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2000 AD (2000)
2000 A.D.

Reviewed by: Libretio
Date: 10/08/2005
Summary: Big budget vehicle for teen idol Aaron Kwok

2000 AD (2000)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Sound format: Dolby Digital

A young games designer (Aaron Kwok) goes in search of the terrorists who murdered his brother (Ray Lui), a computer expert who may - or may not - have been involved in a program designed to destabilize the world's financial markets.

Big budget action drama, directed by blockbuster specialist Gordon Chan (THUNDERBOLT, FIRST OPTION, A-1, etc.) as a vehicle for teen idol Kwok (THE STORM RIDERS), who acquits himself admirably as the carefree goof forced to grow up abruptly in the wake of Lui's untimely demise. The opening scenes provide a weak mix of 'comedy' and 'character development', all of which threaten to scupper the entire project, until Chan and veteran action director Yuen Tak cut loose with a series of high-octane confrontations between various factions on opposite sides of the law, culminating in a vertiginous fight scene between Kwok and lead terrorist Andrew Lin (THE BLACKSHEEP AFFAIR) on the roof of a high-rise hotel (don't look down!).

HEROIC DUO's Francis Ng is the no-nonsense cop who treats Kwok with open suspicion until forced to protect him from terrorist assassins, while newcomers Phyllis Quek and Gigi Choi provide the requisite eye-candy. Second-billed Daniel Wu plays Kwok's best friend, and James Lye (Lai Hing-cheung) is a hunky special agent from Singapore who becomes involved in protecting Kwok from Lin's deadly machinations. A handsome, mature-looking actor, Lye made his name in TV dramas such as "Price of Peace", "Seasons of Love" and "Millennium Bug", and was poised to become a major star following his appearance in WHEN I FALL IN LOVE... WITH BOTH (2000) and 2000 AD. However, he quit showbusiness in 2000, citing 'personal reasons', and went into the banking industry before getting married and disappearing from the scene.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 05/07/2005
Summary: a surprising action adventure story.

One of Hong Kong's finest directors, Gordon Chan has crafted a surprising action adventure story with one of Hong Kong's biggest pop stars, Aaron Kwok, cast against type as a nebbish. This is a big budget, international production which achieves mixed results.

2000 A.D. was one of the big Chinese New Year releases and it came with a big advertising campaign that is, like many Hong Kong movies, very misleading. As you can see from the vcd cover, Aaron Kwok is featured with some nifty jets and what looks like military garb. While Kwok is the star, he never appears with the jets or in uniform. The opening sequence features some Malaysian Air Force jets in a mock dogfight in the skies over Singapore. Almost totally unrelated to the plot of the film, this sequence segues into the introduction of Kwok as a video-gaming gen-x computer geek who always wins.

Once Kwok and his little group of friends are introduced they become involved in a rather complex and confusing international espionage involving the theft of a sophisticated computer program. Andrew Lin is cast as a renegade CIA agent behind the theft and the murders along the way. The stylized action sequences are very taut and explosive, as is expected in a Gordon Chan film. The director uses some startling editing and camera effects to show a unique perspective on the explosive violence.

For this viewer, there are a couple of outstanding highlights. One is the performance of Francis Ng. He steals the show as the leader of HK's elite G.S.U. police squad who is thrust into the middle of the spy war. Another highlight is the casting of Ken Lo as the nasty sniper/weapons expert who protects the Andrew Lin character and is as cold as steel. He has a brief fighting scene with Kwok where he gets in some high kicks. Action Director Yuen Tak does a nice job with a roof top scene ala Jackie Chan's Who Am I? in which Kwok and Lin kick the crap out of each other.

[español] Uno de los mejores directores de Hong Kong, Gordon Chan ha creado una historia de acción y aventura sorprendente con una de las mayores estrellas del pop de Hong Kong, Aaron Kwok, emitidos contra tipo como nebbish. Se trata de un gran presupuesto, la producción internacional que logra resultados mixtos.

2000 AD fue uno de los grandes lanzamientos chinos del Año Nuevo y que venía con una gran campaña de publicidad, es decir, al igual que muchas películas de Hong Kong, muy engañoso. Como se puede ver en la tapa de vcd, Aaron Kwok se presenta con algunos jets ingeniosas y lo que parece uniforme militar. Mientras Kwok es la estrella, que nunca aparece con los chorros o en uniforme. La secuencia de apertura cuenta con algunos aviones de la Fuerza Aérea de Malasia en un combate simulado en el cielo de Singapur. Casi ninguna relación con la trama de la película, esta secuencia da paso a la introducción de Kwok como los videojuegos gen-x geek de la computadora, que siempre gana.

