Future X-Cops (Review)

Future X-Cops

aka Mei loi ging chaat

Directed and written by Wong Jing

The background spinning enrages me!

Future X-Cops is a mixed bag, a film that is part-action, part-comedy, part-drama, part-romance. We got robot guys, time travel, yelling kids, loved ones dying, weird slapstick, a dude with a microwave on his head, a guy who is trapped in a TV, an insect cyborg gang, a giant industrial machine, a cyborg cat lady, and hundreds of cops murdered. It’s all part of Wong Jing’s strategy of throwing the whole buffet against the wall and hoping it turns into a Monet painting. But instead we get more of a Thomas Kinkade.

When Future X-Cops was first announced, it was announced as the title Future Cops, which instantly made everyone think it was a remake of Wong Jing’s Future Cops, especially since Wong Jing was writing and directing this one. But as more details came out, suddenly the film was titled Future X-Cops and bared little resemblance to Future Cops except ripping off the basic plot of cops from the future being sent back in time to protect someone from being killed by bad guys.

In the future, gas shortages lead to go-kart madness!

It has been nice seeing Hong Kong start to pump out some more SciFi movies, but between this and Kung Fu Cyborg we have a ways to go before Hong Kong becomes a SciFi action mainstay. But some day they’ll produce things on par with I Love Maria again!

Like recent movie Beauty on Duty, there are a bajillion production companies and a bajillion producers for this flick. At this point, anyone with a spare $5 can be a Hong Kong producer and you can just have your named added to the wall of text during the opening credits.

Originally I was going to write a short version of this review, but the more I kept watching, the more I kept getting confused and angry and weirdly entertained, but not at the parts I should be entertained at. Thus, the review now is pretty long. Feel free to skip reading it and just look at the pictures, I’m under no delusions that 90% of you don’t do just that anyway. This text is just for us cool 10%ers. You know, the ones who are awesome.

Every one of these characters miss

Kidd Zhao (Andy Lau Tak-Wah) – He’s a cop, he’s from the future, and he’s an x. Whatever that means. But it does mean he’s a Future X-Cop! He’s also a robot, which sorts of makes up for his awful name. Andy Lau was in Future Cops besides being in Future X-Cops, making him the expert of Wong Jing films involving cops and futures.
Holly Wang (Barbie Hsu Hsi-Yuan) – Holly Wang is a cop from the present who likes Kidd Zhao, but he can’t like her back because then history will change and JFK will marry Hitler or something. So instead Holly Wang has to just be sad and look pale. So, so pale.
Kalon (Fan Siu-Wong) – Kalon is a evil cyborg guy who used to have a whole gang of cyborgs until Kidd Zhao killed most of them. Kalon’s crab claw cyborg stuff are upgraded to wings, snake arms, and other goofy stuff. Fan Siu-Wong was just on TarsTarkas.NET in Beauty On Duty, but he just couldn’t stay away!
Fiona (Tang Yi-Fei) – Kalon’s girl is a cyborg cat lady! She also goes back in time with her man so when they’re defeated by Kidd Zhao they’ll die together. Tang Yi-Fei is having so much fun being an evil cyborg cat lady it’s awesome. Just enjoy her over-acting cat moves and ridiculous smile as she does her moves.
Kiki Zhao (Xu Jiao) – Hey, that boy from CJ7 is a girl now! Kidd Zhao brings his daughter back in time with him for some reason because I guess they don’t have laws against bringing your relatives into harm’s way in the future.
Millie (Fan Bing-Bing) – Speaking of relatives in harm’s way, Kidd Zhao’s wife was also a x-cop in the future. Notice how I used the past tense? That’s because she won’t make it past the 20 minute mark!
After The Dark Knight, there was nowhere for the franchise to go but down

In the future of 2080, Future X-Cop Andy Lau has a flying motorcycle. Jealous? And we find out that thanks to Dr. Masterson, who invented that dome over the Psychlo cities on Battlefield Earth, thus making most of the world energy independent. So of course people want to kill Dr. Masterson because people are jerks. Kidd Zhao and his team (including his wife, Millie, who we’ll call Deadmeat) prepare to defend the good doctor from the crack team of assassin cyborgs. Assassin cyborgs who have robotic insect limbs.

