China Strike Force (2000)
Reviewed by: Trigger on 2001-11-20
Summary: Mindlessly Entertaining.
I liked this film. The comparisons to Gen-Y Cops are going to litter this review... Not that it's the same as that film, but there are a few similarities. Half of this film is in English and unlike Gen-Y Cops, the english spoken here is natural and appropriate. Marc Dacascos turns out a great performance as a bad guy alongside Coolio of all people. Coolio wasn't bad either. It's a stupid, mindless action flick and to take it seriously would be a mistake. This film delivers on the action - there's some really great stunts in it. It's not a CGI laiden film, which is good as I am getting sick of computer effects. I wouldn't put this film in my top 10 HK action flicks, but it's probably in the top 20 maybe 15.

It doesn't really matter what China Strike Force is about, because if you watch a film like this and focus on the plot too much - you'll be shaking your head. It's alot like a Jackie Chan film, but without a Jackie Chan. Basically it's about Coolio shipping drugs into China and the cops who try to stop it. The pacing for this film is sporatic and it drags at times just as much as it explodes into an action fury. Overall though - it's easy to follow and somehow manages to keep your attention (mine anyway). The acting is decent for an action film and the characters are interesting enough - although there's nobody to really root for except for the 2 supercops who deliver sometimes stiff performances and don't really offer much personality.

The film's ending is amazingly stupid, but it's still entertaining nonetheless. Nothing any more outrageous than what can be seen in the US release Con Air. There are a few other stunts that defy gravity and believeability, but yet I still enjoyed watching nonetheless.

The DVD is great - the transfer is clean, but a little washed out - I had to adjust my TV a little. It's about on par with the Tokyo Raiders HK release. The sound is great too - it includes Cantonese DD5.1 AND DTS & Mandarin DD5.1 AND DTS. I watched in Cantonese DTS. The DTS was great - it was very powerful and clear. I think the source was analog though because during very quiet scenes you could hear a little tape-hiss. It's still the best way to listen. They know how to do DTS mixes over there. The subtitles are a little small, but very clear and appear inside the "Black Bars" for the most part leaving the image alone. The subtitles are fairly accurate, except for when they subtitle what Coolio says - it's hilarious to read what they thought Coolio was saying. That's another thing - they still haven't figured out to NOT subtitle english dialogue. Marc Dacascos speaks english better than I do and Coolio is easier to understand than the subtitles would have you believe. They totally misinterpret about half of what he says. It's funny... It also includes a Making Of featurette - some of which is in english and some of which is in Cantonese (not subtitled - grr). It's basically clips from interviews strewn together in front of an ambiant soundtrack and mixed in with clips from the film and some behind the scenes footage. There's also an action sequence that never appeared in the film (and it should have! - WOW)... some of it is informative and some of it is interesting... it's pretty standard, but a good addition nonetheless. The cover is printed on shiny metallic paper also which looks kinda cool.

I have to highly recommend this disc - it's not the best film, but it's certainly a must-have. Some people haven't liked it, but I was certainly not disappointed. It's a stupid action movie - but I don't watch action movies to learn about the world - I watch them to be entertained. This film delivers and it's not so stupid that you can't enjoy it (like Gen-Y Cops).

Reasons to own this disc:
1. The DVD is fantastic
2. Marc Dacascos kicks ass!
3. Coolio doing kung-fu
4. Unbelievable car chase scene that blows away the formula racing on city streets scene in Stallone's Driven
5. Because I said so.

Ratings:
Movie - 7.9
DVD - 8.2
Seen on: DeltaMac DVD

Highly Recommended

Reviewer Score: 8