2002 (2001)

Directed by
Pretty good 'blockbuster' style movie
Reviewed by Simon on 2002-03-11

Seems like Wilson Yip's two classic low budget personal tales (Bullets Over Summer and Juliet In Love) were really just a tease for us, and a calling card for the Hong Kong financiers. I guess we're going to be getting big budget Christmas blockbuster Wilson Yip movies for a while. Skyline Cruisers was apparently a bad first effort, but there's no way the talent Yip showed in his earlier movies could just evaporate once the budget went up, and in 2002 he seems to have found his feet. Having Vincent Kok along to write and produce can't have hurt either.

The production values in 2002 are very high, resulting a pretty slick package. The script is clever and smart, though it suffers from some dead time in the middle (this is another movie where I'd be tempted to chop and re-arrange a few scenes if I were a Disney exec - those really annoying flashbacks during the end scene especially). Nic Tse and Stephen Fung give good performances, and Nic especially has never looked cooler. Danielle Graham was a mistake though - yes she's pretty, but she's so clearly dubbed by somebody else it is distracting whenever she speaks. Can't they find pretty girls who speak Cantonese anymore?

Action scenes (in the style of THE MATRIX, as they say) are pretty sparse, but very nicely choreographed and filmed when they occur. The supernatural angle gives them a good excuse for wire-enhancement etc. The special effects aren't as good as in The Avenging Fist, but they're still pretty good.

Overall, not as much fun as THE AVENGING FIST, but probably a 'better' movie in the traditional sense (characters, scripts, etc). I think it would do pretty well if somebody decided to release it in the US too, but I don't believe there are any plans for it as yet.