神偷次世代
Skyline Cruisers (2000)


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/17/2005

A team of high-class thieves led by Leon Lai sets out to infiltrate a laboratory to steal a drug which will cure cancer when they find out they've been double-crossed. The team's loyalty is put to the test as they set out to find out who set them up and recover the drug.

Skyline Cruisers is a good-looking but ultimately boring movie because the thieves have a gagdet to get out of any situation -- these guys make James Bond look like a cheapskate -- and that kills any suspense, which is key for a heist movie like this. For example, while being chased by some guards, Jordan Chan hits a button on his truck's dashboard which sends Sam Lee and Michelle Saram flying out the back with oversized rollerblades strapped to their feet so that they can shoot at the guards. Wouldn't just sticking your head out of the window suffice? One wonders if they need some kind of special apparatus to wipe themselves on the toilet. Not only is Skyline Cruisers' action gimmick-heavy, the film itself is as well, with too many uses of slow motion/point-of-view/computer morphing shots. These things in small doses can give a movie a nice visual flavor, but when they are overused (as they certainly are in this case) they get bland and annoying after a while.

Like many recent Hong Kong action movies, Skyline Cruisers seems to be trying too hard to deliver everything to everyone, and delivers very little as a result. I'm getting a bit tired of films (from everywhere in the world) being so self-conciously "hip" or "cool" (case in point here: Michelle Saram's ridiculous orange-blond dye job -- I thought good thieves were supposed to be inconspicuous) and overusing wires/computers to make their stars look like good fighters; Jordan Chan is a good actor, but, please no more Matrix-style wall run gags from him. Skyline Cruisers almost translates into the "so bad it's good" category, but in the end I was just too bored to even nitpick at the asinine attempts at action sequences.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]


Reviewed by: Kyashan
Date: 06/02/2003
Summary: Particular

I watched this movie in 2001 at cinema and I found it strange. I mean that is an action movie, but with impossible parts. Seem like Mission Impossible 2 of Tom Cruise, where action is the main but some special effect is bad dosed and become comical.
Good idea, good actors but bad result.

Ranting 5/10

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 03/25/2002
Summary: Yes, it really is that bad :(

Well, I held off buying this one when it came out, even though Wilson Yip's two previous films were two of my favourite movies of 2000. It seemed like nobody liked Skyline Cruisers though. However, after a year I figured my expectations were finally low enough, and 2002 convinced me that with Wilson Yip behind the camera there must be at least something salvageable from the movie. But I was wrong. Skyline Cruisers really is a very bad movie - on pretty much every level. It's pretty much a textbook case of bad movieness. I'd like to say that it's just that even Wilson couldn't save the movie from such a bad script - but it's bad above and beyond the dumbness, shallowness, convolution and tedium of the script. Scenes seem carefully crafted to evoke no feeling whatsoever (except occasional ridicule). They almost seem to go out of their way to make sure characters have no depth or definition whatsoever. Classic moment - one of the characters shoots another character and everybody just kind of looks around blankly (including the character that got shot), then it cuts to the next scene.

Of course, it's nowhere near as bad a movie as Martial Angels - it does have a certain slickness that saves it from being laughably bad. Although perhaps that's a weakness, on reflection - you're not even offered that diversion. A couple of the action scenes show a glimmer of being interesting style-wise, but then end up not being after all. And then there's the Orang-utan of course... no, wait, that's not "of course", it's completely inexplicable.

The one redeeming feature the movie does have is that Shu Qi is in it. A bit. And she looks quite pretty. They could have made more of that aspect by, for instance, cutting out all the rest of the movie. The only other good thing about Skyline Cruisers is that it sucks. Oh no, wait... that's a bad thing too, isn't it?

:-/

Reviewer Score: 2

Reviewed by: Trigger
Date: 11/20/2001
Summary: Crap.

Terrible film. Low-rent Mission Impossible. James Bond film meets Gen-X Cops. Bad script, bad dialogue, bad plot, dumb situations, dumb action sequences and laughable special effects. It's about this group of youngsters who are the best at stealing stuff and getting past the highest security systems. They are asked to steal the cure for cancer from this evil doctor. I'd tell you more, but it makes me nauseated thinking about it.

