Monday, April 7, 2014

Film Review: 2000 AD (2000)

2000 AD (aka Gong Yuan 2000 AD) (Review)
Format Viewed For Review: Netflix Instant
Netflix Streaming: Yes
Amazon Prime: No

"...fantastic shootouts, a few fluid chase scenes, and some old-fashioned kung-fu."

Peter Li (Aaron Kwok), his girlfriend Janet and her brother Bobby (Daniel Wu) are pulled into a cyber conspiracy when Peter's brother is mysteriously assassinated...

2000 AD focuses on Peter and his friends as they are pulled into a conspiracy being orchestrated by a corrupt CIA agent. It particular focuses on Peter and his quest for the truth and vengeance. The story doesn't really hone in on the fear of a mass cyber attack, and it never really capitalizes on its plot. However, it's many well-executed action sequences and it's interesting concept are enough to keep the film going to a great, albeit abrupt, ending.

2000 AD is basically a brainless popcorn action flick. The plot had promise, but it's never quite fulfilling enough to satisfy that promise. The story really ends up being by-the-books and plays it safe. Regardless, it is interesting and offers a few twists and turns. The characters are also very likable. The action sequences are great, including some fantastic shootouts, a few fluid chase scenes, and some old-fashioned kung-fu. There's also some very effective, warmhearted comedy. All of this blends to create an entertaining experience; although it was released in 2000, the story, the editing, and the direction scream 90s action – and that's a good thing. The oldie special effects, like the obvious computerized blood, isn't so welcomed, though; fortunately, it's not overused.

Aaron Kwok is very charismatic – his character is a bit childish, and Aaron Kwok can't quite hit the deeper emotions (something he is able to do now, like his performance in Floating City) but the performance is very likable. Daniel Wu shares less screen time, but has an equally likable performance – his is based much more in comic relief. The rest of the acting is good. The music is great, I really like the tone it sets. The film is also shot well, especially during action sequences. The editing really creates an old-school Chinese action vibe – it's kind of cheesy, but entertaining. Director Benny Chan creates a great action film, but doesn't really focus on the plot.

Overall, 2000 AD is a fun and enjoyable action film. The action may not reach Hard Boiled status, but it is great on its own terms. It fails to capitalize on the plot, but it is still interesting and offers a great frame for the action and humor. If you have Netflix Streaming, I don't see any reason not to watch it, so check it out for a fun time.

Score: 7/10
Parental Guide: Strong violence and blood.

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