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雷霆戰警 (2000)
China Strike Force

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 07/30/2007
Summary: shiny shite farce...

darren (aaron kwok) and alex (wang lee-hom) are members of a special unit of the shanghai police, who get involved with the ma family, after one of their men is killed at a fashion show. it seems that ma's nephew, tony (mark dacascos) is trying to break the family's 'no drugs' policy, teaming up with the american drug lord, coolio (err, played by coolio), to flood china with drugs.

well, this is a very strange film, which i've been wanting to watch for the last couple of years, just to see if it is as fantastically bad as i'd heard. i was not let down.

stanley tong attempts to create a hong kong action movie with international appeal, but actually manages to craft a huge turkey of a film. the plot is a real 'by numbers' affair, with very few suprises; although, due to the poor script and performances, it is often quite difficult to tell whether people are trying to be witty, sarcastic, serious or threatening, which makes it that little bit more fun. scattered throughout the film are an array of very watchable action sequences: there's some genuinely exciting, high quality stuff and some pretty ridiculous moments, featuring the least subtle use of wires that i've ever been witness to.

still, who doesn't want to see a chase featuring a lamborghini and an f1 car in the streets of shanghai or coolio, aaron kwok and noriko fujiwara fighting on a huge piece of glass, suspended from a crane thirty floors above the ground? weird people, that's who. kwok has always been one of the former pop stars who looks like he could cut it as a half-decent screen fighter, and he manages to do a reasonable job here, unlike the heavily doubled coolio. mark dacascos, who seems doomed to be the star of b-movies, shows some of his physical / martial arts skills and his lack of charisma and acting talent.

still, it may be harsh to critique the dreadful acting, when they hardly have the best material to work with. for example, every scene featuring coolio, begins with him saying "damn, i gotta get me one of these / i could get used to this" (strip bar, ancient palace, nice house, bath house etc etc etc) and usually contains the line "shit, we don't have nothing like this in south central". there's also a constant exchange of friendly racist jibes between coolio and dacascos, which don't really help the film. well, they do make it more unintentionally hilarious...

basically, this film is a big fat faliure but, it fails so gloriously, it is a joy to watch: i think i had a smile on my face from start to end. and, to give it its dues, there is some good action, amongst the not-so good action.

recommended to every fan of craptastic cinema...

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 02/17/2004
Summary: Very poor

CHINA STRIKE FORCE is the poster child for the disastrous attempt the Hong Kong film industry made in the early 2000s to achieve more "international" appeal - notably to sell the film to US markets, which is why it is filmed in English, but you also have a Taiwanese singer and a Japanese model in the cast to try to appeal to those markets. This kind of calculated marketing driven film-making process is just not what Hong Kong film-makers do well (leave that to Hollywood boys), and the result is a grand disaster of a film that I can't imagine appealing to *anybody*, whatever their nationality.

The primary culpit is the script, which fleshes out a paper thin and utterly generic plot with terribly inane dialogue, delivered in poor English by a cast for who the language is mostly not a natural choice (and I include Coolio in that ). As a result it's hard for the acting not to be utterly dreadful, even if the cast *were* made of people who actually could act in their native language. I'm not sure how the spurious racism sprinkled through the script was meant to increase international appeal either.

The film's one saving grace is the action scenes, which Stanley Tong *does* know how to direct. There's a few moments of greatness to be found in these scenes, especially the finale set atop a pane of glass precariously suspended hundreds of floors above the ground (for whatever reason). This scene is almost worth the price of a rental by itself. If the film had just been a string of action scenes like this it might have been a significant guilty pleasure, but unfortunately these scenes are too few to really redeem an otherwise awful film.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 09/19/2003

One of the oldest gags in a police movie is the "good cop, bad cop" routine. You know, where one cop acts like a jerk and the other like a buddy to get the suspect confused. That's kind of what this movie felt like. There are some parts of this movie that are great -- Hong Kong action at its finest -- but there are others that are so horrible that by the end of the film, I honestly didn't really know what to think about it.

The good bits? As you might expect, it's the action. There are a few sequences that rank among some of the best to come out of Hong Kong from the past few years. My personal favorites are a car chase between a Lambroghini and a Formula 1 race car that goes over, around and through a slew of oncoming traffic, and the ending fight, which takes place on a pane of glass dangling off the end of a skyscraper. It was really refreshing seeing a big-budget Hong Kong action film that didn't depend on CGI like many recent movies -- it even has the wince-inducing blooper reel to prove it. I also enjoyed Noriko Fujiwara, who is not only extremely easy on the eyes (if a pretty girl could be considered "eye candy," then she's the equivalent of a double-dipped mocha chocolate fudge cake), but puts a good turn during the action bits as well.

