With the success of City Hunter, writer-director Wong Jing capitalizes on the use of Street Fighter II inspiration, along with some other pop culture inspirations to unleash this hilarious yet campy sci fi-action-comedy.
It is the year 2043 and the General, a notorious crime lord has been imprisoned. The judge who will reside the case is Yu Ti Hung, who plans to use his power to send the General away for a long time. The trio of General’s subordinates, Kent, Thai King, and Toyota decide to go back in time to the year 1993 to find a young Judge Yu in hopes to brainwash him so that when it comes for the trial, the General will be freed. However, a band of heroes are hellbent on stopping the trio of villains.
The Future Cops are Ti Min, Broom Man, Lung, and Sing. After an attempt to stop the villains fail and learning they have traveled to 1993, Ti Min, Broom Man, and Sing are sent to 1993 with Lung staying behind to make contact when necessary. The trio of policeman find themselves meeting Tai Hung, a high school student who is constantly bullied and at the mercy of Kei-On, the resident popular kid. Tai Hung agrees to help the trio out as long as they help him overcome the bullies. A twist of fate will soon unleash in the modern world as these future cops must unleash their fury to save the present and the future.
Wong Jing gave quite a surprise when he unleashed a scene involving Jackie Chan taking on Gary Daniels as various Street Fighter II characters in his action comedy City Hunter. However, when it came to unleash a feature length film based on the characters, Wong was forced to change the names of the characters. However, that still doesn’t hold the fact that the characters are inspired by the popular video game. The idea is to add a sci-fi edge with cops vs. villains from the future coming to the modern day.
Three of the “Heavenly Kings of Cantopop”, Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, and Aaron Kwok play three of the titular “Future Cops” but instead of Leon Lai rounding out the cast, he’s played by the excellent actor Simon Yam. Respectively inspired by Vega, Guile, and Dhalsim, they provide both laughs and actions, especially Broom Man, who disguises as a teacher at the local school and surprises both the class and the viewers with a musical interlude. The song is one of Cheung’s biggest hits, “I’ll Wait Til You Come”, which involves a dream sequence between Cheung and Winnie Lau’s Crab Angel, who crushes hard on him.
Dicky Cheung brings hysterics into the film as student Tai Hung. Always bullied, his attempts at retaliation fail on numerous occasions against bully Kei-On, played by Andy Hui (who sports a French bread-hair style) and even must deal with his philandering and at times psychotic sister, played by Chingmy Yau (who appears in the fun Super Mario sequence with Andy Lau), it is when the Future Cops arrive that his antics become even more funny. From winning a race in a way that even Stephen Chow would be proud of to his assistance in the climax (which must be seen to be believed), Cheung gets to show why he is an important part of the film. The film also marked the debut of Charlie Yeung, who plays Tai Hung’s friend (and potential love interest) Choi-Nei, who proves she’s more than eye candy, but is willing to be there for Tai Hung in his times of need.
The action is quite fun and prove to be in Street Fighter II form! From Kent doing the “Hadouken”, Ryu doing the “Whirlwind Kick” and even Broom Man doing both the “Flash Kick” and “Sonic Boom”, it is clear action director Tony Ching Siu-Tung did his homework and paid true homage to the video game, a feat he pulled off nicely when he was hired to choreograph the action for the famous arcade fight in City Hunter. Where else are you going to see the great Richard Ng pull off a nice impersonation of Blanka?!
Future Cops is a fun homage to the video game genre, notably Street Fighter II. Yes, it is campy at times, but it is still good fun all around thanks to the ensemble cast and fun-filled action.
WFG RATING: B+
A Fantasy Productions BVI Ltd. film. Director: Wong Jing. Producer: John Higgins. Writer: Wong Jing. Cinematography: Andrew Lau. Editing: Poon Hung.
Cast: Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Simon Yam, Aaron Kwok, Ekin Cheng, Dicky Cheung, Chingmy Yau, Kingdom Yuen, Andy Hui, Winnie Lau, Billy Chau, William Duen, Ken Low