In the future, buildings will be dumb

The art show Dr. Masterson is hosting goes off without a hitch…until a giant drill machine pops up from the ground and the assassin cyborg gang pops out!

The bad guys have an eclectic team:

  • Kalon – the leader with crab claws
  • Fiona – a cat lady
  • Kapo – a guy with big metal wings
  • The Viper Man -A black dude with a snake arm (played by a guy billed only as Max)
  • The Mantis Man – a guy with mantis arms for arms. How does this guy pee? Seriously!
  • The Porcupine Man – A guy with big metal spikes sticking out of his back. Imagine being on a crowded elevator when this dude steps in!

The hundreds of cops in the building shoot their laser guns at the gang from their railings (hmm…lots of railings, laser guns…Holy crap, Wong Jing is ripping off Space Mutiny! If a beefy blonde dude shows up I’m out of here!

I’ll blow the dome and those Psychlos will be history! Then I will have leverage…

The baddies manage to kill tons and tons of cops via their various cyborg enhancements: Fiona the catgirl has a tail that expands and wraps around/stabs people, Viper Man has multiple metal snake arms that slither out and bite into people (it looks like he has a Mecha-Ghidorah growing out of his arm! I was unaware that kaiju reproduced by budding!)

The face of people who don’t know they look ridiculous

The most hilarious killer is the Porcupine Man who just shoots hundreds of spikes off of his back into the crowd of cops. He fires so indiscriminately I am surprised he doesn’t hit his own team. He does manage to kill dozens of cops who can’t seem to not get hit by slow-moving CGI metal spikes. The cops also can’t seem to hit any of the cyborgs, and if they even shoot close to them they only hit the metal parts of the cyborgs which are immune from the laser blasts. What crappy lasers!

Flashbacks to Space Mutiny!

Oh, remember how Kidd Zhao loved his wife? Well, she gets shot. who didn’t see that coming? Kidd Zhao blows up the flying guy Kapo using a weapon he probably should have used earlier before hundreds died including his wife. This ticks off the other cyborgs who toss Kidd Zhao around and are about to kill him when suddenly the cyborgs get smashed by a giant industrial machine. Basically it is a steamshovel/bulldozer/clamp/forklift/machine-Ripley-had-in-Aliens, and it is driven by Kidd Zhao’s wife, who is not dead yet. The machine smashes up some of the cyborgs, and Kidd Zhao continues to operate it while his wife dies. The two surviving cyborgs are Kalon and Fiona, who escape.

I don’t want to know how this guy jerks off

Next up is a confusing scene where Kidd Zhao and his wife are in the living room with their daughter and they have fun and a pillow fish that causes feathers to go everywhere. We finally figure out this is a hologram recording that Kidd Zhao is watching while still being sad that his wife is dead. This is not the first time where the film goes all weird and then doesn’t explain it for many minutes. So stay tuned for more confusion! I think it is the only time the film rips off Minority Report, so at least we have that.

That’s a useful skill…for ruining the seats in your car!

A quick quick discussion of how time travel is now possible leads to an even quicker discussion about how killers have been sent back in time to kill Dr. Masterson. So now Kidd Zhao is going to get sent back, but he requests to not have his memory altered. Also, getting sent back in time means you have to be turned into a robot for some reason. It’s like a reverse Terminator!

The happiest cat cyborg of them all

The baddies get upgraded by their mysterious bosses who are never seen again or addressed and will be sent back in time as well. Kalon now has all the powers of the cyborgs we saw before, including wings and snake arms. He doesn’t have the spikes, which is probably good because those are dumb.

Just be glad this isn’t a Japanese film…

Suddenly, it is the year 2020, with Kidd Zhao’s daughter Kiki in school! And she is also schoolmates with a boy named KW Foster who we all know is the Dr. Masterson back in the past, but the main characters can’t figure this out. And Kiki talks about how her dad is an awesome cop, making this even more confusing because, huh? I guess her dad went back in time as a robot and got a job as a cop again despite not having any sort of background history for the police to do a checkout on, and Kiki was brought along because…….why not? Let’s just ruin this movie by filling it with children!

I’m crushing your legs!

Kiki annoys KW Foster and his fat friend, so they decide to video tape her dad to see if he is really awesome or just a dork. And at first it looks like dork as they get shots of him falling over his cop car (Kidd Zhao is now wearing glasses, btw, because there is going to be a lot of Superman talk and he needs to be disguised as Clark Kent at the moment.) He works with Holly Wang, Sgt. Masterson, and unlucky guy Misfortune. There is also a stakeout of some robbers right where Kidd Zhao is meeting his daughter, causing them all to get kidnapped. But when Zhao is alone he projects the hologram of his family from earlier, confusing the criminals, and then beats them up using some Matrix-like moves. This is all taped by KW Foster, who starts calling Kidd Zhao Superman like I said people would earlier. See? Pay attention to what I say.

You got Michael Bay in my Aliens!

They aren’t going to put the footage on YouTube, and instead try to blackmail Kidd Zhao into teaching them how to be Supermen (complete with awesome fantasy sequence where the two kids blow up some monster guy – this is the best part of the film because it is so out of nowhere!)

And lady cop Holly likes Kidd Zhao, which sort of makes him happy even though he doesn’t respond to her sort of liking. This is all odd because didn’t his wife just die??? Don’t worry, this is explained later. And I’ll explain it later and not here, so ha ha! You have to keep reading if you want to know! Or you could just watch the film, but you can read this faster than the time it would take to buy this DVD in Chinatown.

Even more powerful than Larry the Cable Guy

The media gets the idea that Kidd Zhao is a Supercop because the crooks he caught start blabbing, and soon they follow him as he tries to talk down the suicidal mom of kid KW Foster. She’s getting a divorce, but luckily fellow cop Masterson agrees to marry her on the spot which talks her off the ledge. And thus, KW Foster will soon be KW Masterson, aka the guy from the beginning that Future X-Cop Kidd Zhao was sent back in time to protect who changes his name upon his mom’s remarriage just like in Future Cops. But Kidd Zhao doesn’t figure this out right away (us, the audience, knew this KW kid was the kid from the moment he was introduced, even though we didn’t know why the heck Kiki was there with him. Some things are amazingly simple, some things are amazingly WTF!)

By 2020 there were 73 girls, one cup

Holly tells Kidd Zhao she loves him and will wait for him so he can love her back, no matter how long it takes. Becuase he’s done so much to make her love him that much, like……um…yeah….have glasses? But he only has glasses because they keep talking about Superman and he’s hiding his identity..oh, never mind…

Just your typical action movie scene

Kalon and Fiona appear back in time like meteors, and then harass a guy and his girl in a car, who I guess are somehow expert cyborg creators because they crash at their house and force the two to cyborg enhance the criminals Kidd Zhao busted earlier when they get them out of jail (capturing another cop named Misfortune and Holly as well) They also have a thirty second conversation that explains almost everything the movie hasn’t bothered to explain up to this point. They inform us that Kidd Zhao and daughter went back in time two years previously and have been here since (thus wife is not freshly dead), that Dr. Masterson has a different last name thus Kidd Zhao doesn’t know who it is (despite the fact biographical information on important people would be public knowledge in the age of Wikipedia, much less the far future)

The film never addresses my question of what would actually happen if I turned on the microwave on that guy’s head

Then they attack Kidd Zhao and Kiki at the amusement park, in an epic scene where if you pay attention you can notice what day they didn’t have any money for extras because no one appears in the background of the crowded park during certain sequences. We also see Hong Kong’s appalling safety standards for Ferris Wheels where you stand up in a giant glass box as the wheel goes round and round in what I like to call “Certain to end badly!” But we don’t have to wait for the unmaintained wheel to smash up by itself, Kalon is hard at work tossing the glass boxes with people in them at Kidd Zhao, who keeps catching them. No one dies a horrible death, robbing us of the pleasure of watching innocent people be murdered. If these Ferris Wheel people were cops with bad laser guns they’d be dropping like flies!