Now for the bad part, which sadly starts with poor Ms. Fujiwara. Most of her role is in English, and her English is horrible. Honestly, I would just rather have her voice dubbed in -- or, hell, just have her speak in Japanese since we're reading subtitles anyhow -- rather than try and put up with her attempts to mangle the English language. The bad "Engrish" bug also strikes most of the other Asian actors as well, Aaron Kwok (as should come as no surprise with his track record) being the most prominent victim. The scenes with him and Noriko flirting are painful to watch. Speaking of painful, why the hell is Coolio in this movie? All I can figure is that he must have been staying at Stanley Tong's house and they needed a villain. His attempts at acting are just pathetic, and it's not like he's reciting Shakespeare or anything. His catchphrase for the movie is "Yo man, I could get used to this shit," which he repeats every time he's on the screen.

As I said before, I really don't know how to rate this movie. The action sequences are great (representing what Hong Kong films do best), but the rest of the movie is utter crap, highlighting everything wrong with recent Hong Kong pictures, right down to a simple plot hampered by an overconvoluted script (Tokyo Raiders, anyone?). China Strike Force is worth a look if you're a hardcore action junkie, but if you want some substance, decent acting or a coherent script, then look elsewhere.

Reviewed by: intotherain
Date: 05/29/2002
Summary: English and Shanghai

Shanghai is one of the two main locations in this film. As a location, Tong overused the PuDong New Area and skyscrapers and omitted the city's famous old districts though.

Interesting, though, are comments referring to use of English.

There is a whole second generation of HK entertainment stars who have spent most of their lives in Canada or the USA.

It's not clear whether this is the new face of HK or just the HK version of Hollywood's 'Brat Pack' - most of whom have short careers.

But, these stars are native speakers of American English. Edison Chan, of Gen Y Cops fame, is famous in China for having poor Chinese. Earlier 'imports' often suffered the same. Christy Chung (from Canada) was mercilessly dubbed at first.

China Strike force has both sides of the story. Wang Lee Hom, and more obviously, Mark Dacascos and Coolio, are native speakers with USA accents.
Aaron Kwok and Norika Fujiwara are English students.

Hong Kong productions are also famously under (or non-) scripted.

China Deadly Strike Force is at the same level as other Genre Action Films and is an interesting showcase of recent trends in the HK action scene too.

Reviewed by: Dyogenez
Date: 05/09/2002
Summary: Strike Out

After reading reviews of this film, I wasn't expecting too much. It was disappointing just how bad some of the acting was, but usually my attention was too drawn to the action to notice. As far as action goes, there are a number or times where I laughed out loud at a 'miraculous' event staged through wired or other devices that could not happen. One such stunt was a motorcycle chasing down and getting on top of a small van by simply being behind it and going up the back vertically. It then jumps from the van to the top of a double decker bus, but thats another story.

Coolio, played by himself, is the villain in this film. He is selling drugs to Ma and family. The jokes
between him and Ma's son had me laughing, such as "I love China, it's like one big buffett to me!" or "I used to think black guys could just sing, dance and play basketball, but you're pretty smart.. even for one of them." Also the fact that so much of that is in english made it fun to watch how many mistakes they make.

As far as fight scenes go, it was lacking anything drawn out. Most scenes are over before I could even get into them. The final fight in the film, however, was drawn out the most, and with a surprisingly original gimic. The 2 stars of the movie and Coolio are hanging on a suspended glass window outside a skyscraper. They cannot go too far to one side or it will tip and they would all slide off. I found this one fun to watch. As far as orignal plot and good acting goes, this fails though. 6.5/10.

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 04/14/2002
Summary: Average

Trying too hard for commercial success, that would explain why so many people have reviewed this one. It's certainly not too bad, and the action scenes are very enjoyable, but some are too far fetched to really get into.

Unfortunatly, compared to other movies like this, it's not very good, and could recommend many others instead.

Rating: 2.5/5

Reviewed by: danton
Date: 01/03/2002

With the notable exception of Bare-Footed Kid and Saviour of the Soul, I tend to dismiss anything that stars Aaron Kwok, so my expectations were pretty low to begin with, especially considering all the negative reviews out there. As many have noted, this is indeed a sometimes almost embarassing attempt to pander to Hollywood, from the mainly English dialogue to the casting choices (Coolio? What the hk$#%k!).