The transfer is good, but the blacks are a little grainy. The sound is a good 5.1 mix with mindless techno music in the background. Even some of the techno music was a worked over Bond theme. I didn't bother with the extras.

Overall I give this film a but it did have a few moments. Is it worth watching? Ugh - I don't think it should be a requirement, but there are worse films out there. I didn't like it, but I didn't hate it either. This was originally supposed to be the sequel to Downtown Torpedos, but I don't think it turned out that way. Some of the stunts and effects are dazzling enough to catch your attention, but they are tarnished by a bad rip-off of a film.

Rental.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: zarrsadus
Date: 06/03/2001
Summary: Good visual effects, but lacking plot.

I liked the action in this movie, but the stunts were way too far-fetched to be believable. After the first few crazy routines the rest of the action in the movie seemed like an excuse to show off cool gadgets at the sacrifice of a good story. Watch this movie if you like looking at cool high-tech gadgets and stunts that try to be as complicated and impossible as you can imagine. 4 out of 10.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: senordingdong
Date: 05/20/2001

The movie starts off with scenes completely knocked off from Mission Impossible. It then goes onto showing a bunch of pointless action sequences that never really do much for the movie. Audiences may think "hey that's cool, but I've seen it many times before". The movie itself, is editted so badly that the scenes don't really fit well together and the audience may sometimes be left thinking, "what's going on here?" As for the characters themselves, so little developement is given to them that no one cares what happens to any of them. Same goes for the story, the movie is so short and underdeveloped that it's over before the audience can even begin to enjoy it.
While this movie nor Sam "Alien" Lee's performance, anywhere near as horrible as Gen-Y Cops, it's not the most satisfying viewing material.

2/5

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: GenXcops_Jack
Date: 04/18/2001
Summary: this film sucked to say the least

another film that chose style over substance. this is an insult to HK movie fans around the world. with all the good work that comes out of HK, its an embaressment that this film got made. Please!!! stop hiring ALIEN, i mean SAM LEE he is so annoying.

sincerely
Jack


Reviewed by: ShinjukuBoy
Date: 03/19/2001
Summary: Skyline Cruisers Disappoints

I was so hyped for this movie, but it ended up being a let down. What was suppose to be the sequel to Downtown Torpedos but was later scratched of the idea, this movie has all the stars you want in a movie, but does nothing for it. It's not the actors fault, it's just the story. You just couldn't feel for the characters. They were flat and if they did something or something happened to them, you didn't seem to care. Don't get me wrong...you'll probably go through the movie going..."Hey, that's pretty cool", but that's all it is...an exhibition.

Skyline Cruisers was just there to show you all the cool stuff it had on it's set. It's more like a nice red delcious apple on the outside until when you bite into it, it's rotten in the inside and a worm crawls out. The plot is simple and there is only one suspenseful moment. The movie should have played more on what happened some of the characters in the beginning. I mean they could have done it because this movie is short. Downtown Torpedos was so much better. Sadly this movie disappoints. Leon fans will not doubt enjoy the film. Overall I would only recommend this movie only if you have nothing else to watch.


Reviewed by: zeneger
Date: 03/06/2001
Summary: Could have been more.

Skyline Cruisers is a film that starts out promising but quickly loses momentum, and eventually crashes flat on its face. It tells the story of four professional thieves who are sent on a mission to retrieve a stolen cancer drug. Along the way, various cliche plot methods are used, such as betrayal, deceit, and the classic old friend-turned-enemy.

The action scenes in this movie are done relatively well. Many people have been calling this film an MI:2 rip-off; after watching this movie, I don't believe that is the case. It isn't an MI:2 rip-off, it's an Entrapment rip-off. The filmmakers actually did a decent job of creating some espionage/thievery missions quite akin to those of Entrapment - the bank vault with no oxygen for example.

However, once you get past the nifty infiltration scenes, the bad apples begin to crop up. Specifically, there are two main problems I had with this film.

The main antagonist of this movie gets about a minute of screen time, as well as short, pointless flashbacks, to describe his past. Apparently the scriptwriters decided that this was enough to centralize him into the driving force behind the conflict. When the time finally comes where he unmasks himself as the true enemy, you may be left wondering, "Wait a minute, who the hell is that? Did I miss something?"

