2002
2002 (2001)


Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 02/08/2007
Summary: ludicrous, nonsensical, enjoyable.

After sort of fumbling the big budget project that Golden Harvest hired him to direct, the studio stuck with director Wilson Yip Wai-Shun when he teamed up with co-screenwriter and producer Vincent Kok Tak-Chiu for the supernatural sci-fi comedy thriller entitled 2002. Mr. Yip cast young box office stars Nicholas Tse and Stephen Fung as cops who deal with ghostly criminals. It’s all played with a straight face and it is all ludicrous, nonsensical, and wonderfully enjoyable. Look for Law Kar-Ying in one of his typically funny supporting roles. Actually, he steals the movie from those two pretty faces. Super cinematographer Poon Hang-Sang makes the film and everyone in it look real good.


[Français] Après sorte de chercher le grand projet de budget que Golden Harvest a embauché pour diriger le studio avec le réalisateur bloqué Wilson Yip Wai-Shun quand il fait équipe avec des co-scénariste et producteur Vincent Kok Tak Chiu-surnaturelle de la comédie de science-fiction thriller intitulé 2002. M. Yip casting jeune billetterie étoiles Nicholas Tse et Stephen Fung que les flics qui s'occupent de la fantomatique criminels. Il est joué avec une face et il est ridicule, absurde, et merveilleusement agréable. Rechercher des Law Kar-Ying, dans un de ses rôles de soutien généralement drôle. En fait, il vole le film à partir de ces deux jolis visages. Super photo Poon Hang-Sang rend le film et tout le monde dans un look vraiment bien.


[Español] Después de buscar el tipo grande que el presupuesto del proyecto Golden Harvest lo contrató para dirigir, el estudio pegado con el director Wilson Yip Wai-Shun cuando se asoció con co-guionista y productor Vicente Kok Tak-Chiu sobrenatural para la comedia de ciencia ficción, thriller titulado 2002. Sr. Yip emitidos jóvenes taquilla estrellas Nicholas Tse y Stephen Fung como policías que se ocupan de los delincuentes fantasmal. Se trata de jugar con una cara y todo es ridículo, absurdo, y muy agradable. Puedes buscar Ley Kar-Ying en uno de sus papeles suelen gracioso. En realidad, se roba la película de las dos caras bonitas. Super cineasta Poon Hang Sang-hace que la película y en todos se ve muy bien.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: JohnR
Date: 08/10/2006
Summary: Entertaining

Nicholas Tse and Stephen Fung are partners on the police's department's ghost unit, 2002. It's a live-action cartoon, basically, but it's fun, has some good action, and has first rate production values. NT and SF turn in good performances, as does Law Kar-Ying as NT's ghost-expert friend Paper Chan. It would have been a lot better, though, if they hadn't cast Danielle Graham as the leading lady. She can't act even a little bit; she should be begging Wilson Yip to digitally alter her face so no one will recognize her. From the first scene in which she appears something struck me as odd about her performance; by the time the movie was over I'd put my finger on it: she's like a model instead of an actress she does pretty poses. Afterwards, I found out she actually is a model, which explains everything.

She goes through most of the movie wearing that charming, but insincere, model smile, even when a smile is inappropriate. She doesn't even walk right (I'm thinking of the scene where she walks down the hospital hall after bumping into NT in Rain's room). But the most awful, painful moment was when the script called for her to laugh during her and NT's dinner together; the Horror! the Horror!

If she and Rain Li had swapped roles, and she just had to mostly lie unconscious in a hospital bed and occassionally look confused, saving The Smile for the scene where SF and Granny Four meet Rain in the hospital corridor, this movie would have been much better and I wouldn't have these painful memories. As it is, she's a big annoyance and we just have to have patience until she's off screen again; luckily, that's a large part of the movie. If any more directors are thinking of casting a model simply because she looks good in print, I beg you: give her a screen test!

Bottom line, she's not near enough to sink this; it's still enjoyable, lightweight entertainment.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Libretio
Date: 10/08/2005
Summary: GHOST BUSTERS meets THE MATRIX, Hong Kong style!

2002 (2001)

Aspect ratio: 1.85:1
Sound format: Dolby Digital

A psychic cop (Nicholas Tse) who battles wayward ghosts for the Hong Kong police department is teamed with an eager rookie (Stephen Fung), who is destined to die and become his ghostly helper. But their plans are thwarted by a vengeful water spirit (Alex Fong), who emerges from the Other Side to destroy them both...

Long on spectacle and short on plot, Wilson Yip's half-hearted blockbuster contains a typical mixture of awkward comedy and heart-rending melodrama, assembled in piecemeal fashion by no less than four credited screenwriters (Vincent Kok, Gwok Ji-kin, Szeto Yam-kuen and Yip himself)! Fate and Destiny play an important role in the patchwork narrative, though such philosophical musings are quickly submerged beneath a tide of CGI effects and wire-fu combat sequences (choreographed by Poon Kin-gwan), including a remarkable fight between Tse and Fong in a swimming pool which rings the changes on an old formula, in no uncertain terms.

However, the film exists primarily as a vehicle for its leading men, both of whom are rendered beautiful by Poon Hang-sang's flattering camerawork and Stephen Tsang's 'Matrix'-style costumes, co-designed by Stephanie Wong. As with so many HK movies of this type, Tse and Fung are given a couple of lackluster romantic interests (Danielle Graham and Rain Li), but Yip focuses primarily on the intense relationship between the film's male protagonists, and their mutual affection is invested with a fair degree of homoerotic pathos. Sam Lee and industry veteran Law Kar-ying are featured in supporting roles, while Yip himself cameos as a doctor.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 06/01/2003

I'm having trouble summarizing the film. In a nutshell, I agree with the positive reviews. This is indeed a refreshing movie. It's not Nic Tse's best performance, but he's still pretty good here. He is by far one of the most promising young actor of his generation. The trenchcoat makes him larger than life cool. As for the action, you can expect well-choreographed fights, mostly in the air.

[7/10]

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: 27jewels
Date: 05/06/2003
Summary: Pretty Good, enjoyable

Take MIB and mix it with traditional chinese superstitions and you get a pretty good film. My only complaint is Danielle. She was terrible, expressionless and vague. Is it so hard to find a talented HK actress these days? But luckily she did not intrude so much to ruin the film but came close. So overall I rate this film quite good and do recommend!


Reviewed by: zarrsadus
Date: 05/27/2002
Summary: Worth the purchase price

Another great movie to come out of HK recently. What hasn't already been said in the other 16 reviews? I'll just continue to back this movie saying I really enjoyed all of it, even pretty-boy Nic Tse who has improved his acting in my opinion, though he always has the aura of cool which any pop star should :P. Speaking of Nic, the movie's theme songs by him, "Let me Die" is also very very good and sad. Featuring Nic singing in English, this song just gets stuck in your head when it plays and has a lasting impact on you, very nice touch. Overall 9/10.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 05/15/2002
Summary: good ghost movie

The use of ghosts is so prevalent in Hong Kong movies that they have almost become a genre all their own. One particular series, Troublesome Night, has spawned 14 films and still continues on. So it would only make sense that film-makers would try and fuse the "ghost" genre with others. 2002 takes the base elements of a ghost movie and combines them with some Matrix-style action. The results are a mixed lot; like many other genre-bending Hong Kong movies, it feels like too much was dissolved out of each genre's part of the formula, and the film feels a bit watered-down as a result.

Nicholas Tse plays a cop with psychic powers (say it with me, he sees dead people) who is the only member of a police squad called 2002. Along with his ghost partner Sam Lee, Nic manages to bust quite a few ghosts and send them to hell for good, with the aid of some unique weapons. However, it is Sam's time to reincarnate, and so Nic must find a new partner, who turns up in the guise of Stephen Fung. The problem is that to do Nic any good, Stephen must be dead, so Nic tries to set Stephen's life in order while still battling a fierce water spirit (Alex Fong), who wants revenge after Nic killed his girlfriend (Anya).

This would make for an interesting take on the ghost genre, but apparently the film-makers decided that this wasn't enough, and so they added in a romantic subplot -- well, actually two of them. The first has Stephen falling in love with a coma victim (Rain Li), and Nic falling for a nurse (Danielle Graham). Problem is, Stephen know he's going to die sours his relationship with Rain, and Nic's carrying of a "death star" marks bad things for anyone he gets close to (how then he can keep a relationship with Law Kar-Ying, who plays a sort of mystical Q from the James Bond movies, is a mystery or just a bad plot hole). I don't mind a bit of romance, but the stuff in 2002 is so heavy-handed, it really grinds the movie down. A good case in point is the climatic fight. It should be exciting, but the use of a cheesy Nic Tse ballad and musical montages really degrades the power of the fight.

On the positive side, the rest of the action in 2002 is well-done. Matrix was definitely an influence -- right down to the leather trenchcoats -- but the style of fighting fits in well with the film, and the CGI is integrated well enough that 2002 doesn't look as fake as some other recent action movies. The young leads also do a good job. Nic Tse and Stephen Fung display their usual winning chemistry, and the supporting cast does a good job as well -- especially Sam Lee, who even though he seems to be fufilling his quota for "goofy sidekick" roles, manages once again to create a very likeable character from next to nothing. Especially surprising is newcomer Danielle Graham. While no one is going to mistake her for Brigitte Lin anytime soon, she does a fine job, thankfully forgoing the Chinglish that seems to be in vogue for young actors in Hong Kong.

Overall, 2002 is an entertaining -- if forgettable -- movie that should satisfy fans of the stars, as well as provide a quick fix for action junkies.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]


Reviewed by: Dyogenez
Date: 05/06/2002
Summary: HK Ghostbusters?

I wasn't expecting much when I went into this, but it turned out to be one of the most enjoyable, and complete movies I've seen lately. Nicholas Tse does not have a large range of emotions in this film. He stays almost static up until the end.

Tse plays a member of a special division of the police force called 2002. This division is not highly endorsed by the force, as they hunt ghosts, which only a few can see. It's important to know (and i'm sure most HK movie buffs would already) that you can burn a paper representation of something to pass it over to the other side. Sam Lee Chan-Sam, alien from Gen-X cops, makes an appearance as Tse's dead partner. 2002 uses life/death parter groups arranged by fate. That is, they start off alive and one will surely be killed off. Not what i'd want to hear in starting a new job ^^ The fighting scenes are well played out, including a pool fight scene, and some amazing stunts from the dead. I'd definetely recommend this one. 9/10

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: annelam
Date: 05/01/2002

Ok, I have to admit I'm not a fan of Nicholas Tse. He's way too snobbish for my taste but all that prejudice aside, this is a decent and recommendable movie. Ok, the guy's got talent. Especially when he's acting as someone who doesn't talk much and acts cool all the time. Or perhaps I think it's an ok movie after watching a few very bad movies from HK this year? Anyway, the story-line is ok, plot isn't too thin and there's certainly flow in the movie. Forget the girls, they're worse than vases and their presence is nothing to shout about. A must watch performance wasn't by Nic but by the veteran Loh Kar Ying. He's pretty hilarious and adds a natural comical aspect to the movie. Although there were much better movies before this one, I'll give this movie a 6/10 thanks to the trash HK came up with recently.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: reelcool
Date: 04/28/2002
Summary: Mumble Jumble

Without going into details, my overall impression of "2002" was, "ehhh... big deal". I say this with some disappointment, because many of my fellow reviewers (who I think are smart film critics) actually thought it was good. Are we that desperate to see a good Hong Kong picture that we are willing to bestow "top marks" for something that is just "ok"? I say put more pressure on these HK filmmakers until they start making "amazing" films, and not just "ok" films.


Reviewed by: senordingdong
Date: 03/31/2002
Summary: Egads! Sam Lee NOT annoying???

Sure, he's only in for about 10 min, but usually his presence on screen for even a micro second causes me to gag in horror. This is probably the only movie where he manages to come off looking cool.


Reviewed by: resdog781
Date: 03/22/2002
Summary: Nic Tse's trenchcoat had it's own foley artist

Basically Nicholas Tse recruits Stephen Fung to the 2002 organization, a ghostbusting unit funded by the HKPD. Hilarity and a couple of fairly well staged CGI laden fight scenes ensue.