Una vez que se introducen Kwok y su pequeño grupo de amigos que se involucran en un espionaje internacional bastante complejo y confuso que implica el robo de un sofisticado programa informático. Andrew Lin se presenta como un agente de la CIA renegado detrás del robo y los asesinatos a lo largo del camino. Las secuencias de acción estilizada son muy tensa y explosiva, ya que se espera en una película de Gordon Chan. El director utiliza algunos efectos de edición y cámara sorprendentes para mostrar una perspectiva única sobre la violencia explosiva.

Para este observador, hay un par de toques de luz pendientes. Una de ellas es la realización de Francis Ng. Se roba el show como el líder de la HK elite UAG escuadrón de la policía que está inmerso en el medio de la guerra de espionaje. Otro punto a destacar es la fundición de Ken Lo que el francotirador desagradable / experto en armas que se protege el carácter Andrew Lin y es tan frío como el acero. Él tiene una breve escena de lucha con Kwok, donde se mete en algunas patadas altas. Director de Acción Tak Yuen hace un buen trabajo con una azotea escena ala Jackie Chan ¿Quién soy yo? en el que Kwok y Lin patear a la mierda de los demás.


Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Arshadnm6
Date: 04/18/2005
Summary: Action packed movie with a lot to offer, techno-style!!!

Peter (played by Aaron Kwok from ‘Barefoot Kid’, ‘Para Para Sakura’ and ‘Throwdown’), a nerdy computer programmer, who gets involved in a computer virus war, revolving around a ‘Rosetta program’ which contains confidential and secretive information on a virus capable of crippling the stock-markets amongst other public services (i.e. the international electricity supply etc.), when his brother Greg (Ray Lui) is exposed as a CIA agent. Peter is clueless about the goings-on during his arrest and is released shortly afterwards only to see his older brother brutally murdered by a group of international terrorist, and Greg’s fiancée Salina (Phyllis Quek) turns up from nowhere and seems to have an ulterior motive. Through giving chase to a terrorist (played by Ken Lo from Armour of God II’ ‘Police Story III’ and ‘My Father is a Hero’), Peter becomes embroiled in a game of wits and double-crosses with the terrorists headed by an undercover CIA agent (Andrew Lin Hoi from ‘Infernal Affairs II’, ‘The Blacksheep Affairs’ and ‘New Police Story’). Aiding Peter is his sidekick computer programmer friend and flatmate (played by Daniel Wu from ‘Princess D’, ‘Gen-X-Cops’ and ‘Purple Storm’) along with his younger sister and Peter’s girlfriend (played by Gigi Choi). In addition, hot on the trails of the terrorists is Singapore agent Eric (James Lye from ‘Miracles’ and ‘Project A part II’) who aids Peter in his quest to avenge his brother and at the same time discover the reasons behind his brutal murder. Meanwhile, a Hong Kong superior policeman Ronald Ng (played by Francis Ng from ‘Gen-X-Cops’, ‘The White Dragon’ and ‘A Man Called Hero’) is always trying to get to the bottom of the matter.

This movie is very high-budget, features a good soundtrack, a true feel of the international-scale which matters seem to relate to and some great action scenes mixed in with suspense, romance and comedy. Although, the movie becomes serious after a while and the jokes become thinner, it contains a good set of characters to keep everyone entertained but never can be taken too dramatically. Although, the twists, sub-plots and storyline are well done for this film, it sometimes seems to loose focus and only well-spaced tragedies seem to offer it direction amid the constant mayhem of shoot-outs and chases. Also, the choice of locations is always inspired. Nevertheless, the movie does contain some less well-known or amateur actors which do not contribute significantly to the storyline (i.e. Gigi Choi, Daniel Wu and James Lye) and their characters seem to only be putting things in perspective for the viewers most of the time. This movie also highlights Gordon Chan’s strength in directing terrorist-related projects and on delivering a cleverly thought-out movie with good entertainment value.

