Big budget action flick from Gordon Chan and a passel
of Singapore investors is a well-produced piece that
doesnít amount to much. Itís competently directed with
some decent action, but the film suffers because itís
so pedestrian in its approach. Aaron Kwok is Peter, a computer
programmer who gets involved in a nasty computer virus
war when his brother Greg (Ray Lui) is exposed as a
CIA agent. Peter has a hard time understanding as the
bad guys seem to be coming out of the woodwork, and
Gregís fiancee Salina (Faye Wong lookalike Phyllis Quek)
may even be implicated.
All this matters little, as
itís merely a prelude to lots of chases and gunplay.
Kwok has handled action before, but this is different.
Instead of being a cop or superhero, Kwok is just a
computer programmer. However, heís a computer programmer
who knows kung-fu. No explanation is necessary, he just
starts high-kicking when he needs to. Aiding Aaron is
sidekick Daniel Wu (the ďdopeĒ of the movie), and girlfriend
Gigi Choi. In addition, Singapore has brought out a
hero: James Lye, as Singapore agent Eric. Lye actually
has a good action presence, and he proves a decent complement
Still, all actors are absolutely
destroyed by Francis Ng, who has a relatively small
role as HK cop Ronald Ng. Given a role with little definition,
Ng manages to make Ronald a well-rounded character without
ever showing his hand. Ng is all restraint and control,
a far cry from his out-of-control Ugly Kwan characterizations.
It's a shame that he gets as little screen time as he
does, because he owns the screen when he's on it. However,
the star is supposed to be Aaron Kwok.
That Ng can so mercilessly
steal the movie from Kwok is pretty much an indication
of whatís wrong. The film has little identity,
and doesnít succeed at making us care about the characters
or their situations. Everything is hammered out in typical
commercial film fashion, and only Ng manages to bring
anything resembling a spark to the proceedings. Aaron
Kwok struggles to actually carry the film, which ultimately
hurts all of Gordon Chanís efforts. 2000 A.D.
is entertaining, but itís also incredibly bland. (Kozo, 2000)