The storyline is pretty forgettable and really only serves one purpose, i.e. glue together a series of action setpieces. However, the final action scene, set on a hanging glass plate on top of a skyscraper, with the three antagonists simultaneously fighting each other and trying to keep the plate balanced is so original and stunning it almost saves the whole movie. I can't truly recommend this one, but that last scene was indeed great and makes you wish Stanley Tong had been as inspired with the rest of the movie.

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

Movie - 7.9
DVD - 8.2
Seen on: DeltaMac DVD

Highly Recommended

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 09/09/2001

Simply put, China Strike Force is just not very good. The action and stunts are respectable. Although I haven't seen Jackie Chan's Super Cop in years, I found references to stunts performed in that movie. Stanley Tong is a good director, and his planned stunts are always more or less inspiring, but that's just about the only good thing in this film.

Let's star with the acting. The only movie where Aaron Kwok doesn't fail miserably trying to prove he can act is Storm Riders. That's perhaps because he did not really have to act so much. The personalities of the character and Kwok were perfectly matched: stiff, serious, and cool. But his acting in this movie is about as bad as it gets. The unthinkable would be Leon Lai gave a better performance in any movie. And Kwok certainly isn't the only one who sucked here. In fact, the whole cast was mediocre. Ruby Lin and Noriko weren't bad, which was strongly supported by their beautiful physical apparences. I can't really enjoy a movie that seems so fake with acting so unconvincing, and I'm sure I ain't the only one.

Next, the plot, not like it had one. I'm tired of using the same old line that I could make a better story, so let's just leave it at this: anyone could have made a better story. There is absolutely nothing new or interesting in this film.

The music. Did they really think using American RAP would be more effective than even folk/revolutionary music? Come on, you've gotta have some ORIGINALITY! I guess it is slightly better than completely duplicating from another film, but hearing half of Koolio's album in a HK music just does not work.

The dialogues. Did somebody say MANDARIN? The version I saw had 3 civilains shouting "HEY" in Shanghai, and those were the only 3 seconds of Mandarin spoken in the entire film. Half of the dialogues is spoken in Cantonese and the other in English, which is ok, though of course it would have been better in Mandarin.

No originality... that's a big problem with HK movies these days.


Reviewed by: GenXcops_Jack
Date: 08/30/2001
Summary: haven't movie yet, but i bet it sucks

Coolio? aaron kwok? movie must suck. will aaron kwok ever learn to play a charactor with a personality? well, i'm going to buy the movie soon and be back to truly bash the movie then.
oh come on, i love stormriders but u think he had a good performance in a dynamic and challenging role? oh please, stop with the realousy stuff, there are plenty of good actor i like who can act and perfrom in multi diminsional charactors and kwok is not one of them. all u ugly girls should just stop drooling over him cuzz you're not going to get with him. kwok seems like a nice guy, but his acting is still questionable or atleast his roles are not challenging. Stormriders is a good movie and one of my fav's but i dont consider it a classic though. a classic is something like Fly me to polaris or all about all long. GIVE IT UP, judge his work not his ass.


Reviewed by: Souxie
Date: 07/24/2001
Summary: Two heroes in one movie?

What, Mark Dacascos and Aaron Kwok in the same movie? Bargain!!
Great fights, some amusing dialog, and Coolio dies... what else is there? Seriously, although some parts didn't quite gel it yipped along with it's own momentum and got on with it, rarely stopping for breath. The end fight on a huuuuge pane of glass was inspired (and amost funny). Good enjoyable entertainment, not for those who was a thinking movie... Aaron was great, Mark was cool, and Norika was... there too.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: baoshikang
Date: 06/04/2001
Summary: Best HK action movie in ages.

I don't know what's wrong with all these Kwok-haters, like he wasn't in Barefoot Kid, Saviour of Soul, Storm Riders and other classics. Jealousy is an ugly thing. Not an ugly thing is the female lead, who seems to be the first thing anybody mentions who I've talked to about this film. She's definitely going to be a huge star.

CSF is fast-paced and has lots of kung fu, gun fu, and stunts. Also KF fans will notice that Coolio blows away the great Sonny the Scorpion from Operation Scorpio, who thankfully did not die as rumored, even though his career is apparently on life-support. Too bad he didn't get more involved in the action.

