Gen-Y Cops (HK 2000)

Rating: *
Review Date: 10/20/02
Director: Benny Chan
Cast: Stephen Fung, Sam Lee, Paul Rudd, Christy Chung, Rachel Ngan, Anthony Wong

Amazingly bad. The U.S. develops a super combat robot called RS-1, which gets exhibited at a military technology conference in Hong Kong. One of the programmers who worked on the robot is an angry and mentally unstable Chinese punk, and he ends up stealing the robot by hypnotizing one of his friends in the Royal Hong Kong Police. With the robot missing and the FBI clamping down on everyone, it's up to two immature and loud-mouthed rookies (the Gen-Y cops, I presume) to clear their friend's name, recover the robot, and unravel the mystery surrounding its disappearance.

Pretty much an embarrassment for everyone involved. Like many Hong Kong action comedies, this one is silly and over-the-top, but it's neither funny or interesting. None of the characters are remotely likable, and the stunts and effects are tacky and absurd. The robot is a weak combination of a physical armature and a computer animated model, and its rocket launching animation is re-used at least four times. The martial arts work is unspectacular and marred by unconvincing wire work, but at least it's filmed more competently than anything you'll see stateside. The action scenes are confusing and ridiculous, and nearly impossible to follow. Naturally, all of the high-tech stuff in the film is laughably stupid, and I was particularly fond of the Hong Kong Police's ability to track a person based on their e-mail address - even if they're in a moving vehicle at the time.

Stephen Fung and Sam Lee are the idiot bozo cops of the title and they're just annoying to watch. Christy Chung is lovely as their overly perky superior officer, but it's a demeaning and thankless role for her. Actually, the main reason I watched this was to see the incredibly cute Rachel Ngan, who sadly has less than five minutes of screen time. But she's adorable and briefly gets to shoot a gun, so that made me happy. And speaking of gunplay, this film features the only underwater gunfight that I've ever seen, which is rather amusing. The film was obviously made with the international market in mind, with a sizeable American cast and a considerable amount of English dialog. It also looks like it was shot on video and a good portion of the movie is noticeably out of focus for some reason, making it even more difficult to watch. Best to pass this one up.