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2000 A.D. (2000)

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Starring:

-Aaron Kwok
-Phyllis Quek
-Daniel Wu

Synopsis:

(Note: debatable spoiler here) Peter is just a young entrepreneur who enjoys video games, computers, and the like. When his brother comes from America, he is siezed as the U.S. accuses him of being a spy. He is about to tell the Americans about his work with TDK, a company who recently lost one of their top men when a major airliner was shot down, but is assasinated by a sniper during transit. Peter must discover what his brother was involved in and finds a conspiracy to use computer bugs to ruin the economy in Asia.

Review:

2000 A.D. is a great example of what a big-budget action/conspiracy movie can be when its done right. It's applicable to modern times, has character that viewers relate to, an interesting plot, and some great action. It's a great example of what a blockbuster action movie can be without feeling empty and manufactured.

One of the greatest things about 2000 A.D. is the characters. Maybe being a gamer and a computer guy of about the same age, this is amplified, but I was totally hooked to the main characters. They were my type of guys. They were regular guys, too. I could really identify with them. Even if you don't match the age and interest demographic of our protagonists, you should still appreciate their down-to-earth personalities and the situation they get caught up in.

The plot does get somewhat convoluted at points, and at times openly tries to drive home a point about information warfare being the warfare of the future. But, neither of these aspects is overwhelming. The plot is very interesting, though, as we see a regular guy get pulled into a huge situation and start uncovering a conspiracy. He's going to have to know where to place his trust and stay determined in his mission. Slowly, more and more of what is going on is revealed until we are the climax, where the final piece of the conspiracy is revealed leading to a fairly exciting climax. It starts out a bit slow, but once it cranks up - this movie locks you in.

The performances here were pretty solid. Aaron Kwok and Daniel Wu nailed their characters. I enjoyed their interaction, joking with each other, giving each other advice etc. They portrayed their relationship well. James Lye, as a Singaporean agent following Peter's travels, is extremely charismatic and appealing for a character with such limited screen time. A smaller role, with Francis Ng as the lead Hong Kong agent on this case, is quite cool with his determined, but calm and laid-back demeanor. Most of the other supporting characters fill their roles well, too. Only a couple of the white actors leave a little something to be desired (not terribly uncommon in HK movies), and even then - they still aren't as bad as the horrible white actors in "Who Am I?" and "Hot War".

Action is also excellent here. Most of it is comprised of shootouts, handled well, not going too far in the slow-mo John-Woo ripoff direction or the shaky-camera documentary style direction. It's straightforward solid shootout action, captured well. There is also some solid hand-to-hand combat at times, with lots of use of environment and, yet again, slick camerawork. One cool effect to note in the action scenes is the purple tinted images during the most extreme, death-filled parts of some shootouts. It really captures the right mood for that particular moment and adds to the tension.

2000 A.D. is what good action movies are. It's got great characters, a solid plot, and some great action. It's stylish in that recent big-budget HK production type of way, but doesn't push that stylishness in your face too much, as some films will. This is definitely one of the best action movies to come out of Hong Kong in recent years and goes to show that not all of the new big-budget HK action movies have to be "soul-less".

Director:

-Gordon Chan

Language/Cuts:

-Original Cantonese/English language.

Grade:

B+

Pictures: