2000, Media Films/Regent Entertainment
Stephen Fung (Match)
Sam Lee (Alien)
Edison Chen (Edison)
Paul Rudd (Ian Curtis)
Maggie Q (Jane Quigley)
Mark Hicks (Ross Tucker)
Richard Sun (Kurt)
Rachel Ngan (Oli)
Christy Chung (Inspector Cheung)
Vincent Kok (Dr. Lee)
Anthony Wong (Dr. Tang)
Eric Kot (Dr. Lai)
Cheung Tat-Ming (Lymon)
This sequel to Gen-X Cops may not have the tenacity of its predecessor, but it will be perhaps known today for the only Hong Kong appearance of Ant-Man himself, Paul Rudd.
RS-1 is a robot created for the FBI to keep under protection for an upcoming world police exhibition in Hong Kong. On the day it is to be tested for the exhibition, a mysterious hacker has gotten into the robot’s internal system, causing chaos. Despite reservations from the credited creator of the robot, the government demands that RS-1 be taken to Hong Kong. In charge of protecting the robot are FBI agents Curtis, Quigley, and Tucker.
Meanwhile in Hong Kong, the Gen-X Cops Match and Alien are sent to find undercover agent Edison, who is believed to be in trouble. However, after learning he had infiltrated a gang stealing Hong Kong’s police robot, the trio stop the gang and prepare for the exhibition. Edison also learns that his childhood friend Kurt is in town. Kurt is the designer of RS-1 but due to his brashness and youth, was fired from the company and now, plans to get RS-1 back at any cost. Using Edison as a pawn by drugging him, Edison steals the robot for Kurt, now making him a wanted man. Match and Alien must protect not only Edison when they learn the truth but the FBI when they want to nab the rookie cop as well in addition to stopping Kurt from doing the unimaginable to Hong Kong via RS-1.
While the original Gen-X Cops in 1999 was a breakthrough action film for some of the next generation talent in Hong Kong, this sequel was an attempt to bank a new star in the midst. Nicholas Tse, who played Jack in the original, opted not to return to the role alongside Stephen Fung and Sam Lee, who now play Match and Alien in a funny buddy action sort of way. Replacing Tse is Canadian-Chinese rapper and actor Edison Chen, who starts off promising, then is given to speak a certain way that just doesn’t seem to fit his character. However, he does bring a bit of redemption in the end. He may not be a Nicholas Tse, but he holds himself more or less.
The film’s interesting notoriety is that two of today’s major Hollywood stars appear in the film in major roles. First, there’s Paul Rudd, who sports curly blonde hair to play hard-headed FBI agent Ian Curtis. Curtis comes off to the Hong Kong police as arrogant and bias and he doesn’t care. He has a memorable scene with Match in which the two nearly come to blows in a hospital after an incident involving Edison. Rudd handles himself well in the action department with some doubling by Ron Smoorenburg, the Dutch-born superkicker of Jackie Chan’s Who Am I?, who also has a brief role in the film as a cage fighter in the first action scene with Match, Alien, and Edison.
The other Hollywood star today? Maggie Q, who plays fellow FBI agent Jane Quigley (a play on Q’s last name). Unlike her hotheaded colleague, she is more of a neutral party, even willing to listen to Edison after he admits he has been framed and holds her hostage. She is willing to take all routes even when Curtis thinks that the only reason why Edison couldn’t have done what he did was because he is “cute”. So there’s some clearance, there’s no romance between the two. Instead, Match has a bit of a steady girlfriend in police techie Oli while Alien is somewhat fixed up with a less attractive techie member.
While the film does suffer without Tse, thankfully, Stephen Fung and Sam Lee are able to take their own reigns and provide some of the film’s memorable comic relief, a play of what they achieved in the original. From their opening scene, it’s clear these two have not changed much and that’s a good thing. Even Alien’s attempt to speak English is quite a hoot at times and is meant to be that way. Match boasts about having a requisitioned Ferrari and come in comic odds at times with their new commander Chung, played with at-times air-headed panache by Christy Chung.
Nicky Li once again handles the action of the film and while Fung and Lee handle their own as does Rudd, Edison Chen, who is a newcomer here, is at times either doubled or forced to use wirework for some of his action scenes. The wirework stuff come off as if it could be better, but there are times when Fung and Lee are forced to resort to the same kind of wirework that makes the action a bit pale in comparison with the original. The finale is quite a hoot, with Rudd no longer being hotheaded but resorting back to his trademark comic wit in an unexpected manner.
In the end, Gen-Y Cops may suffer from Nicholas Tse missing and replacement Edison Chen playing a mixed bag along with some mixed bag action overall. However, Stephen Fung, Sam Lee, and Paul Rudd seem to save the film from total annihilation.
A little disclaimer for those who would want to see the film: Avoid SyFy Channel’s cut of the film, re-titled Metal Mayhem as it cuts quite a lot for the film leaving many plot holes. The Universal DVD of the film seems to have the more complete version seen in Hong Kong…and for the record, Jackie Chan had no involvement on this film as he did with the original.
WFG RATING: B-