Nevertheless, the movie does have some excellent choice of experienced characters in Francis Ng and Andrew Lin Hoi who have made previous movies in this area and can express their acting very convincingly in situations within which they are placed. However, the Singapore agent Eric does get caught out very easily for tailing Aaron Kwok’s car (some secret agent he is!) where his intentions behind chasing the terrorists are never very clear (due to a brief, fuzzy and comically expressed reasoning from his superior and friction with a previous love-interest back home in Singapore) and Francis Ng dies too soon after which things do seem to go a bit stale after a while. The problem with this movie is that it has too many sidekicks and Aaron Kwok never really convinces the viewer of his ability to take a full-on hero role (as done through his previous movies and mentioned by him personally since he much rather prefers a side-role). The dramatic scenes are also quite hard-hitting when they occur and never look cheesy!

Overall, this movie is very entertaining but seems to lack that little bit extra to make it a real success or do any of the actors a major credit. This is in no way down to the selection of actors or their acting. It may be explained by Aaron Kwok’s transformation from a law-abiding computer nerd (who has never touched a gun before or had a fight involving spilt blood in his life) into a terrorist-hunting maniac. Who knows?

Overall Rating: 7.7/10

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Buckeyez
Date: 01/22/2003
Summary: Adrenaline Rush

Definitely a thumbs up on this film...prior to reading any reviews it appeared as if it would be a regular action film. To my surprised, it is ladened with suspense, and thrill, a great story including Aaron Kwok who done superbly, Daniel Wu, Phyllis Quek and Andrew Lin. Left me guessing til the very end and did not disappoint.

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 08/31/2002
Summary: Good movie

Wow! An Aaron Kwok movie where I didn't want to punch him in the face! I don't really know why. He still comes off as a pompous ass, and his acting range is still pretty limited -- he tries to look smart by putting on a pair of really big "nerdy" glasses. However, unlike many of Kwok's movies, there is a very solid supporting cast and they are given the chance to shine, even while working under the shadow of Kwok's ego.

In 2000 A.D., our boy Aaron plays some kind of dot-com yuppie who is sucked into an international terrorism plot that may or may not have involved his brother (Ray Lui) and his fiancee (Phyillis Quek). Aided by his best friend (Daniel Wu), his girlfriend (Gigi Choi) and a mysterious Malaysian agent (Lai Hing Cheung), Aaron must together who is on which side before the leader of the terrorists (Andrew Lin) and his henchman (Ken Lo) kill him and finish a program which can destroy the world's computer systems.

The plot isn't exactly mind-blowing, but 2000 A.D. moves along at a fast clip, so you don't notice the shortcomings too much. Though the script is frankly pretty bad at times -- the beginning scene takes place at a military base and is a perplexing mish-mash of English, Cantonese and Mandarin, and there are a few clunkers delivered throughout the film. Perhaps not coincidentally, the lines in English are the worst, but maybe it's because they have selected the usual horrible gweilo actors to deliver them.

On the other side of the coin, there are a few impressive performances that manage to balance out some of the crap. Andrew Lin and Ken Lo make for a pair of formidable villains, Daniel Wu shows why he is one of the more promising young actors in Hong Kong, and Francis Ng simply kicks ass. He takes a small role of a cop -- just a generic character -- and really makes it own. I wouldn't say it's Oscar-worthy, but it's damn good. Ng always has this way of portraying intensity without going over the top, and 2000 A.D. is one of his best performances to date.

As for the action, 2000 A.D. definitely delivers the goods. The first couple of action bits display the bad CGI a lot of new Hong Kong action movies suffer from, but things get better from then on, as Gordan Chan switches to more of an "old school" style in the vein of his movie Big Bullet. In particular, there is a manic shootout in a parking garage that stands out as one of the best action sequences to come out of Hong Kong in recent years.

Overall, 2000 A.D. isn't anything mind-blowing. If you're not a huge action fan or like to nit-pick movies, then most likely you'll want to skip this one. But if you like fast and furious Hong Kong action, then you could do a lot worse than 2000 A.D., especially compared to many other recent so-called "action" films, from both HK and Hollywood.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]

Reviewed by: Souxie
Date: 06/22/2002
Summary: Enjoyed this movie actually!!

