2000 AD (2000) / Action-Thriller

MPAA Rated: Not rated, but probably PG-13 for violence and adult situations
Running time:
102 min.

Cast: Aaron Kwok, Phyllis Quek, James Lye, Daniel Wu, Gigi Choi, Ray Lui
Director: Gordon Chan
Screenplay: Stu Zicherman, Gordon Chan

Review published September 24, 2000

After director Gordon Chan's (Armageddon, Thunderbolt) last lackadaisically fun flick, Beast Cops, he turns up the heat with an equally interesting and action-packed tale of computer espionage in 2000 A.D. According to the film, those who can control the world of computers can hold power more destructive than any nuclear weapon. A splinter faction of the CIA in Singapore are doing some underhanded dealings in order to get a program that can destroy the world's leading financial and government institutions and gain them all the wealth and power they could ever dream of. Greg Li (Lui, Flash Point), a US agent also working in Singapore, has the program but is assassinated by this faction, and his brother Peter (Kwok, Para Para Sakura) won't rest until he gets to the bottom of who did it and why. Needless to say, he puts his own life in jeopardy and the lives those who he holds most dear.

Although 2000 AD starts out as a routine potboiler espionage thriller of little significance, it gets supercharged about halfway through into an exciting actioner worth watching. Starting off rather poorly, with amateurish acting and murky plotting, the film gets a hell of a boost with a truly intense assassination scene reminiscent of the one in Clear and Present Danger, and almost every bit as exciting. From then on, 2000 AD seems to keep its footing most of the way, with only some bad acting by some of the English speaking actors keeping it down.

If Gordon Chan could cast actors with the same meticulous zeal with which he sets up action pieces, 2000 AD could have been one of the best Hong Kong action films in recent years. Still, it's quite a thrilling ride and definitely worth a look from action fans who aren't as particular about cheesy acting or improbable storylines. It may have its flaws, but that doesn't keep 2000 AD from being thoroughly enjoyable.

Qwipster's rating:

2000 Vince Leo