Site created 12/15/97.
review added: 4/13/00
1999 (2000) - Media Asia
Films (Columbia TriStar)
review by Todd Doogan of
The Digital Bits
Disc Ratings (Video/Audio/Extras): A/A/A
Specs and Features
113 mins, R, letterboxed widescreen (2.35:1), 16x9 enhanced,
single-sided, RSDL dual-layered (layer switch 1:35:35, at the start
of chapter 25), Amaray keep case packaging, "making-of"
documentary featuring teaser trailer and a music video, 10 deleted
scenes with English and French subtitles (51 mins worth), Jackie
Chan bio and filmography, theatrical trailers for Gen-X
Cops and Who Am I?,
film-themed menus, scene access (28 chapters), languages: English
and Cantonese (DD 5.1 & 2.0), subtitles: English and French,
outrun your fate."
After you watch the trailer for this film, youre going to
expect wall-to-wall, stylized action and super cool characters with
no love for the world, who live fast, die young and leave behind a
beautiful corpse. But what you really have here is not so action
packed. Sure, there are stunts out the wazzo, but Gen-X
Cops actually takes a little while to find its feet. Now,
thats not saying its bad, because it isnt. I
actually liked it. But it didnt grab me like, say... Beast
Cops might. Its kind of slow going, with bursts of
adrenaline, instead of the shoot em up like the trailer leads
you to believe. That may be a good thing, actually. Ive seen a
lot of Hong Kong action films and I think I know what is good, what
is great and what totally blows. This is one of the good ones.
Gen-X Cops presents a story of
a triad coming apart at the seams. A young up-and-coming Japanese
Yakuza sets into motion a very stylized plan to break apart a
successful HK triad, and rebuild it with his own needs in mind. To
do this, he recruits the young brother of the triad leader to kill
his own brother. His reward: control of the group. So when this goes
down, a tremendous wake of innocent and guilty alike are left dead
and the police want answers. How do they get them? They recruit a
bunch of young toughs, who were about to get expelled from the
police academy, to infiltrate the gang as criminals. Its the
Chinese Mod Squad - literally.
Theres Jack, the fighter/leader. Alien is the wacky one who
wants to have fun and Match is the ladies man. Y2K, a beautiful lady
cop (and sister to an officer that was killed during all the above
dealings) eventually joins these three fellas.
Besides a cool crime story, what else makes HK action flicks...
well, HK action flicks? That would be the stunts and the fighting.
The stunts here include a formation skydive, a building jump, an
exploding boat house and a huge special effect overseen by the same
folks who blew up the White House in ID4.
Its all very impressive. The acting is good, the characters
are pretty cool and the effects and fight choreography are top
notch. But I felt like this was an introduction story for a bunch of
really cool sequels. Now that they dont need the exposition,
in the future, we can have all out war with Jack, Match, Alien and
Y2K. If this is to be a franchise, it's got great potential.
So now its on DVD, and youre saying to yourself, "Gee,
Todd... who cares what you think about HK action, Ill make my
own decision. But is the disc any good?" The answer to that my
friends, is a resounding yes. This disc pretty much rocks. Its
about as special an edition as the ultra-cool edition of The
Untold Story, sans the commentary tracks. The anamorphic
transfer is super-sweet, with rich colors, solid blacks and little
to no grain. Youll never guess that this is a flick from HK
(which usually show enormous grain). The English and original
Cantonese audio tracks both sound wonderful. Theyre both
presented in Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 and theyre rich and
full. I cant vouch for the translating because my Cantonese is
bad, but it fits whats going on in the film and thats
what counts for most of us.
The proof here is in the pudding. There are some extras on board
that you would never expect to find on the DVD of a film like this.
Theres a full-on documentary about the making of the film,
with interviews and added material like a video and teaser trailer.
Its a nice study on the art of filmmaking in HK and its
chock-full of useful info. Theres also close to a full hour of
deleted scenes that are heavy on character development (I almost
wish they werent cut). Youll have to see them to believe
them. Throw in one of the best trailers Ive seen for an action
movie (English or otherwise), and you have one very buff DVD
If HK action is your thing, then this might be just the disc youve
been waiting for. Im really looking forward to more films in
this series - hopefully, it was a big enough hit to warrant another
film. I actually liked these characters a lot and I'll probably pop
this disc into my player again for another spin sometime soon. Just
writing about it makes me like it even more. Gen-X
Cops will grow on you and, for that alone, its
worth checking out.