Yeah I did. I don't know what everyone else is talking about, it was fine!
We get to see Aaron Kwok go from loveable pup to serious go-getter in under two hours, he gets to wear some tight white t-shirts and gets a few fights in. Bargain! Danny Wu wasn't just the hired help but a great little character, and Phyllis Quek had a good rle. I thought all the characters were well acted and found it well-written, well-executed and enough to keep me guessing at points. Although when Andrew Lin showed up I knew he was trouble - I've seen the Blacksheep Affair.
Good movie, 9/10

Also, just watched it for the 6th time and finally noticed a continuity gaff: when "Peter" is driving through the Pepsi parasols in the stolen police car his watch says roughly 11.20, but a few minutes later the Singapore security agent's watch says 1.30. Bizarre.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Ella Yavon
Date: 03/05/2002
Summary: unwatchable

The special effects are cheap, the story line is boring, the acting is on the level of a high school play production which is not surprising with Aaron Kwok cast in the leading role. The only redeeming part is Francis Ng's performance as "officer Ng". How he managed to keep a straight face in the middle of this farce is a mystery. Once his character is killed off, the movie becomes completely unwatchable.

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: Average

After reading the other reviews here, I agree with Sydneyguy the most.

It's full of action, but the special effects are way too much, and end up making the movie look too cheap and tacky. The almost complete lack of story doesn't help either. One thing it is though, it's entertaining enough, but definitely not one to watch more than once.

Worth a watch.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 01/03/2002

Another Aaron Kwok movie, another ridiculous and inscrutable plot (this one about international terrorists of some sort who plan to use a hacker program to infiltrate commercial computer systems, with Aaron Kwok playing a computer genius who gets in their way) - sounded like this would be another disappointment. Yet I actually enjoyed this one, despite the ludicrous story. The action scenes were well-staged, the great Francis Ng had a memorable small role, the characters were well fleshed out (so I actually cared about what happened to them), the pace was tight; overall, a pleasant diversion. Not a great movie for sure, but enjoyable.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: runo_jp
Date: 06/14/2001
Summary: 2000 A.D.

Here is the perfect example of a HK blockbuster that goes wrong. I, who dislike Aaron Kwok very much, thought that he played rather well his part, but except for Francis Ng (always the best!), I’ll say the rest of the cast was half asleep. Numerous plot holes in the movie, which ruined the story very much.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: David Harris
Date: 04/18/2001

"2000AD", "The Duel" and "Tokyo Raiders" were the top three films at the Hong Kong box office this Chinese New Year (2000). This was the only one of the three not to feature Ekin "Young And Dangerous" Cheng - maybe Media Asia should have hired him and set a world record!

With that feeble semi-joke out of the way let's get down to the business at hand. "2000AD" is Director Gordon Chan's first film since the award-winning "Beast Cops" and like that film it's a Media Asia production although it couldn't really be any less like it. Whereas "Beast Cops" was very much a locally based story with local concerns this film is set in Singapore and has an international storyline. If you thought that "Gen-X Cops" and "Purple Storm" were slick productions then this'll blow you away - some have said there is effect or two that is a little rough a'la "Purple Storm" but having seen this on DVD I can't say that I noticed any thing of the kind.

It is so slick and glossy that it borders on the surreal at times and before any wag asks there is no sign at all of Judge Dredd. The story is almost Bond-like in that in involves a potential catastrophe - a "rogue" computer program, international intrigue, conspiracy and beautiful women (all that's missing is a martini). Leading the cast is Aaron Kwok as Peter with Daniel Wu playing his "sidekick" Benny and Ray Lui as Peter's brother Greg. It is Greg who is fingered by the CIA as the prime suspect when the CEO of high-tech company TDX gets blown out of the sky. Little do they know that the problem is a little closer to home.....

The bad guy of the piece is ably played by Andrew Lin who after this and his performances in "The Blacksheep Affair" and "God.Com" is fast becoming a past master at the villany game - the little beard certainly helps. Giving a more than creditable cameo is Francis Ng as Officer Ronald Ng who along with Ray "To Be Number One" Lui brings a very much welcome gravitas to the film and I certainly wouldn't have minded if both of their characters had been given more screen time.

Gordon Chan has to be considered one of the best directors in Hong Kong and there is more than ample evidence of that talent in this film - particularly during the film's impressively staged major action sequences - but he is let down by the script (which he co-wrote) which is aimed squarely at the international market but has insufficient tech-detail to impress and as a result ends up coming across as a bit of a Frankenstein's monster. It is quite possibly the greatest technical achievement in the history of Hong Kong cinema - bold statement time - but the character development is so lacking that the film is merely good when it could and should have been great.

