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Future X-Cops
Future X-Cops     Future X-Cops

(left) Andy Lau in armor, and (right) Barbie Hsu and Xu Jiao in Future X-Cops.
Chinese: 未來警察
Year: 2010
Director: Wong Jing
Writer: Wong Jing
Action: Ching Siu-Tung
Cast: Andy Lau Tak-Wah, Barbie Hsu, Fan Bing-Bing, Xu Jiao, Louis Fan Siu-Wong, Mike He, Tang Yi-Fei, Shi Yun-Peng, Liu Yang, Ma Jing-Wu, Blackie Chen Chien-Chou, Law Kar-Ying, Lee Kin-Yan, Natalie Meng Yao, Liu Yiwei, Zhang Li, Ian Powers, Andrew Chou, Jeffrey Haung
  The Skinny: Who were the ad wizards who came up with this one? Wong Jing's Future X-Cops is as bad as it looks, which means its both awful and pretty damn funny. You must be able to enjoy crap if you're going to get even an ounce of pleasure from this mess. Why this wasn't released on April 1st is a mystery.
by Kozo:

Wong Jing, you make this too easy. Hong Kong's most infamous filmmaker returns to his own vomit with Future X-Cops, a remake of his 1993 cringe-fest Future Cops. Actually, calling Future X-Cops a remake is unfair because the original Future Cops lifted from The Terminator, Fight Back to School and the Capcom video game Street Fighter II, among others. Thankfully, Future X-Cops isn't dumb enough to steal from a questionably adaptable video game, but it more than compensates with its lousy visual effects and general crappiness. Add in Wong Jing's substandard screenwriting and direction and you get an obvious result: a bad movie. The big mystery: is Future X-Cops so bad that it's good?

Andy Lau stars as Kidd Zhao, a cop from the year 2080. Word gets out that genetically-enhanced bastard Kalon (Fan Siu-Wong) and his gene-spliced gang are out to kill Dr. Masterson (Ma Jing-Wu), inventor of the future's clean energy source, so the future cops brace for an attack at the museum Masterson is attending. The cops save Masterson, but they don't prevent Kalon and pals from getting away with a time travel device, meaning Kalon will surely head back in time to the year 2020 to kill Masterson and prevent the future from ever happening. The film's first big action sequence involves the baddies' attack on the museum, but their theft of the time travel device? Not shown and related entirely through exposition. And hey, how do the cops know Kalon's exact plans? No idea, but they just do. Twenty minutes in and Future X-Cops is already pushing for the bad moviemaking Hall of Fame.

After ten more minutes, the film has cemented its first ballot inclusion. Kidd demands to be sent back in time to protect Masterson because Kalon killed his wife (Fan Bing-Bing) - and hey, you should always send a man with a grudge to save the world because he won't have a conflict of interest or anything like that. Here's a better idea: why don’t you send back a whole squadron of cops (like they did in, uh, Future Cops) if you're so sure that a genetically-enhanced guy with bat wings and lobster arms wants to destroy the future. Nobody has that bright idea, but they do give Kidd an extreme makeover, replacing his entire body with Megaman-ish cyborg accessories that enable him to fight Kalon and his obnoxious cat-like cyborg girlfriend (Tang Yi-Fei). Will Kidd save the future all by his cyborg lonesome? Or will he get mired in a tired sitcom about a future cyborg stuck in the past dealing with annoying kids and a woman who wants to jump his robot bones?

When you make a movie like Future X-Cops, it should be edgy sci-fi action like Robocop. Well, this movie follows suit, adding hard sci-fi concepts and epic action sequences – OH WAIT SORRY NOT THE CASE HERE. This is a Wong Jing movie, so naturally the whole thing devolves into an illogical sitcom mess about a smarmy robot who acts like Andy Lau. Kidd is not supposed to screw with the past to prevent time paradoxes, but Wong Jing only applies that sci-fi concept to Kidd's potential romance. Ergo, Kidd can't date Miss Holly (Barbie Hsu, in the film's only good performance), but he's free to reveal his identity to whomever he wants, plus zip around in his Megaman alter ego saving people he shouldn't have been around to save in the first place. Also, Kidd and Talon go through secondary transformations when battling, the result of which makes them…taller! Maybe extending their legs makes for some cool-looking CGI, but it means absolutely nothing to the story. Few things here do.

Examining Wong Jing's screenplay for anything other than nonsense is futile. His illogical story exists only to string together shallow sci-fi concepts, disconnected jokes, random set pieces and super-pronounced emotions. There are decent moments between Kidd and Miss Holly, and also Kidd and his daughter Kiki (CJ7's Xu Jiao), but the film's lack of convince makes all of it seem glaringly tacked on. Also, one potential surprise goes for the heartstrings, but it's hampered by Wong Jing's omnipresent plot holes, which make one wonder why such a moment even had to occur. That's one major problem with Future X-Cops – that the barest glance at the screenplay reveals the whole film to be shoddily conceived. Science fiction requires some sort of consistency to make it convincing. In Wong Jing's defense, he's claimed that sci-fi was never his goal, and that he was trying to tell a moving and emotional story. Last time I checked, anger and disbelief were valid emotions. Also, I was moved to ask for a refund, so hey, Wong Jing, Future X-Cops is a success.

Long story short, Future X-Cops is insanely terrible and should only be viewed by people willing to table quality in the name of inanity. Who are those people? Children under the age of six, plus people who love deliciously terrible moviemaking. There's laughs to be had from the ridiculous action sequences, which includes scenes of mutated animal bad guys posing for no apparent reason except to delight children looking for a live-action cross between Power Rangers and Pokemon. Fans of lousy acting can enjoy the crazy performance from Tang Yi-Fei, who so enthusiastically plays the evil catgirl that it becomes genuinely frightening. Also, the visual effects by Korean VFX house Kinomotive are hilariously awful, managing the same effectiveness as Wong Jing's The Wesley's Mysterious File, which came out a full eight years ago. It's sad to think that Wong Jing's skills with CGI have not improved in eight years, but they haven't. Neither has his storytelling, direction, or utter lack of shame. If Future X-Cops teaches us anything, it's that you can always count on Wong Jing. For crap. (Kozo 2010)

Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Vicol Entertainment Ltd.
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
*Also Available on Blu-ray Disc
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