Gen-X Cops


Sep 30, 2008
Plot Outline: After the gangster “Dinosaur” dies, Inspector Chan the black sheep of the police department, somehow gets permission to follow around Dinosaur’s brother Daniel. To do this he has to find a group of officers who can successfully go undercover and infiltrate the organized crime syndicate. After searching he finds Jack, Match, Alien and the lone female computer wizard Y2K. Together the five find their way into the cutthroat world of organized crime and must stop the evil gangster Akatora who has stolen a new dangerous form of explosive.


The Review
In life there is usually a opposite to everything. That doesn’t mean you can’t be split down the middle, but when you look at things in the broader sense people usually are split pretty even on any given issue. Hong Kong cinema is just one such issue. There are those who love the Hong Kong of old, when Chow Yun-Fat carried two pistols and Jackie Chan performed stunts that boggled the mind, but these very same people vehemently despise what Hong Kong cinema has become in the past several years. The names Nicholas Tse and Wilson Yip usually sends a shiver down the spine of this sort of person. Then there are those who love the Hong Kong of old (isn’t entirely necessary though), but also adore this new wave of HK cinema. People who think Nicholas Tse is a fitting replacement for Chow Yun-Fat and Stephen Fung is just adorably cool. Well, you can just tally me off right in the center there because I don’t really hate the new wave, but that doesn’t make me a fan. I’m actually a pretty big fan of Sam Lee’s, for no other reason than he seems like a bizarre character, but Nicholas Tse has a tendency to annoy me a bit. He’s not a bad actor, he doesn’t even seem like that bad of a person, but I tend to dislike him because he’s like a Ken Doll who I’m supposed to believe is ‘totally cool’ or something. Granted, I really enjoyed his performance in Time and Tide, but everything else I’ve seen him in just annoys the crap out of me.

Maybe I’m just too old fashioned, but I like to decide for myself what is ‘cool’ instead of having it marketed to me. Chow Yun-Fat was always cool I thought because he seemed to make his own mark on what is or isn’t cool. The man comes off cool looking without much effort, which is the opposite of what Nicholas Tse does for me. Whenever he’s in some ridiculous action scene jumping over a stack of boxes, I can’t help but imagine his hair dresser or make-up artist is more than three feet away preparing to powder his nose. It’s probably just me and I don’t mean to offend any of his fans, but I just don’t buy Tse as a tough guy. I suppose my biggest beef with Gen-X Cops is how commercial it is. There’s no risqué content in Gen-X Cops, there’s no amazing action sequences, there’s no inventive storyline and there’s almost no differentiating it between one of the many crappy action films Hollywood puts out in any given year, but at it’s heart it’s still got something going for it. What that one thing is I can’t quite explain. Maybe it’s the energy of the lead actors, maybe it’s the peering in on the changing of culture or maybe it’s just how hot Jaymee Ong is, I’m not sure. I just know that, for me, I find it hard to hate the film. Regardless of how cool it tries to force you to believe it is.

I really should talk about the good points the film has to offer, but when I try to think of them, the really bad aspects of the film come up. I don’t know if it’s because I watched it with the horrendous English dubbing or not, but the film is just CHEESY. Not cheesy in a good way like Troma, or cheesy in a fun way like the fashion style and music of some of John Woo’s earlier works, I’m talking unbearable cheese. I found myself groaning quite a bit during the film, it’s just so melodramatic and cliché all around. One scene in particular that that really gets to me is a scene with Stephen Fung and Jaymee Ong later on in the film. The two are expressing there unrequited love for one another, only to be broken up by Sam Lee, where Fung then leaves the girl he’s supposed to love so dear and head off into adventure land once again. I’m not going to go into detail as to why it’s so cheesy, because it should be obvious, but it’s kind of hard to spoil anything in the film when even a blind man can see what is going to be said next. The whole film is just predictable from the get go, and it wouldn’t be such a bad thing if there was something in the film I couldn’t get from going to my local multiplex. That’s what made stuff like Police Story so amazing, sure the plot was fairly predictable, but when you threw Jackie and his stunts in the mix you got a bonafide classic. Gen-X Cops doesn’t have anything like that to keep it feeling fresh, but the least you can say about it is it’s entertaining. Even if it’s entertaining in a dumb kind of way.

The Conclusion
Ahh I know, I know, I’m ragging on it. I can’t help it. The one true reason to even see the film if you’re like me is to know what’s out there these days. This new Hong Kong can either be bliss or a curse depending on the person. For me it more often than not turns out to be a curse, but every once in a while you get a film like Time and Tide that really is a great little flick. I don’t want anyone to get the wrong idea about Gen-X Cops and think I hated it or anything like that, the film is actually quite enjoyable. It’s just hard to write a lot of positive things about it because of all the small little nuances that get in the way. I’ll leave you with the finer aspects of the film. If there’s one thing that probably makes Gen-X Cops a bearable experience is how charming the whole affair is. It’s cute, it’s smarmy, it’s funny and for the most part it’s an entertaining film. Not something I recommend buying really, but if you can find it to rent then that’s definitely the way to go. So, in conclusion? Beats me. The film has a million bad aspects to it, but if you’re a forgiving person like myself (hey, I’m a Fulci fan remember?), then you may or may not find this one amusing little film. If not, then just stay away. If you’ve always wondered who that chick from the page is (EDITORS NOTE: Dated reference, be warned), check it out for that sexy (if a little faint) Australian accent of hers.

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