It's a pretty cool takeoff of Men In Black and Ghostbusters, but with the usual interesting Chinese takes on some of the gadgets that the agents use to slay evil spirits. I still don't really get the blood-taking-outta-your-finger-and-smearing-the-bullet gun though. Even my dad had a hard time explaining that to me.

Nic Tse as the "veteran" 2002 agent is lookin cool as always. I guess looking like an anorexic 12 years old automatically makes you God in the eyes of millions of teenage chinese girls, but he does look cool in the trench coat. I'll give him that...

Stephen Fung does a pretty good job as "the new guy" assigned to the agency. That whole "help me get up" scene after the first fight could've been a little shorter though.

Sam Lee was okay in his *5 minute role* as Nic's ghost partner. Why'd he get top billing with the other two??

The two chicks were mad cute but didn't have much to do, especially that Rain chick. And I know Danielle Graham was speaking English and they dubbed over her voice. Just let her speak English. Man, I'd love to get her, Jaymee Ong and Kelly Lin together :D Ow-owww!!

Sadly, the "whooshing trenchcoats while fighting effect" utilized by Nic Tse was a little too reminiscent of The Matrix, Blade and a whole bunch of others. But it's hard to be innovative nowadays with the inundation of lameass American flicks that have horribly staged wire fu fights in them. But the fights were still ok if a little on the choppy side.

The old guy who ran the burning hell objects shop was fucking hysterical! He definitely stole the show. Best part was during the last fight when he tries to fight the Water Ghost, but ends up getting his ass handed to him :)

The ending was kinda sketchy too. I won't spoil it, but it was definitely a little too sunny of an ending.

All in all, a pretty damn good popcorn flick. Solid.


Reviewed by: mejones
Date: 03/21/2002
Summary: Thoroughly enjoyable!!

This movie has it all, comedy, action, drama, great special effects, cool fight scenes, and a cast that can be oggled by BOTH sexes! Woo hoo, what more could you want? It's fun fun fun! Ya, and Danton, you're right, Nic plays the "I am the coolest, most beautiful creature you'll ever see" card to it's fullest here, but since he doesn't take himself too seriously you can forgive him. Plus, all the characters have their human side, which is brought out in the romantic interludes Highly recommended!

PS my only small small small complaint about the movie is with Danielle Graham: Okay, I guess she's cute, but she's worse than a flower vase in this! Nic might as well have been acting opposite a spot of air!


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 03/17/2002
Summary: PRetty good

This is a modern day ghost fighting movie!!

The movie starts off with a bang, but i knew it could not sustain the action so the middle part falls into a drama/love story. The ending, well........ok i guess!!

Nicholas Tse does a great job in his role, easily being the stand out of the film. Sam Lee comes close to stealing the limelight, even though he's only in it for a few minutes!!

It's a good step for hk movies to go in this direction. Trying something different turn out good in this result. It made good use of the CGI effects, not over doing it like some other movies.

Even the love story middle part did not put me off the movie. The ending was ok, but a bit predictable. Still worth a look.

7.75/10

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 03/11/2002
Summary: Pretty good 'blockbuster' style movie

Seems like Wilson Yip's two classic low budget personal tales (BULLETS OVER SUMMER & JULIET IN LOVE) were really just a tease for us, and a calling card for the Hong Kong financiers. I guess we're going to be getting big budget Christmas blockbuster Wilson Yip movies for a while. SKYLINE CRUISERS was apparently a bad first effort, but there's no way the talent Yip showed in his earlier movies could just evaporate once the budget went up, and in 2002 he seems to have found his feet. Having Vincent Kok along to write and produce can't have hurt either.

The production values in 2002 are very high, resulting a pretty slick package. The script is clever and smart, though it suffers from some dead time in the middle (this is another movie where I'd be tempted to chop and re-arrange a few scenes if I were a Disney exec - those really annoying flashbacks during the end scene especially). Nic Tse and Stephen Fung give good performances, and Nic especially has never looked cooler. Danielle Graham was a mistake though - yes she's pretty, but she's so clearly dubbed by somebody else it is distracting whenever she speaks. Can't they find pretty girls who speak Cantonese anymore?