The Y on my chest stands for “Future X-Cops!” Oh, wait..

The baddies run off with Kiki, so Kidd Zhao turns into a robot and gets on his flying motorcycle and goes after them. We see that the criminals who were cyborged are now ghetto cyborgs with random kitchen appliances for body parts (including one guy who is wearing a microwave as a helmet. Misfortune has also been cyborged, in that his head has been replaced with a giant flatscreen tv that shows a video image of his head.

But the day is saved and Kidd Zhao and his robot suit powers rescues everyone. And now it is KW’s mom and Cop Masterson’s wedding day!

Mega Lau vs Doctor Octopus

Yes, the film actually stops everything for a wedding, but at least Kidd Zhao finally figures out who KW is. Remember on your wedding day when a crazy cyborg cat lady appeared and killed like 15 guests? That almost ruined your wedding day, and it almost ruins this wedding day. Luckily, the prints came back looking great from the photographer and the cake was delicious. Too bad Uncle Frank had to get drunk again and puke on Cousin Mindy, that’s the last thing she needed after her husband was killed by the cat lady…

How did my dream get into this movie???

The two kids hide from Fiona in some tables in a kitchen in a scene stolen from Jurassic Park, while Kidd Zhao and Kalon fight in the city with Kalon flying around with giant bird wings and having giant snake arms. It looks totally ridiculous, which means it is totally awesome. The best part of this fight is that like 100 cops show up at one point and then will randomly shoot thousands of rounds into the air hitting nothing.

The later seasons of Red vs. Blue were not up to par

Then helicopters come over, giving Kalon an excuse to jump on the helicopter, toss the blades at Kidd Zhao, and then have his wings be flying the helicopter. To add drama, the helicopter he is flying is carrying Holly on it. She manages to jump out just in time as the helicopter is slammed into a different helicopter. Everyone else dies, but they aren’t main characters so too bad for them. The hundreds of cops are still shooting randomly in the air during all this as well. I hope no TV station choppers are flying around, they’re probably Swiss cheese at this point.

Gravity’s Rainbow, the movie

Fiona stabs Kiki! Except Kiki is a robot!?!?! WTF? Injured Kidd Zhao tells her that the real Kiki died so he build her, but then she’s dying so he won’t build another one (oooookay) and then she disintegrates and forms more of his robot body (oooooooooooooooookay) while Holly crashes Kidd Zhao’s flying bike into Fiona and kills her, as you need to hit the cyborgs in the heart. KW tells Kidd Zhao this, so he starts blasting Kalon near the heart and using his dead robot daughter added strength to punch through the robot snake arms. Shouldn’t a Future x-Cop from the future where fighting cyborgs is common know you should aim for the heart?

Take that, awful Terminator Salvation robot!

Kidd Zhao rips out Kalon’s heart and smashes it, Kalon is dead despite him looking like Dr. Octopus in this scene for some reason. Kidd Zhao goes back to the future and is now seen taking care of an elderly Holly who doesn’t know who he is but sort of remembers that she loved some dude once. I guess Wong Jing saw The Notebook or something too.

So that’s the end! The end of the Future! The Future X-Cops! The movie where you have a time machine but don’t bother to save your wife and daughter and instead fall in love with some other random lady.

If Andy Lau was a robot, this movie would still suck, but maybe he’d accidentally try to wipe out humanity or something.

Rated 4/10 (I’m praying for you, female future xcop who does not die, feather madness, powerup time!)

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4 thoughts on “Future X-Cops (Review)

  1. I love it! I mean the review, not the movie. The movie was ridiculously retarded. I didn’t even notice it was made in 2010, while watching it I was under the impression that it was significantly older, maybe early 2000s. The production value of HK movies is so bad these days, and that’s bad because they were bad to begin with – that’s saying a lot!

  2. It is almost shocking how bad the production value of this movie is. Did you notice that the ‘hologram projector’ Andy Lau used to reminiscent his wife is actually an Logitech Unifying wireless receiver?

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