Gen-Y Cops (2000)

The RSI attack robot fires a missile!
The RSI attack robot fires a missile!

Directed by Benny Chan and written by Kiu-Ying Chan, Kiu-Ying Chan and Bey Logan, this Hong Kong film stars Edison Chen, Stephen Fung, Sam Lee, Paul Rudd and Maggie Q.  It was released in the USA as a Syfy Original Film on the Syfy Channel in 2002,  under the misleading title JACKIE CHAN PRESENTS: METAL MAYHEM. (Jackie Chan did have a cameo in GEN-X COPS, which GEN-Y COPS is a sequel to, but he doesn’t appear in this movie).

Gen-Y Cops!
Gen-Y Cops!
Maggie Q is Agent Quigley
Maggie Q is Agent Quigley

Undercover cops Match (Fung), Alien (Lee) and Edison (Shen) have to deal with a group of villainous tech guys out to steal the prototype American RS1 attack robot during an international military technology exhibition in Hong Kong, but Edison is injected with a hypnosis drug by former hacker friend Kurt, which compels him to take part in the theft of the American robot. Now the Hong Kong cop trio must attempt to recover the stolen robot whilst avoiding a bunch of trigger-happy FBI agents, led by Agent Curtis (Rudd), who believe Edison is a willing participant in the heist. Fortunately for the Gen-Y Cops, Jane Quigley (Q), another FBI agent dealing with the case, starts to believe Edison is innocent.

At first Agent Curtis tends to shoot first and ask questions later
At first Agent Curtis tends to shoot first and ask questions later
Curtis tries to stop Edison from escaping... by attempting to shoot him, of course!
Curtis tries to stop Edison from escaping… by attempting to shoot him, of course!
FBI agents played by Paul Rudd, Maggie Q and Mark Hicks 
FBI agents played by Paul Rudd, Maggie Q and Mark Hicks 

This sequel to GEN-X COPS (1999) begins with a demonstration of the RS1’s powers back in the USA, where it withstands flames and heavy machine gun fire, can hit flying objects with pinpoint accuracy… and can delicately pick up a piece of tofu with its metal fingers (I’m sure that last ability will always come in useful for an attack-bot!) The RS1 does get momentarily hacked, however, though this doesn’t prevent the FBI from concluding it’s still safe to take this lethal killing machine to Hong Kong for the military tech show.  

The RS1 deploys its rocket launcher
The RS1 deploys its rocket launcher
Richard Sun hams it up a bit as villainous hacker Kurt Lee
Richard Sun hams it up a bit as villainous hacker Kurt Lee

The technology exhibition show itself is wittily handled, introducing such robots as Hong Kong’s D1010, which can predict lottery numbers and is repeatedly mistaken for a trash can, France’s Jerry L robot, which gets its head ripped off in a fight with RS1, and China’s Tung Fung robot, which loses one of its arms during a display and is mockingly referred to as a ‘One-Armed Boxer’.


The RS1's extendable hand grabs the Jerry L robot's neck and wrenches its head off!
The RS1’s extendable hand grabs the Jerry L robot’s neck and wrenches its head off!
DVD sleeve
DVD sleeve

GEN-Y COPS has its fair share of lowbrow humour, including the moment idiotic cop Alien scrapes his dandruff into the FBI’s coffee cups, and any hope the film has of being taken seriously is severely hampered by the fact the protagonists, especially Alien, come across as borderline buffoons much of the time, with scenes of them accidentally blowing up a car and giggling like schoolboys preventing them from even remotely resembling professional law enforcement officers.

Alien, played by Sam Lee, is a hyperactive, brainless fool in much of this movie
Alien brushes some of his dandruff into the coffee he's going to give the FBI...
Alien brushes some of his dandruff into the coffee he’s going to give the FBI…

The script makes an effort to use a lot of English dialogue, written by Bey Logan, though it tends to depend too much on generic terms like “hey, man” and “goddamn it’,  but the movie does finally kick into gear, proving to be a pleasing, amusing sci-fi-tinged actioner, with robot rampages, shots of the heroes diving in slow motion from explosions and a full body burn stunt during the finale.

A typical piece of Hong Kong-style car stunt action
A typical piece of Hong Kong-style car stunt action

Mainly brought to life via practical effects, the RS1 has a Transformers-like head and looks really rather good onscreen, using a rocket launcher, machine guns, a flamethrower and even an extendable fist to wreak havoc wherever it goes. It’s a shame, then, that a showdown with the Tung Fung robot at the end uses low grade CGI to create the Chinese automaton.

The Tung Fung robot and the D1010, which is better at predicting lottery numbers than fighting!
The Tung Fung robot and the D1010, which is better at predicting lottery numbers than fighting!
Tung Fung faces-off against RS1
Tung Fung faces-off against RS1

GEN-Y COPS gets an unduly bad rap from many reviewers, but it’s a mindlessly enjoyable, throwaway flick that boasts gunfights, flashbacks involving a man dressed as a lobster, kung fu skirmishes, a fun cameo by Anthony Wong as a mainland Chinese scientist, and a decent robot antagonist. Plus, there’s the added pleasure of seeing a youthful Paul Rudd go from potential adversary to good guy, take part in some Hong Kong-style fighting and even speak a little Cantonese!

Rudd takes part in a kung fu fight on some shipping containers
Rudd takes part in a kung fu fight on some shipping containers
One of the flashbacks in which Edison recalls a fight with a man-sized lobster!?
One of the flashbacks in which Edison recalls a fight with a man-sized lobster!?

My advice is to put your brain on hold and revel in the colourful nonsense.

The RS1
The RS1
Also known as Jackie Chan Presents Metal Mayhem
Also known as Jackie Chan Presents Metal Mayhem

The RS1 robot was made by Global Effects (Chris Gilman, Brian Bero, Jeff Jingle and Skip Wilder), who created one puppeteered robot, plus a costume. This suit was then repurposed/ remade for use as Chris Gilman’s ‘Protocop’ costume in KISS KISS BANG BANG (2005).

Nice lookin' robot
Nice lookin’ robot

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