Action scenes (in the style of THE MATRIX, as they say) are pretty sparse, but very nicely choreographed and filmed when they occur. The supernatural angle gives them a good excuse for wire-enhancement etc. The special effects aren't as good as in THE AVENGING FIST, but they're still pretty good.

Overall, not as much fun as THE AVENGING FIST, but probably a 'better' movie in the traditional sense (characters, scripts, etc). I think it would do pretty well if somebody decided to release it in the US too, but I don't believe there are any plans for it as yet.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: Sasami
Date: 03/05/2002
Summary: Not bad!

Maybe because I watched this movie with low expectations, I found it much better than I thought it would be.

Stephen Fung and Nic Tse star as a ghostbusting duo who uses sci-fi inspired gadgets to defeat those menacing spectres. The cameradie between these two guys are fun to watch, and resulted in unexpected chuckles from me.

The movie starts out strong with an opening fight sequence, and Nic's transition from old partner Sam Lee to Stephen was interesting (Stephen's terror towards ghosts was especially fun to watch; he has good comic timing).

The pace slacks off though with the appearance of the female interests. I suppose with the double dosage of eye candy for girls in the form of Nic and Stephen, the directors figured they had to put some in for the guys as well. Unfortunately, the girls really weren't given much to work with, and they ended up just getting in the way of the story's flow.

My gripe with the movie though is in its ending, where it totally undermines a basic 'rule' set up from the beginning of the movie. The ending fight sequence fares much better than the plot; they were quite entertaining to watch. Tactful use of CG made the action realistic, and wire work made decent fighters of these two guys.

All in all, a recommended movie, granted that the viewer doesn't go into it thinking he/she is going to view a masterpiece.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 03/05/2002
Summary: Average

I held back from this at first, as Nick Tse to me is one of the most annoying people in Hong Kong, but by judging from what people have told me over the last few months, I finally gave it a chance. Plus the fact that the name of the film is lame as hell, and was begging for commercial success with a name like 2002. But I was pleasantly surprised how good it was.

When I say 'good' I don't really mean generally, but more in comparison to Nick Tse, Steven Fung & Wilson Yip's previous works. It is quite entertaining, though I would still say that it is not much better than the likes of films such as Gen X Cops, which I only view as an average film.

Overall, it's not too bad, but these kids still need to grow up a bit as I still want to see if any of them are capable of REALLY acting.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: sarah
Date: 02/26/2002
Summary: Dynamic Duo

Having observed with interest the teaming of Nic Tse Ting Fung and Stephen Fung Tak Lun, I found this latest installment very entertaining. Nic is looking magnificent. People who say he only succeeds through nepotism are ignoring his unbelievably photogenic features and an incendiary screen presence, both of which are fully realised here. I have to admit though, I prefer Stephen Fung. IMO he will be one of the biggest stars of the 21st Century. This boy has the kind of IT you have to be born with (no suprise his mother is an old school kungfu star). Both of them have acting in their genes. The other things they have in common are intelligence, and the ability to infuse emotion into their performances. These features mean that they totally supercede the previous generation (Ekin, Aaron etc) in such a way that it gives me hope for the future. At first I found Stephens' hair and persona in this film a bit dissappointing but on repeated viewings I have come to appreciate both much more. Of all the films I have seen these two in, this one makes the most use of their natural rapport and together with a rather original interpretation of the genre this makes for a very amusing film. It is the most I have laughed since I last watched a Sing Jai movie. Sam Lee makes an excellent ghost and that makeup does wonders for his already precipitous cheekbones. It is a shame they wasted so much time on romancing those insipid girlies and didn't do more of the fighting each other hammer and tong that livened up the last reel ( I loved Stephen Fungs "I'm now a baddy" grimace). I hope we can look forward to a few sequels.