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 02/17/2001
Summary: Ok-ish

i won't say too much since there are many reviews about it!!
The movie was.........ok!! It tries to be a big budget American movie and you got the feeling it is!!

It did have some good action scenes in it, but i felt like there should of been more gun play in the movie but thats all i found lacking in the movie!!

What i found really unbelieveable was Aaron kwok getting away for being his brother (unless it was a police set up!!)

Even though i found this movie to be lacking in only more action scenes, believe it or not the score i give this won't be that good!! Why...........not sure but i felt unsatisfied at the end!!


Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Paul Fonoroff
Date: 11/23/2000

By the standards of turn-of-the-century Hong Kong cinema, 2000AD is a superior action drama. In the context of director Gordon Chan Ka-seung’s filmography, it is a letdown. Chan is one of the brightest lights on the local scene, a director/screenwriter with the rare ability to elevate mainstream genres so that their “commercialness” does not mean a corresponding lack in intelligence and artistry. His screwball farce Fight Back to School remains a highpoint in the career of Stephen Chiau Sing-chi; Final Option is one of Hong Kong’s most accomplished police action films; Brief Encounter in Shinjuku set new standards for the yuppie comedy; and Fist of Legend, despite its flaws, brought a new sense of maturity and depth to the traditional martial arts film.

No milestones are set by Chan’s latest. 2000AD is attractive and slick, but there isn’t much substance below the glittery surface. The scenario, co-authored by the director and American Stu Zicherman, isn’t strong enough to withstand analysis, yet the movie isn’t so engrossing that the viewer can just sit back and ignore the story deficiencies. It’s one of those plots rife with conspiracies and high-tech mumbo jumbo, this time concerning computer viruses, the CIA, and massive destruction. If you plan to see the film, fast forward to the final paragraph as pertinent plot points are about to be revealed.

Greg (Ray Lui Leung-wai) is a tycoon in the computer business whose business connections are complicated, to say the least. His younger brother, Peter (Aaron Kwok Fu-sing), is a computer whiz, carefree and puerile till Greg is killed in a terrorist attack. Peter, his fiancée Janet (newcomer Gigi Choi), and her brother—and Peter’s business partner—Benny (Daniel Wu), decide to track down the killers. It is a trail that eventually leads to Singapore and involves a tough Hong Kong cop (Francis Ng), Greg’s mysterious girlfriend (Phyllis Quek), a shady CIA operative (Andrew Lin), a top Singaporean agent (James Lye), and a cold-blooded hit man (Ken Lo Wai-kwong). There is a lot of Singaporean talent on view here, and such Lion City television personalities as James Lye and Phyllis Quek, though unknown in Hong Kong, display considerable screen presence and have no problems delivering the film’s trilingual (Mandarin, Cantonese, or English) dialogue.

One of Gordon Chan’s strong points is delineating characters with more depth than the usual mainstream movie. However, he is a bit too obvious in charting Peter’s transition from adorable pup to responsible adult. Peter is initially so cutesy, whether fooling around at work or playing with his electronic dog, that viewers who are not members of the Aaron Kwok Fan Club might end up rooting for the bad guys.

There are also some major plot holes that are too glaring to be ignored. Peter is the subject of a major search by the Hong Kong Police, yet he has no trouble getting through passport control at Chep Lap Kok Airport. Later, he seeks out the perfidious CIA agent, believing him to be “the only one I trust.” Yet when they meet, Peter doesn’t trust him at all. It may be convenient for the script development, but it doesn’t make sense. The emotional veracity that is a hallmark of the director’s best work is embarrassingly violated by a shamefully sentimental moment in which Peter saves a young wheelchair-bound girl from a grenade.

Particularly gratuitous is the phony suspense in the grand finale at Singapore’s Convention Centre. The CIA agent threatens to set off the deadly computer virus if his demands aren’t met. The Singaporean agent, accompanied by Peter and Benny, is at a loss on what course to take. The CIA agent pushes the button and—a cute “screen saver” shows that Peter and Benny earlier neutralized the program. A possible explanation as to why the duo didn’t confide in their Singaporean allies and save lives is that it would have proven inexpedient to the scriptwriters.

