Genre: Sci Fi/Action
Director: Wong Jing
Cast: Andy Lau, Barbie Hsu, Fan Bingbing, Xu Jiao, Mike He, Fan Siu-Wong, Law Kar-Ying, Ma Jingwu, Tang Yifei
RunTime: 1 hr 41 mins
Released By: MVP & Golden Village
Rating: PG (Some Fighting Scenes)
Official Website: http://www.mvp.com.sg/
Opening Day: 8 April 2010
A cop goes back in time to the present to protect a scientist who holds the key to mankind’s future.
In the future, scientist DR. MASTERSON averts an energy crisis that threatens the existence of mankind by developing a solar substitute. In doing so he unleashes the wrath of a ruthless oil cartel who dispatch a team of half human, half machine hit men to assassinate him. Policeman ANDY (Andy Lau) is assigned to protect Dr. Masterson and repels the assassination attempt, but his wife MILLIE (BingBing Fan) and cyborg captain KALON’s (Louis Fan) younger brother are killed during the battle. Andy and Kalon both vow revenge.
Still determined to regain control of the world’s energy, the cartel send Kalon and his cyborgs back in time to the present to kill Dr. Masterson as a teenager. Now with the fate of the future in his hands, Andy must follow the assassins back in time to protect the future savior of planet earth. But the only way he stands a chance against the super powered cyborgs is to relinquish his humanity and become one of them.
Back in 1993, Wong Jing, Andy Lau and a bunch of mega Hong Kong stars collaborated in a mo lei tau (nonsensical) comedy that was based on the popular Street Fighter video arcade game. That was the infamous Future Cops and now Andy Lau and Wong Jing team up to present an update of the same story, cashing in on the robotic special effects that's trendy in recent movies such as Transformers and Terminator Salvation.
Future Cops and Future X Cops basically shared the same premise (which was incidentally story concept stolen from The Terminator). Evil doers of the future time travel to the past to assassinate an individual who will achieve greatness in the future. A hero was sent back in time to locate that special individual and stop the bad guys. After a case of mistaken identity and sudden revelation in the end, the hero and the baddies duke it out for the climatic finish.
While the old Future Cops had numerous stars like Aaron Kwok, Jacky Cheung, Simon Yam, Ekin Cheng, Dicky Cheung and various other well known Hong Kong personals, this new reboot stars Barbie Hsu, Fan Bingbing, Xu Jiao and etc. Personally, the star power here pale in comparison to the previous film which almost had the Four Heavenly Kings of Hong Kong entertainment business in the 90s. The previous batch had their star power to make their one dimension character endearing while in this updated movie, the script gave them very little to shine. Xu Jiao seemed like just another unremarkable child actor without the direction of Stephen Chow. Fan BingBing's character who was supposed to bring a emotional pivot for the protagonist felt like another pretty cameo that's forgettable.
The computer effects here were lackluster and poorly constructed to drive the story. Comparing it to movies like Kungfu Hustle and Shaolin Soccer where special effects were used to make the story more exciting, the Future X Cops special effects just felt tired and lousy compared to what we have been getting on the screen nowadays. Andy Lau's face look pasted on a computer generated robotic body and the whole special effects in this movie could have gone through more rendering process.
Director Wong Jing who had went on to do serious movies like I Corrupt All Cops, didn't progress much with time and actually detoriate in making movies that are "good" in his own fashion. He excelled in crude humour and since this movie is obviously made for the mega China market, it seems that his hands are tied from doing what he does best. The whole comedic elements here felt uninspired, juvenile and sterile.
It was also mentioned that Andy Lau waited for numerous rewrites on the script before signing on. It makes one wonder how bad it was previously and was Andy Lau milking the cash cow for this one. It might be too much to ask from Wong Jing but it's unexpected that Andy Lau who had moved on with a more stringent choice of movies in recent years, would take up a role in such a dismal movie.
(A very weak remake of Future Cops)
Review by Richard Lim Jr