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Gen-X Cops

From Bruce Lee to Jackie Chan to John Woo, audiences have been eating up Hong Kong's hybrid of American glitz and Asian grit for years. Of course, most HK fare follows similar formulas and, after a while, one film blends into another, and into another still. But the good thing about foreign formula flicks (say that three times fast) is that even when the clichés become stale, at least they're stale in a different language, a case in point being director Benny Chan's Gen-X Cops. This story of four rebel cop wannabes banded together to fight an evil crime boss is no different than a hundred other movies in the action genre. But, since it's in Chinese, it's not quite as bad (unless you hate reading subtitles), and it's at least as good as the last few Jackie Chan movies to be released in the States. Despite a hackneyed story, Gen-X Cops is balanced out by likable performances from the four twenty-something cops and their boss: Jack (Nicholas Tso), Match (Stephen Fung), Alien (Sam Lee), Y2K (Grace Ip), and Inspector Chan (Eric Tsong). The story, like most in the genre, is secondary to the action, and while many sequences are nothing really special, some of the stunts are to be commended. If you're a fan of Hong Kong action, this is a good renter at least. Flawless anamorphic transfer (2.35:1), although the picture looks slightly dim, DD 5.1 or Dolby 2.0 surround (in Cantonese or English). Features include a 35-minute documentary that is made up of sound bites and cheesy assumptions of what "Generation X" supposedly acts like; 50 minutes of deleted scenes; trailers for Gen-X Cops and Jackie Chan's Who Am I? (Chan co-produced here and makes a cameo).
—Steven Firstenburg



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