Director Chan understands, perhaps better than any Hong Kong action film director, the importance of pacing. Thus, after the explosions that open the film, there isn’t another massive action scene till a half-hour later. Masterfully staged by action director Yuen Tak, the shoot-out is one of the best in recent years, including an inventive escape atop the canopy over the Central Escalator that is a novel use for this Hong Kong landmark. The frays, fights, and fracases in Singapore are probably the best ever shot in the island nation. Even so, one’s attraction is diverted by the prominent placement of Pepsi cups, cans, umbrellas, and vending machines. It is hard to immerse oneself in Peter’s lethal escapades when one is constantly reminded that in “real life” he is a soft drink-pitching teen idol.

This review is copyright (c) 2000 by Paul Fonoroff. All rights reserved. No part of the review may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Reviewed by: jotarou
Date: 11/01/2000
Summary: Better than Enemy of the State

A geek of any sort can appreciate "2000 AD". When a computer/video game geek saves the world, that's my kind of movie. At least Aaron Kwok's performance was better than his underplayed role of Cloud in the "Storm Riders". Give this movie a break. Afterall, aren't all films fantasy. Who cares that Aaron Kwok can go toe to toe with a trained CIA agent in Kung Fu fisticuffs. ITS FANTASY, HES THE HERO SILLY!!!!

This movie is worlds better than its American counterpart, Enemy of the State. Instead of an overacting Gene Hackman as an informant we get a solid James Lye as a Singapore secret agent, helping our hero out. Daniel Wu is good as the idealistic romantic who has played one too many videogames for his own good. Look out for this guy. And man Ken Lo was just downright cool. More threatening than any Bruckheimer factory villain any day. Not to mention the main villain "Cowboy" is just looks evil!!

Also the climatic setting of Singapore is a real nice touch. It gives the film a bigger sense of scope and action terrain. This is a Chinese New Year movie not an Art House release folks. It doesn't have to be thought provoking or important, just entertaining and I think it is first class entertainment. Not a traditional Hong Kong/John Woo shoot 'em up but more of an American style conspiracy thriller. Gordon Chan is one director to keep your eye on. 3 1/2 stars out of 4.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Dai Lo
Date: 08/30/2000
Summary: didnt suck

I thought this movie was fairly entertaining it wasnt great but entertaining. I mean the idea of 2 video game freaks (Aaron and Daniel) saving the world and doing it with their fists and not computers is barely believable. Overall though it didnt suck the action was ok; the plot ok; and the acting was ok; an ok movie.

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 08/15/2000
Summary: Back to the Stone Age

When Gordan Chan and Stu Zicherman sat down to write "2000 A.D.," they must have had some idea as to what they wanted to achieve. I don't know what that was in this complete mess. The first overlong hour of "2000 A.D." was bogged down in trying to establish a plot. Aaron Kwok and Daniel Wu play geeky friends; Andrew Lin is a rogue CIA agent; Lai Hing Cheung is a Singapore secret counter intelligence agent--all of whom get involved in a muddy plan after Ray Lui, playing Aaron's brother, gets killed because of a stolen computer chip, and he also may also have been used by the CIA. If that isn't enough hokum to swallow, throw in Francis Ng as a Hong Kong anti-terrorist agent and you have duck soup.

Gordan Chan had a large cast for "2000 A.D." that had nothing to use for material. The convoluted plot wasn't even a means by which the director could establish good action. The one stand out action scene involved the entire gaggle of actors when Ray Lui is targeted for assassination. You never see Aaron Kwok don the commando outfit that he wears in all of the pictures for the movie's promotion. You would also never believe that nerdy Aaron Kwok would have the ability to fight his way out of a paper bag.

Overall, this movie lacked focus. It tried too hard to be contemporary and set up events right out of the newspaper headlines, but it failed because the movie felt false and totally contrived. No one, from Aaron Kwok to Phyllis Quek, was believable. Since there weren't any characters to generate interest, the movie became dull and lifeless, forgotten after viewing.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 07/23/2000
Summary: Against all odds...

I actually enjoyed watching this movie. It wasn't great; in fact, it's basically filmic storytelling at its worst, with a plot so abstract that there's never any sense of causation; people shoot at each other because they're enemies, not because there's a real goal. There are also too many characters, and as a consequence, very few of them are anything more than stick-figures. The laughable and transparent attempts at characterization would've been better used in improving the flow of the storyline. In addition, the character who's supposed to be the big hero, Aaron Kwok, basically does nothing; he makes all the wrong decisions and trusts all the wrong people, while the people around him are responsible for most of the dirty work.