Reviewed by: nomoretitanic
Date: 04/23/2001
Summary: Hong Kollywood

Gosh, it sounded like such a good movie. A Stanley "I've Worked with Jackie Chan" Tong feature that star Norika Fujiwara, Mark Dacascos, and Ken "Badass Kicker in Drunken Master II" Lo. There are four major fight scenes in this movie, one of them is a kickboxing duel between Dacascos and Lo and the final battle has this gimmick that involves three fighters fighting on top of a suspended pane that is about 30 floors high, constantly balancing, fighting, and hanging on for dear lives. There are also two car chases in the movie. One of them has a motorcycle chasing a double decker and the other one an F-1 chasing a Ferrari. Oh yeah, there is also an exploding helicopter in this movie.

Okay, now let's talk about the movie that I SAW. The movie was entirely in English and Mandarin Chinese--the English dialogues were actually okay--until Aaron Kwok and Norika started talking. The fight scenes were very wired. Not Crouching Tiger type of wire, not even Iron Monkey wire, GEN-Y COPS WIRE. Most of the fight scenes involve thugs hurtling themselves at Aaron and Wong LeeHong only to be stopped by their lethal gravity defying kicks. Couple of those kicks basically had the actors being dragged around by wires, trying to keep balance and not die.

The kickboxing match between Lo and Dacascos served like a basketball game in those mushy Hollywood buddy movies where they weren't REALLY playing basketball, but rather, talking about their relationships and all that good stuff while dribbling--now replace the dribbling with mid/high section roundhouse kicks and that was China Strike Force. Little choreography went into this, littler acting was there. A lot of closeups on their handsome sweaty faces though.

The final fight scene had our two badass guys Lo and Dacascos killed really early in the scene. The rest was a two on one battle between Coolio that's right Coolio and Aaron and Norika on top of a suspended window pane that is 30 floors high or something. Cheap shots at Aaron would be too easy so I'd leave him alone (plus, he tried his best). Norika, now as pretty as she was, could not fight. She had no timing and kept on missing the cues in the choreography so she made it up by constantly spinning and waving her arms so it looked like she was doing something (if you STILL don't believe me, watch it). While Coolio, our man Coolio, seemed to be in another movie all together, his moves didn't connect and no one was even fighting him. The result seemed more like a seasaw thing than a fight. Just two parties waving their arms and falling off either side of the window pane.

The car chases, let's talk about the car chases. The first one had Aaron on a motorcyle, the bad guy was on a double decker bus, how was Aaron supposed to get on there? Well, apparently the bike had some kinda invisible suction cups because it just kinda CLIMBED onto a van--Aaron leaned back on one wheel and rode it up VERTICALLY. Then he revved his motorcyle and lept onto the double decker--a stunt that would've been cool had they used a competent stunt double pulling it off in one shot, but instead we just saw a montage of hints of what he did--the take off, the jump, the landing...etc, well, plus a cute end credit sequence where they showed you Aaron's attempt at the stunt (he claimed to be the next Jackie Chan several times, no joke) and failing to do so. Aww poor Aaron.
Now the second chase. Again Aaron insisted in being in a F-1 with his face showing, so instead of a cool chase we got basically two scenes put together and they called it a chase. First we see a shot of the Ferrari driving by. Then we cut to the next shot of an F-1 driving by. Yeah both of them are pretty fast, so fast that they could NEVER be seen in one frame. Incredible.
The helicopter explosion, if you've been following this review, you'd know that it's pretty much not what it sounds like, and you're right, it's a computer generated ball of flame. Play any of them helicopter video games and crash on purpose--there you just made a special effects shot.

So there we have it, had Stanley "Mr. Magoo" Tong not try to be Hollywood and had Aaron Kwok and all the other actors NOT try to do their own stunts, we might've seen something pretty cool, but no chance here, sorry guys.

Reviewed by: resdog781
Date: 03/19/2001
Summary: this movie SUCKED

Need I say more? There were only two redeeming qualities to this lump of crap. One was the stunts, some of which were complete ripoffs of The Matrix. But then again, most action stunts are nowadays. The other redeeming quality was Norika Fujiwara, who's so unbelievably hot in this movie, it's not even funny. Pity she can't act worth a damn. Neither can anybody else in this movie, including that joe from the capoeira movie "Only The Strong" (*Michael Wong* acts more asian than this joker), and Coolio, who further depletes himself of any credibility. Is it just me, or did Coolio's career get blown to hell five years ago?? He had like one good song. That's it. At least they could've gotten DMX, who seems to be on a role with these semi-HK action movies in the US now.....

So to sum up the film, Norika is hot. VERY HOT. Thank you. *takes a bow*

Reviewed by: ShinjukuBoy
Date: 03/19/2001
Summary: Wanna Be an American Superstar?