The other problem I had with this movie was with Hsu Chi. Next to the main antagonist, she probably had the least lines out of anyone else. Not only that, to me her character was simply extraneous. What was the point of her character? It just seemed like unnecessary extra weight that the movie didn't need. I won't spoil it here, but the way they deal with her character at the very end simply showed that the scriptwriters had no idea what they were doing with her. The only reason Hsu Chi was in this movie was probably so the marketers could write, "Starring Leon Lai and Hsu Chi", and send it off to the box office to roll in some quick, shameless dough.

All that said, this movie still exceeded my expectations, though that's not saying much. One topic worth mentioning though, was that the visual effects were top-notch. Skyline Cruisers had, quite possibly, the best FX I've seen thus far in an asian flick. The explosions, antigrav chambers, security clearance devices (eye scanners, fingerprint images, etc.), all the way down to the all-purpose skateboard/backboard/parachute-backpack, were nothing to complain about.

I can't recommend this movie without slight reservations, but I think it's safe to say that you won't feel cheated out of an hour and a half of your life like you would with Gen-Y-Cops.

Overall, it's passable for some decent, cheap entertainment.


Reviewed by: Fuck You
Date: 02/28/2001

At first, I choose to watch this movie because I heard so many bad reviews and comment about it. However, after seeing the movie, I think we should not just focus on the stars. Certainly their performance where very good! But we should also pay attention to how the director pictures the movie, how the photographer handles the different scenes... etc.
So I think this movie is recommendable and worth watching!!! And not just for fans of Leon Lai.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 02/27/2001
Summary: Ok-ish

Well the chinese version of
Mission Impossible hey!!

From what else i have seen, believe it or not it's better than some of the other action movies around at the moment but a weak script with obvious mistakes here and there makes the viewer go
DAMN this could of been so much better!!

The action scenes are good and the acting was ok. OH i must again say the script should of been worked on more and this would of been a great movie, but since they didn't........


I feel generous giving this movie:

6/10

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 02/23/2001
Summary: A Big Dud

"Skyline Cruisers" is an action movie in search of a script. Wilson Yip's flash in the pan direction felt overly rushed. With one of the poorest film treatments I've seen in some time, Kwok Chi-Kin's shallow script has all of the familiar plot lines, but totally forgets about the character development. The movie is nothing more than an outline. All of the of eye candy and the producer's money could not save this shell of a movie from being a big dud.

In this loose sequel to "Downtown Torpedoes," Leon Lai heads up a hi-tech group to steal/retrieve a newly developed drug. The super group goes about its business and gets duped and double-crossed. The extremely slick action is set up from the start of the film, but it cannot hide the fact that none of the characters are fleshed out. All of the actors looked uncomfortable on screen. Each one's role was as thin as rice paper. There was no chemistry generated by the cast, because there weren't any scenes written for the members to define themselves. The film numbingly transitions from one action scene to the next. Viewers can suspend their disbelief for only so long. Adding insult to injury, viewers are presented with flimsy exposition as to why things happen, and are given short shrift by the filmmakers.

Following "Juliet in Love," Wilson Yip's work on this film is very disappointing. The director appears to have been overwhelmed and too distracted by the stunts. Wilson didn't put in enough work with the actors to build up their poorly defined characters. We only get the run-of-the-mill plot contrivances and lethal doses of inane, high-tech stunts that are presented in such a frenetic pace that they don't have any cathartic or emotional payoff. The film's seemingly empty action can only take the viewer so far. We don't know enough about any of the people in the film, so we don't care what happens to them. Instead of cheering for the super team, we end up yawning.


Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 01/20/2001
Summary: Another disappointing "event" movie.

When I heard Wilson Yip was directing the pseudo-sequel to my hated Downtown Torpedoes, I wasn't sure how to feel. It's good that Yip's earned enough of a reputation to be entrusted with a large budget... But then, is this the best use of his talents? Unfortunately, my worries were correct.

That's not to see that Skyline Cruisers offers nothing in the way of entertainment value. Though there isn't an action scene in sight for the first forty minutes, the second half is fairly busy. Although the movie doesn't have a single really good scene, it does at least have a number of good shots and nice touches.

