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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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?
Also appearing just long enough to grab a check
are Eric Kot, Vincent Kok and Rachel Ngan.
My rating for this film: 1.0
Don't get this film! If you do, you will hate
yourself in the morning.