Rating: 6.5 stars
Seen 2 times
Seen on: 08/23/2020, 05/19/2000 (rewatch)
Four young officers of the Hong Kong Police are joined together to fight against organised crime using all possible means, even if this would lead them to break the law… Their first assignment is to eliminate a gang of criminals who have stolen a shipload of explosives.
Rated R | Length 114 minutes
Robert Sparks | Jackie Chan | Eric Tsang | Francis Ng | Daniel Wu | Keiji Sato | Hideri Meiken | Bey Logan | Alan Mak | Nicholas Tse | Ken Lo | Stephen Fung | Sam Lee | Grace Yip | Toru Nakamura | Terence Yin | Jaymee Ong | Gordon Lam | Yiu-Cheung Lai | Bradley James Allan | Vivian Lee | Moses Chan | Irene Luk | Tracy Wong | Jackie Wong | Ron Smoorenburg | Wong Wai-Fai | June Ng | Joey Choi
RIP Benny Chan (October 7, 1961 - August 23, 2020)
When the news broke early this morning of Benny Chan’s passing I was struck by how his films were a big part of getting into modern HK action cinema. Of course John Woo came before him but by the mid 90s was already working for Hollywood. It was Benny Chan (specifically this movie) and Tsui Hark (specifically TIME AND TIDE) that knocked me on my ass with a new generation of HK stars + action and got me interested in those films again. So I was terribly saddened when I read the news this morning about Chan’s passing. I knew immediately that I would locate this dvd and watch it to celebrate his contribution to action cinema.
This was the second Benny Chan movie that I saw after his Jackie Chan vehicle WHO AM I? which I rented on VHS from my local video store and wrote off as another “okay” Jackie Chan flick (I’m going to revisit it soon since I see that I haven’t logged it here). I can’t recall the exact circumstances that led me to watch GEN-X COPS but I think it was because I had seen TIME AND TIDE and loved it so much that I wanted to see Nicholas Tse in another recent movie from around that time.
Viewing this movie now is quite a trip… mostly because I didn’t remember a lot of it, the premise and action beats. Kinda crazy given that I watched this a few times back in the early naughts. Kinda scary, too, that I’ve forgotten so much in twenty years. What I did remember: Jackie Chan’s silly cameo (he produced the movie) and how insanely gorgeous Jaymee Ong is. As well as Grace Yip, to be fair. Of course I couldn’t forget Eric Tsang simply b/c he’s often the worse thing in any film he’s in and def drags down this movie. This movie is really long and could’ve been improved if they removed the entire subplot of the in-fighting between Tsang’s character and Inspector To (Moses Chan). It’s all so dumb and kills the momentum.
All the stuff with the three dudes (Tse, Stephen Fung, and Sam Lee) is great. Super fun. I still can’t believe Nicholas Tse was 18 when this movie was released. WTF? The others in their early 20s including Daniel Wu who was 24 when this movie hit theaters. These guys really were the next generation, Gen X (seems so damn quaint looking back on it now). Anyways, plenty of entertaining banter and action with all these guys. Wish Grace Yip was given more to do bc she’s excellent in her first feature film. I also love that all these young actors can speak perfect English which gives the entire movie an extra jolt of amusement.
There’s 51 minutes of deleted scenes on the DVD which I have not watched yet plus a 38 minute “making-of” featurette that I started to watch. That said, had they trimmed this down to a tight 99 minutes it would improve the flow b/c those setpieces are really fun and showcase the kind of action Benny Chan was bringing to cinema. I’ll probably watch his GEN-Y COPS tomorrow (if I can locate the DVD); it’s totally bonkers. I haven’t been over the moon about all the films of his I’ve seen but he did have a knack for making them his own brand. Worth noting that his early film A MOMENT OF ROMANCE is amazing and I wish I owned that on a updated Blu (also this movie GEN-X COPS needs a good Blu upgrade if one doesn’t exist; this dvd looks pitiful).