Unfortunately, no number of small touches can make up for the film's flaws. The plot is total throwaway spy-movie junk, ripped straight from Hollywood. Remember when HK action movies were about things like love, loyalty, and revenge? Now they're about junk science and computers... To make matters worse, there isn't a single interesting performance or colorful character in the movie. So basically, there's nobody and nothing to care about. The action scenes, though ludicrous, WOULD be fun in a film with a hint of substance, or at least structure... As it is, they just drag, and the more ambitious effects and stuntwork look pretty weak. Overall, obviously, there's not much here to recommend. Hopefully (apologies to whoever I stole this from) Yip will go back to BIG movies instead of making another big movie.


Reviewed by: Paul Fox
Date: 12/20/2000
Summary: Skyline Cruisers Needs to Gain Some Altitude.

This film was called the "sequel to Downtown Torpedoes", by a local paper which will remain nameless. Thus before viewing this feature a screening of the first film on DVD was in order. Now, for those who may be of similar mind, do not bother. There no relation whatsoever between the films, save for the fact that they both feature Jordan Chan in the cast (in different roles).

As a stand alone film Skyline Cruisers does not offer much. As with most films of this genre, it opens with the team pulling off a grand heist. The problem here is that there is a point when the heist is nearly over where some heavy explaining would be in order to exit the scene, but instead the filmmakers just cut to the members driving down the road in a nonchalant manner. Having to suspend one's disbelief so early, was surely not a good sign. Indeed the main event features such outlandish high tech security and gadgetry that one wonders..if the team can afford all this stuff why not just retire and buy an island?!?

The plot is the typical format...predictable. You see the double cross coming, you know that the contact is not who he seems...it's all standard fare.

The characters don't seem to be having fun either. Leon Lai and Jordan Chan are at odds and Michelle Saram and Sam Lee try and bring in the Gen X feel, but its just not there. Shu Qi is certainly wasted in her small part and the villains, well they do all the standard villain things.

The stuntwork is ok, but there is one scene where Sam and Michelle are jettisoned out of the back of their SUV to roller blade and shoot at bad guys....ummm...wouldn't it have been a bit safer to simply fire form the back of the truck? The production value is high and there are some good, if not highly unrealistic effects.

All in all Skyline Cruisers never really reaches cruising speed. It is not a bad film, just don't expect to be seeing anything you haven't seen before.


Overall review rating : 2 out of 5


Review by Paul Fox

Location: UA Shatin

Time: Mon 18 December 7:40pm


Reviewed by: Paul Fonoroff
Date: 12/08/2000

Viewers intent on gorging themselves on celluloid junk food will find in Skyline Cruisers a morsel that is more attractively packaged than most but equally chock full of empty calories. Director Wilson Yip has concocted a slick, high-tech live action comic book that, despite a script credited to no less than three writers, is so empty and uninvolving that even its brief 85-minute running time may cause a slight case of cinematic flatulence.

The plot is “one of those things” where the audience is supposed to believe a motley crew of cool looking heroes and villains somehow possesses the intelligence to master state-of-the-art gadgetry to pull off intricate crime capers. Leon Lai is supposedly the brains of the outfit, though the filmmakers neglect to provide any evidence that behind the star’s bland good looks there lurks a cerebellum capable of inventive thought.

He is aided by an uncharacteristically unengaging Jordan Chan and Sam Lee, and Michelle Saram, whose orange hairdo fails to add color to a pallid performance. They display little on-screen chemistry. The same goes for Leon and the mysterious lady in his life, played by the star’s reputed off-screen lady, Shu Qi. It is sad to see Shu Qi, an exciting new screen personality when she burst upon Hong Kong screens a few years ago, squandering her talents in cardboard roles like this.

The villains, including Alex To, Kent Wong, and Terence Yin, display even less personality. Patrick Lung as the menacing mastermind is allowed to ham it up in the best cartoon tradition and thus registers a blip or two on the viewer’s consciousness. The characters and situations are so bland that scenes involving life-and-death struggles fail to raise one’s pulse.

Skyline Cruisers cannot be faulted for its visual qualities. The production design, art direction, wardrobe, and cinematography are first rate, and there is a good use of Kuala Lumpur’s futuristic architecture. But somewhere between one’s seat and the cinema exit, the viewer is apt to forget these cruisers and the skyline they cruised.

2 1/2 Stars

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.

Reviewer Score: 5