Reviewed by: bastardswordsman
Date: 02/19/2002

After the brilliance of BIO-ZOMBIE, BULLETS OVER SUMMER and JULIET IN LOVE, Wilson Yip was fast becoming one of my favourite directors. Then he was courted by Golden Harvest and their big budgets and the travesty named SKYLINE CRUISERS was released in 2000. So, with expectations lowered significantly, even more so since reading unfavourable reviews, 2002 was something of a pleasant surprise.

It boils down to a hybrid of MEN IN BLACK and the old HK vampire films, but brings more than enough of its own originality to satisfy this Saturday night viewer. Nic Tse plays up the cool a bit too much, but he and Fung are pleasant collective screen presence as usual. The scenes of Law Kar Ying at his paper (the variety sculpted and burned in offering to the dead) shop were brilliant, he steals the show in 2002. The action is expertly handled, the effects are convincing and not over-used and there's even the hint of Wilson Yip humour breaking through the studio boundary.

The cons? As with other reviews here, it has to be the pathetic love story put into the script for no apparent reason, except to cast some women. It could have been handled better, at least more plausibly.

Not exactly what one would ideally want from Wilson Yip, but this is nothing short of good, clean fun. These HK sci-fi/Hollywood-style pics I usually hate with a passion, but I can't really find much to moan about here - this is much better than the hollow rubbish usually offered by the Hollywood no-brainers.

Refreshing.


Reviewed by: Blue_Shadow
Date: 02/18/2002
Summary: Heaps GOOD!

I don't know what others thought of this movie but I reckon it was heaps good. The film had a good storyline and the characters really added some style to the film.

Personally, I thought Nicholas Tse did an amazing job. He played his character so well and it shows that he is one of the best young actors today. I reckon this is one of his best three performances along with Y&D The Prequel and Metade Fumaca. Stephen Fung was also quite good. But I don't think he shows as much life in his character as Nicholas. Sam Lee, like many said, nearly stole the limelight as Nicholas' ghost friend and partner in the beginning of the film before he went to reincarnate. Danielle Graham did an OK job but this is the first I've seen her, and I must say that is one cute face. Rain Li hardly had an impact in the film as she spent most of it in the hospital bed in a coma.

Overall, I loved the film. The fighting scenes looked good. The film also had style and kept many curious to know the ending. Nicholas was enough to make this a winning film....definitely recommended for Nic and Stephen fans or just anyone who likes something cool, classy with a mix of fighting and twisting romance. 10/10.

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 02/11/2002

Reuniting the 3 young male stars from the original Gen X Cops movie (Sam Lee, Stephen Fung, and Nic Tse), Wilson Yip has put together a Christmas blockbuster that is actually quite entertaining and fun to watch. Unlike some recent big budget efforts like Avenging Fist or Legend of Zu that were hampered by poor scripts and characters who almost disappeared behind an indiscriminate overuse of CGI FX, this film actually manages to find just the right balance between telling a story that engages the audience, presenting characters that are likable and that you can root for, and enhancing (rather than dominating) the fight sequences with digital effects.

The story premise is interesting - a supercool and supersecret special police unit called 2002 pairs a living detective (Nic Tse) with a ghost (Sam Lee) to fight supernatural crimes. Kind of like Ghostbusters meets X-Files meets Men in Black. All of this is presented without having to resort to pages of expositionary dialogue (which is what killed Avenging Fist and LoZ). Instead, it is revealed gradually and in a very natural way. Good storytelling. The characters are well fleshed out (for this type of movie, anyway) and they have interesting back stories. For example, before Sam died and became a ghost, Nic and Sam were partners in real life. Unfortunately, Nic is under the influence of a death star (kind of like Ekin in A Man Called Hero) which makes him a really lonely guy, because he believes he will cause the death of everyone he loves. That does not do wonders for your love life...

After about 20 minutes, Sam disappears from the movie (time for him to reincarnate) and Nic has to find a new partner. Lo and behold, Stephen Fung shows up as a traffic cop who displays all the supernatural signs of dying soon, which makes him the perfect choice to become Nick's next ghost partner. They sign him up, without telling him that he's about to die. Feeling guilty, Nic tries to get Stephen together with the girl of his dreams to make his last days among the living a little more rewarding...

