heard so many differing views concerning this movie, I was at odds
as to whether to pick it up or not...
Some have called it the best Hong Kong action film made in the last
couple of years, others have lambasted it for being style-over-substance
Hollywood Blockbuster rubbish.
After having seen it, I guess I fall between the two extremes -
not loathing it, nor feeling that it's a revolution for the Hong
Kong film industry.
What you get for your money are some great physical stunts, a genuinely
appealing and talented cast, and the overriding feeling that all
involved enjoyed the experience of making the movie.
three main actors are very good, particularly Nicholas Tse, who
handles his acting and action with some aplomb.
Stephen Fung is not such an imposing figure, with some of his lines
falling flat, but as with the rest of the cast he's still very appealing
With Sam Lee bringing up the rear with his freaky hairdo and lanky
frame, the Gen-X Cops style and swagger are what particularly grabbed
Even more impressive is the fact that they all performed numerous
stunts without needing to be doubled, and in their short, yet well
choreographed, fight scenes, handle themselves well - particularly
Aside from the principal players, there are a number of smaller
performances which impress:
Francis Ng has a fine role as a rival Gang boss, and in a standout
sequence shows an impressive command of English swearwords!
Daniel Wu occasionally seems out of his depth, and his English,
although perfectly fluent, seemed stilted at times. However, I felt
he improved from scene to scene, and could mature into a very good
actor over the next few years.
The lone Japanese villain played by Toru Nakayama cuts an impressive
figure, and provides a very interesting foil to the Gen-X cop's
style. His morbid personality and seeming indifference to whether
he lives or dies makes for a pleasant change from your standard
"psychopathic madman", even though his character is handed
a few unintentionally funny lines.
As with most films of this genre, the plot is of the usual 'Unpleasant
villain is out to cause havoc, and the only ones who can stop him
are the bad-ass cops' style.
Where this movie differs is in its many twists and turns, which
not only help make the two hour running-time fly by, but also keep
your attention from flagging.
The film's director, the extremely talented Benny Chan, provides
some very impressive action set-pieces as well as a lot of entertaining
interplay between the many characters, good and bad, who feature
However, the film does have flaws. Certain scenes feel rather overdone
and cheesy, and the way in which characters seemingly "forgot"
tragic instances which only occurred a few minutes beforehand, rather
spoilt some of the more dramatic moments.
However, Gen-X Cops is a film which outdoes many of Hollywood's
recent and not so recent Blockbusters (and by a long way). Partnered
with the general likeability of the cast, it provides a thoroughly
entertaining way to spend two hours of your time...oh, it's also
given me my first opportunity to meet the lovely/gorgeous/sexy/beautiful
Jaymee Ong, so the the film's an added bonus!
it that Universe are so completely, and comprehensively ahead of
any other Hong Kong DVD company?
This transfer once again proves their superiority by presenting
the film in near perfect fashion, and was an absolute pleasure to
watch from start to finish.
A few scenes contained a bit of grain but other than that, this
Dual-Layer disc is a cut above
any other Hong Kong DVD I've seen.
The cinematography is impressive throughout the production, and
the disc translates this aspect perfectly, with a rich palette of
colours, and no signs of bleeding.
Detail is simply superb, with the picture looking crisp and cinematic,
and the lack of any print damage make this a definite "show-off"
been filmed in synch-sound Dolby Digital, the audio on this disc
is some of the best I've heard on a Hong Kong disc, and is the equal
to many US discs.
Bullets fly around the speakers, explosions rumble from left to
right, and the general sound elements envelop you from the start
- a truly impressive experience.
However, dialogue can be somewhat indistinct at times, with some
distortion creepy in.
the US version of this disc was dub-titled,
I was generally pleased with the subs.
The overall standard of the translations, and grammar is very good,
although minor errors appear frequently.
However, one thing did irritate me slightly...Whenever someone swore
in English the subtitles translated the offending f**ks as "damn"!
OK, so you could argue that if you're listening to a piece of English
dialogue then you shouldn't need to read to the subs.
I'd counter this by saying that as the film contains large amounts
of English, it's not always easy to switch your attention away from
the subs when the languages change.
surprise are the menus, which are fully animated, and creatively
My only only gripe with these fancy selection screens is that the
highlighted buttons don't always highlight.
At first, I thought the disc had locked-up, but you can still select
the different options without getting a visual reference to what
you're highlighting, by using either the number or arrow keys.
Pretty much everything about this disc screams quality, and the
menus are just another quality component to a Universe disc far
in advance of just about any other Hong Kong release to date.
a disc that actually has got bonefide extras!
It was almost unnerving the first time I went through the disc's
menus. I was expecting the usual Star Files, Theatrical trailer
etc. and instead I was greeted by a plethora of bonus goodies.
Now, here's the really impressive bit - ALL the extras are
available with Removable English and Chinese subtitles.
The translations frequently contain grammar and spelling errors,
but they are never incoherent, and are very readable.
Below is a full breakdown of the extras:-
Cast and Credit
Animated biographies for Benny Chan, Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung,
Daniel Wu, Sam Lee, Toru Nakamura, Grace Yip and Jaymee Ong (YAY!).
Each one of these Star Files includes two additional mini Q and
A sessions, or behind the scenes footage.
Disappointingly, Eric Tsang isn't given any coverage in this section.
A fairly interesting journey through the films life, from pre-production
through to the Gala Premiere. It runs for about 6 minutes.
This feature runs for 9 minutes, and goes behind the scenes in order
to give you a glimpse of how many of the stunts and special effects
were created, along with footage of the actors rehearsing their
The self-explanatory title of this feature is a healthy 13 minutes,
and includes interviews with the cast and crew - their perspectives
on certain aspects of the movie and yet more behind the scenes footage
A total of 8 scenes which never made it into the final cut, are
provided in this section. Each reel of footage lasts for about 3
minutes, and although quite interesting, the decision to omit them
from the film was probably the correct one.
Trailers and TV Spots
A teaser trailer, two theatrical trailers and two TV spots.
Yep, you read this right - a full length commentary that features
most of the cast chatting about their views and experiences of filming.
However, much of their dialogue is not specific to the scene being
shown, and is occasionally a repeat of the interviews used in the
Star Files section.
Although there are a few moments of prolonged silence, the commentary
is otherwise very informative and revealing, and I'd definitely
recommend dipping into this for extended periods after having watched
The attractive front cover,
with its excellently composed artwork immediately catches the eye.
The back cover doesn't fare quite so well, with a fairly average
The strangest aspect of the packaging is the design on the DVD itself.
The very plain purple text is a big disappointment considering the
superb job Universe have done in other areas of the films presentation.
this is not going to be to the liking of every Hong Kong film fan,
but if you're after a not totally mindless action movie, with beautiful
women and attractive men throwing themselves around whilst spouting
funny dialogue and wearing cool clothes, you'll need look no further.
Sure it's not going to change your view on the state of the World,
or provide you with the meaning of life, but as a thoroughly entertaining
popcorn movie, you'll be easily getting your money's worth.
Also, this is the only disc I've yet to see which is truly comparable
to a US release in terms of extras, and for the ridiculously low
price this can be picked up for it's most definitely a recommended
purchase...oh, and did I mention Jaymee Ong's in it?!!?