No doubt...the stunts were the best, but the acting sucked big time! Although I was impressed with the chinese's ability to speak english, the delivery was just bad. I'm not an Aaron Kwok fan, however I thought he did the best out of everyone (his english wasn't too shabby either). Norika looked stunning as usual. Casting Coolio was a bad move. He just isn't ghetto enough. Coolio's popularity has sunk to the bottom here in the U.S. (He's been known to perform @ House parties at sad). Regardless Coolio was stuck in a bad position (another actor would have also failed), because he was the only one speaking ebonics, which does not work. You need at least 2 people to get the conversation going. Which then brings up Mark Dacascos. He can't act to save his life. If you ask me...Ruby Lin needed more scenes. Bottom line....if you want action, watch this movie. With the rest of the movie...laugh away.

Reviewed by: reelcool
Date: 03/16/2001
Summary: Blame It On Stanley!

Absolutely unbelievable! This movie makes Director, "Stanley Tong" look like an idiot behind the camera, because there was a rumour out there that he had talent. "Aaron Kwok" - can't blame him, because he never could act anyway. "Noriko Fujwara" - can't blame her, because she looks too dam good. "Coolio" - can't blame him, because he's a minority. "Mark Dacascos" - can't blame him either, because he was the only one who tried.

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 03/12/2001
Summary: Pretty good

I won't say much since there are heaps of review already but this is one of the better action movies i have seen in a while!!
OK, it's back to speaking lots of english again but this time the overall asp[ects of the movie are a lot more polished than most actions movies around right now (Skyline Cruisers, For bad boys only)

You get a feel this is like a hollywood movie, with big explosions and great stunts!! A good cast with Coolio being a bad guy was really unexpected!! How did he even get into production i wonder..........and Noriko Fujiwara is just DAMN hot!! What a perve!!

One of the better movies i have seen this year!!


Reviewed by: jotarou
Date: 03/12/2001
Summary: Really Good Action Flick!!!!!

China Strike Force is a real step forward for the Hong Kong film industry in general. Like Gen-Y Cops it casts experienced english speaking actors and is filmed mainly in English. Unlike Gen-Y Cops, China Strike Force is much more polished in terms of script, special effects, acting and most important of all, action!!

The plot is fairly simple, which is important when it comes to action films. Aaron Kwok plays Darren, an up and coming police officer in China(Shanghai region). His partner, Alex(Leehom Wang) is dating their chief's daughter played by the sexy Ruby Lin who is an up and coming fashion model. These are our heroes. The villains are little bit more interesting. Tony, played by Mark Dascascos is the successor to a Chinese smuggling ring and wants to start bringing drugs in to the Mainland with the help of a drug dealer from LA named Coolio played by well...Coolio. However, Tony's boss, Ma, does not want drugs as a part of their operation. At the suggestion of Coolio, Tony murders Ma and the ball starts rolling. Norika(played by sexy Japanese model Noriko Fujiwara)is an undercover Interpol agent framed by Coolio for the murder of Ma.

The rest of the film concerns Darren uncovering the drug ring and to find out the true colors of Norika whom he develops a crush on(once you see her, you will have a crush also). The plot may sound rather elementary but that doesn't matter considering the key word is action and it does not get much better than this movie. A number of great set pieces include: a foot chase on top of cars, a car chase with a lamborghini and an indy style race car, and the trademark Kung Fu fights of Hong Kong cinema. The climatic action scene is probably one of the best in modern action cinema. Aaron, Norika and Coolio duke it out on a hanging window pane in mid-air!! It has to be seen to be believed!!!

Director, Stanley Tong has made a very slick looking production here. He has directed some of Jackie Chan's and Michelle Yeoh's best work(Police Story 3: Supercop and Project S). His directing style has a very refined Hollywood feel to it but is mixed with the nitro-fire power of Hong Kong action making a potent mix of hand to hand combat and set pieces. After making the abysmal Mr. Magoo for Disney, this film feels like a cry of freedom from director Tong.

The actors all do their jobs well. Since Stanley Tong is a stickler for accuracy, all the Chinese dialogue is in Mandarin rather than Cantonese, since the film takes place on the Mainland. Aaron Kwok has proven himself as a legitimate action star with this picture rather than just another pretty faced pop star. Mark Dascascos is no Anthony Hopkins but he is far better than the normal English speaker in Hong Kong films and his martial arts come off worlds better in this film compared to the straight to video actioners he seems to have been condemned to. I really hope his career moves forward. However the two most impressive thespians of this film are Coolio and Noriko Fujiwara. Coolio delivers all his lines with great urban wit and even does some good Kung Fu work(it might have been a stunt double). Noriko is just plain sexy and oozes charisma as both a cop and femme fatale.

