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Skyline Cruisers
Year: 2000


DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Universe Laser
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles

Director: Wilson Yip Wai-Shun
Cast: Leon Lai Ming, Jordan Chan Siu-Chun, Shu Qi, Sam Lee Chan-Sam, Michelle Saram, Alex To Tak-Wai, Ken Wong Hap-Hei, Terence Yin, Lung Kong, Debbie Ng Suk-Sum
The Skinny: An all-star cast and a promising director fail to bring anything new to the umpteenth Mission: Impossible clone out of Hong Kong.
by Kozo:

     Because Golden Harvest canít get the cast of the original Downtown Torpedoes together (Takeshi Kaneshiro is now a major Japanese star and Charlie Young has retired), those fellas at Golden Harvest have decided to give us Downtown Torpedoes: The Tangentially Related Spinoff. The resulting entity, a big-budget action spectacular called Skyline Cruisers, bears a Chinese name that literally means Holy Thief Second Generation. Downtown was called Holy Thief Spy Shadow, so you can see the connection. 
     Now that the Chinese lesson is over, how about the movie? Well, Teddy Chan is off directing Jackie Chan movies, so Golden Harvest has enlisted the promising Wilson Yip, whoís turned in some pretty good movies of late. Those movies were nothing like Skyline, though, and the result shows. Leon Lai plays Mac, the leader of a group of hi-tech thieves including Bird (Jordan Chan, NOT reprising his role from Downtown), Sam (Sam Lee), and Michelle (Michelle Saram). Our heroes are wacky sorts, except for Mac, whoís mysterious and cool in that charismatic leader way. Mac enlists his team for a goodwill job, stealing a cure for a horrific disease. Their thievery means high-tech trickery of the most cartoonish sort, and all the James Bond gadgets are kind of fun. 
     Then things get strange. Shu Qi turns up as Panadol, a mystery chick whoís also after the cure. Also, many flashbacks and tight close-ups of Mac glowering have taught us that 3 years ago, Macís girlfriend died thanks to Sato (Alex To). Sato was a former partner of Mac and Birdís, who was responsible for the death of the woman they both loved. As if that nugget of originality meant anything, Sato may be involved in this most recent escapade, and if he is then Mac and his cohorts will have to put up some really bad overacting from Alex To. 
     The action is all right, but itís cartoony to a fault. While Downtown Torpedoes was at fault for non-existent characterization and an almost machine-like efficiency, it was still an enjoyable, technically superior action flick. Sadly, Skyline Cruisers gives us uninteresting characterization and incredibly silly action. At least the whole manages to entertain on sort of a base, better-than-bored level, but I find the whole thing an incredible disappointment considering Wilson Yip was the director. His movies have been wonderfully character-oriented genre films that managed to give us great characters within commercial plots. Skyline is too commercial, and as a result comes off as a slick but nonsensical package. As we enter the fourth year of HK Cinema A.D.T. (After Downtown Torpedoes), I must say that the switch to Western-style action has given us middling results. (Kozo 2001) Copyright ©2002-2017 Ross Chen