard government issue – she plays her role straight – apparently she was not included in the same "joke" that nearly everyone else worked under. Anthony makes mainly a cameo appearance, but his slacker Mainland scientist is fairly amusing.

Edison, Maggie Q, Christy and Paul Rudd
The film is of course in theory a sequel to Gen X Cops, but director Chan decides for some obscure reason to make this one a total farce with fewer charms than a Mafia hitman. Nicholas Tse and Grace Lam - in brilliant career moves - do not join up for this one though - but Sam Lee and Stephen Fung are not nearly so clever. The story feels as if odds and ends were filched from many better films. The screenplay (partially written by Bey Logan sadly to say) is clearly aimed at brain dead youths that drool over Brittany Spears commercials and breathlessly wait for the next version of Tomb Raider. It goes like this.  An American company has developed a super robot that can be used to control crime. Now where did such an original idea come from I wonder? A Chinese computer whiz (Richard Sun) who was kicked off the developing team for his bad grammar, bad manners and even worse fashion style tries to take control of it when it goes to Hong Kong for an exhibition.
Richard Sun, Sam, Rachel Ngan and Stephen
There Sun runs into his old homeboy now cop Edison Chan who he hypnotizes (since Chan always acts like he is in a trance it was difficult to tell the difference) to enter the code so that Sun can hack in and control the robot. But poor Edison is blamed for the theft and soon has the FBI (acting like arrogant American imperialists of course) and Maggie and her black bra after him. Sam and Stephen are also chasing after Edison but they innately know that anyone with his pop idol looks and puppy dog eyes can’t really be guilty of anything besides being in this film without ever taking an acting lesson in his life. Plus they need him around to make themselves look better. Christy cheers on the sidelines and looks puzzled as to why she is attempting a movie comeback and wondering whether showing her “points” might not be a bad idea after all.

I am nearly as puzzled as to how I finished this film with only a minor loss of brain cells and self-respect – but it does concern me that a film like this is actually being released by Columbia on unsuspecting American movie fans who may jump to the conclusion that Hong Kong films are all junk except for Jackie Chan and that Crouching Tiger movie. What does it say about the current state of HK action films when the best they could do for a high profile/high budget film was this? Is Edison Chan and his ilk really the future of Hong Kong films?

Christy, Eric Kot and Anthony Wong
Also appearing just long enough to grab a check are Eric Kot, Vincent Kok and Rachel Ngan.

My rating for this film: 1.0

DVD Information

Don't get this film! If you do, you will hate yourself in the morning.