China Strike Force is releasable world wide if studios will just give it a chance and a theatrical release. Unfortunately it has no major Hollywood stars so it might not get that chance. It is for sure going to get a straight to video release and when it is available in your video store please check it out, you won't regret it!!

Reviewed by: Fuck You
Date: 03/07/2001

I really don't know why so many people dislike this film, I think it really good, I think the reason why so many people dislike it it because of the main actor 'AARON KWOK' and not the film itself, I am not a fam of AARON KWOK, but I don't know why some people hate him.
I think people expected this film to be a MASTER just because it Directed by Stanley Tong Gwai Lai, who also directed many great {but not excellent} movies.
So anyway this is a great film, not a excellent but it no where near as bad as the OTHER reviewer said it is, if you haven't seen it I would recommend it highly.

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 03/01/2001
Summary: The Big Empty

"China Strike Force" is the latest Hong Kong cinema candidate to attempt international recognition by using outrageously over-the-top stunts. Stanley Tong, having worked with both Jackie Chan ("Rumble in the Bronx") and Sammo Hung ("Marshall Law"), is the director of this feature, brought in to provide the Hollywood touch. Why does this always translate into pointless action without a plot or story? The Jackie Chan influence is obvious, from the big stunts to the outtakes that appear during the closing credits. But, don't look any further, because there is nothing below the surface. "China Strike Force" is a slam-bang action flick that is all veneer. It lacks the humor and pathos that Jackie and/or Sammo would bring to a film project.

The plot is all over the place and is stitched together to display the over-the-top action set pieces for Aaron Kwok and Mark Dacascos. Tong and Ailen Sit choreograph athletic action scenes. I've often read how some people cannot stand the flying characters in period piece martial arts films, but the wirework in this film was so obvious that I ended up laughing through many of the stunts. Why Tong has been hailed as an up and coming director is beyond me. If this movie is an example of his skills as a director, then he is still in the minor leagues. Maybe he should concentrate on the action and let someone else handle the drama. "China Strike Force" had no tension and no sense of pacing or timing. Everything about this movie was overly ponderous and way too serious. The big stunts are presented at the very beginning and at the end of the film. The middle of the movie is basically a great big boring hole, with little action and some really bad acting and storytelling.

The saving grace of "China Strike Force" is the finale, featuring an amazing hanging window frame stunt. Such stunts were so huge that the rest of the movie paled by comparison and couldn't live up the excess, like coming down from a massive dose of sugar and feeling lethargic. The less said about the acting the better as the international cast looked ill at ease. Overall the film didn't have any sense of fun or genuine excitement. There are too many cooks to blame for making this soupy mess.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: ICU
Date: 03/01/2001
Summary: Not as bad as people say it is.

I just finish watching this movie and I don't know why so many people dislike this film, or is it that they dislike Aaron Kwok? What ever the reason is I think is stupid, I not a fan of Aaron Kwok or his movies, but I have to say that he make this movie watchable, it might not be the best film out this Chinese New Year but it's not that bad. If you are thinking of watching this film don't be put off by the reviewers. Just go ahead and watch it and I think And hopefully you will enjoy as much as I did.

Reviewed by: asianboots
Date: 02/28/2001
Summary: Pathetic!!!

Is it just me or is it a priority nowadays for all HK action films to have the characters speak in English in the most laughable way?? Though I know it is kind of a trend nowadays to have half the movie in English, at least do it right. I'm not bashing this film as part of the whole "Hollywood-deemed for int'l market" chain of action movies. Mind you, I loved 2000AD & Tokyo Raiders. But this film just reeked of laughable lines & idiotic acting. Norika Fujiwhatever played her character like a really bad Charlie's Angel wannabe. All her lines were delivered as if she was in a cosmetic TV commercial. She does have the looks though!!! I've seen her way back in the GTO Japanese film and she was certainly a lot better. It was obvious she was quite uncomfortable with what she was given in this film. I give credit to Mark Dacascos who gives his role some credibility. Coolio is just hilariously bad, trying really hard to act out his "gangsta from Harlem" schtik.

Biggest disappointment is director Stanley Tong. He was touted before as part of the New Wave of HK film filmmakers, injecting Western influences in his films. With this, he did come up with an action movie of Hollywood proportions...a really bad B-movie type.

