2000, Media Asia Films/Raintree Pictures/People’s Production

Gordon Chan
John Chong
Solon So
Thomas Chung
Gordon Chan
Stu Zicherman
Arthur Wong
Chan Yuen-Kai
Cheung Man-Po
Chan Kei-Hop

Aaron Kwok (Peter Li)
Daniel Wu (Benny)
Phyllis Quek (Salina)
Gigi Choi (Janet)
Ray Lui (Greg Li)
Andrew Lin (Kelvin Woo)
Francis Ng (Ronald Ng)
James Lye (Eric Ong)
Cynthia Koh (Sharon)
Ken Low (Bobby)

A computer programmer gets himself into a deadly political conspiracy in this action thriller from director Gordon Chan.

The TDX Company has learned that a computer projection system from their company has been stolen. En route to Singapore to investigate, the plane carrying the president has been shot down. Rogue CIA agent Kelvin Woo is responsible as he is looking to rob banks using both a sleeper and calling cell program to get the job done. However, when he learns it will take some time to get everything complete, he vows to cover for as long as he can. The Singapore Army sends in Major Eric Ong to investigate.

Meanwhile in Hong Kong, game programmers Peter and Benny are excited when Peter’s older brother Greg returns to town. However, Greg is under investigation by the Hong Kong police and when he and his girlfriend Salina have their places raided, Greg resorts to disabling the electronics via ion bomb. During investigation, Greg reveals he is with the CIA and has some incriminating evidence that can prove vital. However, en route to return to the U.S., Greg is killed in an ambush. Peter, looking for revenge, meets Salina, and together with Eric, Benny, and Peter’s girlfriend Janet, attempt to uncover the very deadly conspiracy. Peter soon learns that there may be some people he might not be able to trust.

“Heavenly King” Aaron Kwok gets to showcase his action chops with this political cyber thriller set in both Hong Kong and Singapore. The team of director Gordon Chan and co-writer Stu Zicherman come up with a story involving rogue agents and computer programmers in an all-out war over very dangerous sleeper and caller programs that can annihilate security systems, allowing villains to rob banks. What makes the film interesting is that it is not exactly a straight-out action film. It involves some very vital twists and turns that make the film more watchable.

Kwok gets some great support from Daniel Wu, who plays his best friend Benny, who seems more grounded and gets to showcase more of his acting as a nerdy type rather than the action star of Into the Badlands that he is known for these days. Phyllis Quek brings an aura of mystery in her role of Salina, Greg’s girlfriend who is caught up in the conspiracy but as Kwok’s Peter is meeting her for the first time, her motives seem to be not completely clear. Singaporean actor James Lye gives action support in his role of Eric, who is advised not to engage in battle, but finds himself forced to do so to save the lives of our heroes.

Andrew Lin once again gets to play top villain in the form of rogue CIA agent Kelvin, who plots to rob banks by using sleeper and caller programs. Ken Low plays Bobby, a mysterious sniper who clearly works for Kelvin’s team but don’t expect much of Low strutting his leg work. In terms of action, Richard “Yuen Tak” Hung gives Kwok and Lin more of the film’s hand-to-hand action, on top of the convention center. The level is reminiscent of 90’s style kickboxing, with Kwok’s dance background allowing him to show some decent kicking, especially a spinning roundhouse kick and a nice slow-motion flying side kick. Wu does get to throw one kick when he’s busted by the villains, only to have his leg caught by Low in a bit of comic relief before the climatic action of the film.

2000 AD is a pretty decent cyberthriller from director Gordon Chan. Aaron Kwok gets to showcase his action skills meshed in with some intricate twists, double and even triple crosses that all come out smoothly but not to be missed.