Movie Review by Mark Bayross
Starring: Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung, Grace Ip
Director: Benny Chan
Executive produced by Jackie Chan, GEN-X COPS is a Hong Kong police movie that mixes action and comedy in a loud and fast-moving thriller.
The “Metal Gear Solid”-style opening sets the scene amid a nocturnal heist of hi-tech explosives. When the number one suspect, a notorious gangster called Dinosaur (that name can’t have helped his career much) turns up floating in the sea, the police are bewildered. Enter Inspector Chan (Eric Tsang), a bungling, epileptic old timer, who is regarded rather callously as nothing more than a laughing stock, particularly by his much taller, younger and smarter rival, Inspector To (Chan Ho).
To keep him happy, the powers that be give Chan the task of recruiting some undercover agents to help him trail Dinosaur’s brother, young up-and-coming criminal Daniel (Daniel Wu). Much to To’s amusement, he enlists the trio of Match (Stephen Fung), Jack (Nicholas Tse) and Alien (Sam Lee), three grungey upstarts who have just been kicked out of police cadet school, the “Generation-Xers” of the title. With the help of the high-kicking Y2K (Grace Yip), they set about undercovering the truth, but quickly become embroiled in an explosive gang war involving murderous Japanese Yazukas, international arms dealing and more betrayal.
With plenty of action and intermittent bursts of techno-metal on the soundtrack, GEN-X COPS is fast-moving and fun, although at times it can be difficult to follow, as one gang of gun-toting black-clad gangsters looks pretty much like another. The three heroes make for an entertaining gang, trading insults and one-liners with careless abandon. True to Generation-X type, the film also has self-referential witticisms peppered throughout the script – “What do you think this is? A kung-fu movie?”, for example. And not only does Jackie Chan get credited, he also puts in a cameo appearance.
The plot development benefits from a few too many coincidences and inconsistencies, and the film won’t win any prizes for originality, but there’s enough going on here to keep most audiences entertained, and fans of the Hong Kong action genre will love it.