Saving factor (if there ever was one) were the outtakes at the end showing what HK stunt people will still go through to bring unparalled action compared to others. I consider HK stuntmen similar to awesome special effects in Hollywood. Both need a good story and credible acting to make a film exceptional.

Reviewed by: MilesC
Date: 02/01/2001
Summary: Will they ever learn?

The best thing that can be said about China Strike Force is that it attempts to correct a problem that's plagued these high-budget international action movies: English dialogue and acting. (Of course, there's NO REASON there had to be a WORD of English in this movie.) Hiring Mark Dacascos was a good choice; he can fight, and while he's not a master thespian, he's miles better than the average fighting gwailo. Coolio is... Well, he plays an obnoxious, bigoted idiot; he's a natural. The English script is also much improved, though I can still give it only the mildest of compliments... Most of the English dialogue is positively... Bland!

Now the really bad news... Virtually every minute of the running time that isn't action is complete dead weight. The story is stripped down and provides no tension; minor plot points that might've been exploited for some kind of conflict are wasted. The attempts to add "depth" and "emotion" to the story are literally laughable... I laughed harder than I've ever laughed at a comedy when the sappy music kicks in when Wang Leehon starts "I was raised in an orphanage..." It doesn't help that both he an Aaron Kwok make no impression as either actors or characters. Norika Fujiwara is a surprisingly authentic action actress when she's allowed to do anything... Most of the time, unfortunately, she just shows cleavage. Her sex appeal, in fact, is played up so obviously and shamelessly it's embarrassing.

As for the technical aspects... Well, you have to suffer through the vaunted international soundtrack, which includes a couple of annoying Coolio tracks. The score is otherwise painless but forgetable. The direction is plain... Nothing really wrong with it, nothing special. The brief gunplay is very poorly done, though; I've seen much better in low budget movies.

Which brings us to what could've been the movie's saving grace: the action. Well, don't get your hopes up. Here's a more or less complete rundown of the action scenes:

1)It opens with an unmotivated fight with some gunplay in complete darkness. Even with the brightness on my TV turned up I had no idea what was happening most of the time. Not good.

2)A nice footchase/car chase/fight. Nothing special, but fairly solid. Hard to appreciate on more than a technical level, though.

3)A couple of painful-looking stunts from Aaron, followed by a car chase that consists mostly of two cars driving really fast. Okay.

4) A well-done kickboxing match... Between allies. No a lot of dramatic tension there.

5) The highlight... One reasonably solid fight... Pretty good stuff, but nothing that isn't in a million other HK movies. Followed by some boring stuntwork and a final fight that has a creative gimmick but really not a very interesting fight.

Not much there as you can see. Oh, I forgot to mention... There's 30-40 minutes in the middle with no action, and that's about as good as watching a blank wall.

This movie is a real testament to the invasion of the Hollywood attitude: "all we need to do is spend a lot of money. Actually including something appealing in the movie isn't important." Without Jackie Chan's name and physical skills backing him up, it's painfully obivous that Stanley Tong just isn't a very interesting director. This movie, to put it plainly, sucks.

Reviewed by: Paul Fonoroff
Date: 01/20/2001

In the populous world of Hong Kong martial arts directors, Stanley Tong is someone special. As the man behind Supercop, arguably Jackie Chan’s best film, and First Strike, almost as highly ranked in the Chan pantheon, Tong has shown himself to be a master at juggling intricately choreographed action scenes with just the right amount of plot to keep things flowing. It is a lesson seemingly forgotten in China Strike Force, a spectacular that fails to reach Tong’s previous heights. There are a few breathtaking stunts that will have moviegoers gasping in amazement, but gone is the integration of story and sensation that made Tong’s best work such sublime entertainment.

Granted, idol Aaron Kwok is more noted for his physical beauty than physical prowess. Ditto for singer Wang Leehom who, in his screen debut, proves himself extremely photogenic but still a bit uncomfortable when it comes to acting. It is little wonder when faced with a trite logic-defying script that trots out all the triad drug-running cliches and attempts to place them into a novel Shanghai setting. A heavy dose of contrived sentimentality proves nearly fatal, and is totally unnecessary since so many potentially tongue-in-cheek elements are already in place.

