Director: Benny Chan
Stars: Nicholas Tse, Sam Lee, Francis Ng, Eric Tsang, Toru Nakamura, Stephen Fung, Grace Yip, Daniel Wu, Jaymee Ong
After the death of one of the top Triads in Hong Kong, a disgraced cop (Tsang) enlists the aid of three police academy wash-outs (Tse, Lee and Fung) to go undercover in order to find out what the connection is with the dead Triad's brother (Wu) and a notorious Japanese crime boss (Nakamura). The plot thickens when one of the "Gen-X Cops" (as they get dubbed by their superiors, who -- as you might guess -- don't like the kids too much and try to stop their investigation at every turn) turns out to be the ex-boyfriend of Wu's current girl (Ong). After a confontation in Wu's club, the trio are "enlisted" to carry out a hit on one of Wu's enemies (Ng). The hit goes wrong and the kids (who along the way hook up with a computer expert [Yip]) are suspected to be Triads themselves. The Gen-X Cops must try to clear their names so that they can stop Nakamura's plans (which involve some kind of super explosive) from coming to fruition.
Gen-X Cops is part of a new breed of Hong Kong action film that tries to retain some of what has made them so unique, but at the same time tries to make itself more palatable to an interantional audience with the use of English and high levels of special effects. Some "purists" may decry this trend, but many HK film-makers themselves will admit that they are heavily influenced by Hollywood films, so it would only make sense that they would try to beat Hollywood at their own game, especially with dwindling box-office returns in the face of rising international competition at local theatres.
At any rate, Gen-X Cops is an entertaining (but ultimately forgettable) way to kill a couple of hours. The film looks great, the action is well-done, the actors (especially Ng, in a painfully short role) work well together, and the special effects are probably the best to date in Hong Kong (the film used the same team that produced some of the effects in Independence Day, and a major Hong Kong landmark is blown up in similar spectacular fashion). It's just that there's nothing really underneath the surface. If this were a US film, it would most likely get lost in the heap of similar action movies. If you could have a Jackie Chan (who produced the film and makes a short cameo) or Jet Li movie with this kind of budget, then we might get something extraordinary. As such, Gen-X Cops provides some nice eye candy but little else. At least it shows that the Hong Kong studios -- for better or worse -- are willing to change with the times and are trying to keep their industry thriving.
A review of the DVD for this movie (US version) can be found here
Click here to download Gen-X Cops and LMF's "XXXX" (the song that plays during the skydiving sequence)
Note: the DVD has about 55 minutes of deleted scenes and alternate takes:
Back to Movie Review index