Nic himself, is smitten by a nurse he keep bumping into, except that there's that death star thing, so what's he gonna do? And then there's a pretty nasty water demon who wants to take revenge for the loss of his girlfriend, a fire ghost played by the lovely Anya who was fried by Stephen and Nic earlier on. Soon things come to a head: Will the demon exact his revenge? Can the heros' love interests be saved? Will Stephen live or die? Will Nic escape his death star?

The movie presents all of this at a brisk pace, and while there is some lag during the middle part with the focus mainly on the two romantic subplots, the film never becomes boring, and the final reel offers a more than rewarding payoff. The fights are refreshing in that they actually rely mainly on human stunt work. Despite the fact that neither Stephen or Nic are martial artists, they do an excellent job, and the fights are presented with straightforward camerawork, without the jerky MTV-style editing that Andrew Lau used in Avenging Fist. The wirework is very well done, and the CGI FX used are discrete and they support the action on screen rather than dominate it. I haven't enjoyed HK screen fights this much in a long time.

The actors do a good job. Rain Li doesn't have much to do other than lie in bed and look pretty (she's in a coma for most of the movie), Anya has only one scene (which is a highlight of the movie) and Danielle Graham is adequate. But obviously, the focus is on the fellas: Sam Lee is always a pleasure to watch, but he disappears after 20 minutes. This is really Stephen Fung's and Nic Tse's movie. Stephen has shown himself to be a talented actor, and he comes through here again, creating a very believable character and then managing to turn his character completely around in the final reel. Nic Tse - well, what can you say about Nic Tse? He indulges himself in teen idol mannerisms to a degree that makes Andy Lau or Ekin Cheng during their heyday pale in comparison. Nic is indeed a walking caricature of a teen idol, so judging him on his acting is perhaps the wrong appraoch. His performance should be measured purely in terms of drool factor, and I'm certainly not equipped to know what makes girls drool about him. But I can say he carries of what is essentially a pretty ludicrous character with a certain charm and coolness that never becomes too annoying (because he never takes himself to serious), and he is certainly more fun to watch than EkinDiorNoodle Cheng's hair acting...

All around, I would give this film a warm recommendation.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 01/17/2002
Summary: Minor comeback for Wilson Yip.

After Wilson Yip shattered our high hopes for him with the mess that was Skyline Cruisers last year, and especially after 2002 received generally mediocre advance word, I had low expectations for the film. Thankfully, they were exceeded.

Since nobody else has reviewed the film, I guess I better take a crack at the (somewhat thin) plot. Nicholas Tse and Sam Lee (as man and ghost, respectively) are a ghost-hunting police unit called 2002. For reasons that escape me, Sam Lee disappears from the movie when Tse recruits wannabe Stephen Fung. Ghost-busting and the requisite romantic interests ensue.

As you can see right off, the movie has a couple of glaring flaws. First of all, the man-ghost thing was cool; so why did they dump it after 20 minutes? And second, the romantic interests are really pretty gratuitous. The thing is, Yip does a good enough job with them that they aren't painful or ludicrous; (see The Avenging Fist, for instance)they just don't really need to be in what should be a non-stop fun movie. If Yip wants to make a romantic movie about spirits and fate, then he should by all means do it, but it didn't need to take up so much screentime. Really, there isn't that much ghost-busting going on at all in the middle of the movie, and the one ghost who emerges as "the bad guy" has so little motivation or personality that it's hard to get too involved with the conflict.

On the other hand, the movie moves along at a good clip, and despite the fact that the romantic scenes are unnecessary, there wasn't really a single scene in the film I had major problems with or was bored by. Technically, the film is pleasing, with some of Wilson Yip's most polished-looking work yet, and good use of decent special effects, which, unlike in some movies, are kept under control and not allowed to dominate the film. The ghost-busting ideas are fun, when they do put in an appearance, and I like films like this that portray ghosts as a wide-ranging group rather than all as malicious spirits.

When 2002 was over, I was left a little unsatisfied; I felt that the movie should've been more, I don't know, fun? For a Christmas-season blockbuster, the movie lacks a lot of noise and flash in the middle. But lowered expectations saved the day once again, and overall I can give the movie a qualified recommendation.