So what's to like? Well, despite the total ineptitude of the screenplay, it's rarely dull; it's not especially fast-paced, but it doesn't drag. The three major action scenes are spectacular, though the "finale" is one of the biggest letdowns in movie history. Gordon Chan's overly-stylized direction keeps the action interesting, and gets you through the "down time." The film is also fairly solid in areas in which other films of this kind fall short; while the effects are far from perfect, they aren't intrusive or embarrassing like some of those in, say, Purple Storm. Very little of the English dialogue is glaringly badly written or delivered, though I should emphasize that the absence of bad doesn't necessarily mean good. And, of course, a few English lines apparently slipped by Gordon Chan with the emphasis misplaced.

Overall, I wouldn't call 2000 AD a great movie, and I'd be hard pressed to even seriously call it good. But considering that I expected to feel insulted, bored, and ripped off, 2000 AD at least failed to meet with my worst expectations, and the action scenes and Francis Ng's character tipped the scale to make it a worthwhile movie.

Reviewed by: ryan
Date: 03/08/2000
Summary: Huge Production but wasted

Starting last year, Media Asia has been active in film production. Last year they produced three movies while their target this year is ten. The first release for this year is "2000 A.D."

"2000 A.D." begins with the theft of a computer program created by TDX Companies which is able to control and destroy the computer systems of an entire city. This company has ties with the CIA and one of its agents, Kelvin (LIN Hoi). At the same time, the CEO of TDX is killed on his private plane. This draws the attention of the Singapore Government. The government targets Greg (Ray LUI Leung-wai) as the primary suspect, and they send a cop named Eric to catch Greg. In Hong Kong, Greg is enjoying himself with the company of his brother, Peter (Aaron KWOK Fu-shing), and his friends. However, Greg is assassinated. As he tries to unravel the mystery of his brother's murder, Peter becomes lost in the conspiracy as he is unable to determine those he can trust -- Kelvin, Eric, HKPF Officer Ronald NG (Francis NG Chun-yu), or Greg's fiance, Salina (Phyllis QUEK) . . .

The filmmakers' goal with "2000 A.D." was to make an action movie with an international flavor. That is why the story concerns systems in Singapore that involve the CIA as well as a Hong Kong resident. The movie also attempts to be a large-scale production -- using planes at the beginning of the story as well as different kinds of connection in between. Unfortunately, this does not necessarily mean it is a good movie.

The plot itself is too vague while it lacks any substantial subplot to catch the audience's attention. The plot also fails to make good use of its resources, and the script simply isn't sophisticated enough. Aaron KWOK is totally wasted. In the trailer, he is seen near a military aircraft while he is transformed from an ordinary person to a military look. Such a promise is never fulfilled in the movie. The audience expects that he will be the hero, but his role is too small and not smart. Likewise, the appearance of agent Kelvin's character in the trailer is much better than what is delivered during the film.

Ronald is the most remarkable character in the movie. With concise dialogue Francis NG is successful in showing the character of the working culture of the government. One of the most remarkable scenes is his behavior when he searches Greg's home with Kelvin. This scene really shows how unhelpful the officers are.

Since "2000 A.D." is a production with Singapore, several new Singapore stars are in the cast. Gigi CHOI has little to do as Aaron's girlfriend, Janet. However, the audience neither sees her helping Aaron nor giving him trouble. As Eric, the Sinaporean cop, LAI Hing-cheung is okay, though he is not required to act much either. Relative to these roles, Phyllis QUEK has got a greater role as Salina, but she still needs some improvement in portraying multi-character roles.

The biggest problem of "2000 A.D." lies in its production. Though making movies with an international feel is a way for Hong Kong Cinema to develop new markets, the scale of this film cannot support such a reach. The beginning of the movie is an abuse of both a military plane and visual effects in general which disappear after the opening. Considering the scope of the story, one would expect some high-tech weaponry to be used during the course of the movie. What the audience gets is the typical, run-of-the-mill fighting scenes between actors. This is a real disappointment. Worst of all, the use of computers in the movie is unsophisticated and simplistic. At least, there should be password system to activate some critical programs used in the plot, but the movie ignores these basics.

"2000 A.D." is a movie with opens with some significant production values, but it fails to deliver on its promise. The plot and the setting fail to support the scale of production while Aaron KWOK is not given enough to impress audiences.

Written by Ryan Law, from Hong Kong Movie DataBase, on 7 March, 2000.