One of Hong Kong's finest directors, Gordon Chan has crafted a surprising action adventure story with one of Hong Kong's biggest pop stars, Aaron Kwok, cast against type as a nebbish. This is a big budget, international production which achieves mixed results.
2000 A.D. was one of the big Chinese New Year releases and it came with a big advertising campaign that is, like many Hong Kong movies, very misleading. As you can see from the vcd cover, Aaron Kwok is featured with some nifty jets and what looks like military garb. While Kwok is the star, he never appears with the jets or in uniform. The opening sequence features some Malaysian Air Force jets in a mock dogfight in the skies over Singapore. Almost totally unrelated to the plot of the film, this sequence segues into the introduction of Kwok as a video-gaming gen-x computer geek who always wins.
Once Kwok and his little group of friends are introduced they become involved in a rather complex and confusing international espionage involving the theft of a sophisticated computer program. Andrew Lin is cast as a renegade CIA agent behind the theft and the murders along the way. The stylized action sequences are very taut and explosive, as is expected in a Gordon Chan film. The director uses some startling editing and camera effects to show a unique perspective on the explosive violence.
For this viewer, there are a couple of outstanding highlights. One is the performance of Francis Ng. He steals the show as the leader of HK's elite G.S.U. police squad who is thrust into the middle of the spy war. Another highlight is the casting of Ken Lo as the nasty sniper/weapons expert who protects the Andrew Lin character and is as cold as steel. He has a brief fighting scene with Kwok where he gets in some high kicks. Action Director Yuen Tak does a nice job with a roof top scene ala Jackie Chan's Who Am I? in which Kwok and Lin kick the crap out of each other.
Copyright 2000 John Crawford. All rights reserved.
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