There is Japanese superstar Norika Fujiwara who acquits herself very well as a sexy undercover cop, delivering her English lines with an almost Mae Westian flare. How she manages to hide a computer diskette inside her revealing address will have to remain one of Hong Kong cinema’s unsolved mysteries. Another “fish out of water” is rapper Coolio, who seemingly adlibs his irreverent dialogue and swaggers off with the China Strike Force’s most memorable performance. Although the humour provided by Norika and Coolio is intentional, the filmmakers never seem to realize its full potential and thus miss out on salvaging a scenario in which the action scenes, breathtaking though they may be, come across as inorganic contrivances.

In that respect, no one sequence approaches the inspiration of Michelle Yeoh’s motorcycle ride in Supercop. In terms of sheer wizardry, the grand finale—in which Coolio, Aaron, and Norika battle it out on a glass panel suspended high atop the Shanghai cityscape, a burning luxury car crashing down from a burning helicopter above—proves that Tong is still one of the masters of his craft. In the end, it is a faulty pen that proves the downfall of China Strike Force’s mighty arsenal.

2 1/2 Stars

This review is copyright (c) 2001 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

Reviewed by: ipkevin
Date: 01/11/2001
Summary: Better than expected

China Strike Force is another big holiday blockbuster out of Hong Kong and, like all major HK actioners these days, it's a Hollywood-wannabe. Fortunately, it comes at a time when HK filmmakers have finally figured out how to make a Western-flavoured HK movie. Older Hollywood-goes-Hong-Kong productions like Hot War, Extreme Crisis, and Downtown Torpedoes were awkward exercises in tedium. Bad scripts, bad pacing, bad direction, bad action, bad everything. But with Tokyo Raiders, 2000 AD, and now China Strike Force things are looking up. Sure, these films may still suffer from bad scripts (so do Hollywood movies), but the pacing and direction have improved markedly. And those are really the key "tricks", aren't they? Keep things moving fast and looking good, and no one will have time to consider the problems.

So essentially what you have in China Strike Force are two Chinese agents (Aaron Kwok and newcomer Leehom Wang) taking on drug dealers played by Coolio and Mark Dascascos. Let's make it clear now: Aside from the general outline given above, very little else in the story makes sense or even matters. There are subplots about stealing discs and avenging dead partners that have absolutely no pay-off by the end of the movie. And having the Chinese and Japanese actors speak English throughout most of the film is generally not a good way to produce compelling performances.

Despite these difficulties, China Strike Force remains a good time at the movies. The pacing lags a bit towards the end but is otherwise fine, the performers look good, and the action scenes are impressive. There's an exciting chase with exotic cars in the middle of the movie that looks better than most Hollywood chases. I didn't think director Stanley Tong had it in him to do such a well-shot scene! The wire-assisted stunts are quite good and the climax is worthy of Jackie Chan. If there is a problem in the action department, it is the fight choreography. The moves are boring (mostly weak-looking kicks) and the execution is sloppy. Even the battle between two experienced martial artists, Ken Lo and Mark Dascascos, is bad. Perhaps the big stunts took up all their preparation time? But this is a minor concern. In the best (or is that worst?) Hollywood tradition, China Strike Force delivers thrills and pretty faces and goes down easy. And that's all a big, dumb holiday blockbuster needs to do.

Reviewed by: Paul Fox
Date: 01/10/2001
Summary: China Strike Force, Strikes Out.

To put it bluntly, China Strike Force is simply not very good.  Sure it has a top cast of international stars.  It has lots of action and stuntwork from the mind of one of Hong Kong's top filmmakers, Stanley Tong.  It has an international soundtrack with songs from both east and west.   But filmmakers still don't seem to understand that all of these elements combined cannot make for a good film if the script is lousy.

And that's the truth in a nutshell.  The script is simply lousy.  The buddy-partner relationship between Aaron Kwok and his partner is typical.  And whenever the partner has a girlfriend...and they are about to get married...well anyone can see what's coming next. Then there is Mark Dacascos as the young upstart trying to expand the family business. Nothing new here. What do you think he is gonna do to the head of the family?!?
There are some nice moments in the film but these are generally instances like Aaron Kwok's daydreaming sequences.   Ruby Lin is sadly underused in her role as is veteran film star Paul Chun.   Noriko Fujiwara wears little and says even less. And Coolio, well he has only one thing to say in the film....and you'll know it once you hear it for the second, third, fourth....time.

Of course being a Stanley Tong film, the action is intense, but it's not enough to save the film. For an international effort, it was a good try. Given a different script the cast and crew might have had a blockbuster on their hands, but as it is China Strike Force doesn't live up to expectations.

Overall review rating : 2

Review by Paul Fox

Location:  UA Shatin
Time: Thursday 4 January    4:00pm