Friday, 10 June 2011

Future Cops

 DISCLAIMER: This movie flips balls and trips face, the following review spoils a great deal of the madness within, if you don't feel like knowing what you're going to get then I advise you get off this page and find a copy of the movie immediately.

We all know about the highly-prolific turkey that is the US Street Fighter movie, but over time it's become to be re-appraised as a masterpiece of cheese cinema, and hell, at least it's not that Chun-Li abomination, which should be stricken from the face of the earth. We're going to take a look at something a bit more obscure here, and while I may like to see "Korean Street Fighter" someday, I've got something a lot more fun until then, "Chinese Street Fighter"! 超級學校霸王 is this film's title in its native language, which translates to "Super School Overlord" apparently (it makes sense once you've watched it). Upon reading the name "Future Cops", the last thing on your mind would be Street Fighter, right? Well yeah, this thing, plot-wise, has almost nothing to do with the Capcom game, it's instead an unauthorized Hong Kong adaptation. Director Wong Jing is a big videogame fan, but as no one could get the rights to the characters, they used them anyway, changing the names while their appearances remained fairly faithful. Before I get into this review, I'd just like to list the name changes made to all the characters present:
  • Ryu = Lung 
  • Ken = Kent (really?)
  • Chun-Li = The only thing that stays the same (name wise)
  • Guile = Broom Man (fits)
  • Dhalsim = Ah-Sing
  • Vega (claw) = Ti-Man
  • E. Honda = Toyota (I like this one)
  • Sagat = Thai King (accurate enough)
  • M. Bison = General

We open to Hong Kong, 2043 A.D., as helpfully indicated by a news reporter, who also tells us that the evil General has been imprisoned by judge Yu Ti Hung, I guess the people of 2043 are forgetful and need to be reminded what year it is. Thai King, Toyota and Kent (yes, Ken is a villain here) have plotted to journey back fifty years to when Yu Ti Hung was young and unprotected so they can brainwash him into letting General go when it comes to his trial (I'm not even gonna get into the number of plot holes already punched into the story). Team General as I'm going to call them get into a fight with the Future Cops, which consist of Lung, Broom Man, Ah-Sing and Ti-Man (yeah, Vega is a hero in place of Ken it seems), and right after Thai King drives down a road in a flaming jeep being chased by guys firing lasers on flying scooters (!!!), we're treated to an incredibly game-accurate fight scene with plenty of Hadoukens and Sonic Booms. Of course, Team General hold them off and escape into their time machine, which self-destructs just as it sends them back! Before I move on, I have to say that even though 2043 is their present time, the Future Cops ARE called the Future Cops! Did the definition of 'future' just change?

The Future Cops' chief tells them they're obviously gonna have to go back in time too to protect Yu Ti Hung, except for Lung, who will be staying because he is the brother of the chief's wife (or they just couldn't afford the actor's star status for the entirety of the film, as he is played by Aaron Kwok, who is a bit of a big celebrity). Chief informs them that the people of the past love telling lies, and that there is a computer chip in their brains that shocks them if they lie, Ti-Man ensures him they'll never lie, in which they're all promptly shocked. I'm still struggling to get round the concept myself. Oh yeah, take a guess as to how the Future Cops journey back to 1993.

With a DeLorean rip-off? No.

With a self-destructing metal shed a-la what Team General used? No.

With any stock time travelling device? No.

THEY CATCH A FUCKIN' AEROPLANE, I GUESS TIME TRAVEL CAN BE PUT IN ANYTHING IN 2043. So as we go to 1993, we're introduced to the real focus of this story, Tai-Hung, a kid who eats fish balls that look like massive sponge balls; Tai-Hung is something of a manchild, being twenty-eight years old and still being in high school on the account of being a failure, of course that barely seems to matter, all the actors cast for the other students look about the same age as him. Tai-Hung is into a girl called Choi-Ney (I think they ignored the fact he is technically paedophilic seeing as how all the students look like adults) and is regularly bullied by Kei-On, a kid with a giant quiff that looks like it eats hair gel, he's also got a Filipino maid that follows him round. While on punishment duty (the subs get a little funny here), Tai-Hung indulges us about another love interest, Sui-Wai, AKA "Crab Angel"! Of course, it's obvious the original Chinese is not referring to those crabs, but still, hahahaha.

Sui-Wai asks for Tai-Hung to screw her because she takes pity on him, but it's really just a ruse for Kei-On to bully Tai-Hung some more because she's Kei-On's woman, and tells him not to bother coming to school the next day (funny thing here, just as Tai-Hung walks off, his shoe comes off and the actor promptly puts it back on, it doesn't look like it was intended but it adds to the fact Tai-Hung is a screw-up). When he gets home we learn Chun-Li is Tai-Hung's infinitely more successful sister, their mother is a crazy milf who offers her daughter things that look vibrators in case she gets attacked, she also has a bewildering and short meditation process. Tai-Hung drinks to his sorrows later while bitching at god and throws a beer can, only for it to come back as a barrel, but enough logic for now, the Future Cops have arrived! The Cops tell the misfit they're in search of Yu Ti Hung, and they offer to make him less of a loser if he lets them live with him until they complete their mission. He has to hide them though when his mum comes back with her boyfriend, Richard, because she's such a nice mum she tells her son to get to bed so she and Richard can get it on as he woos her with his English skills, until she sees the Future Cops walking round and starts freaking out about them.


The next day, Tai-Hung brings Ah-Sing as a servant in school as well as to teach Kei-On a lesson, while at home, Broom Man and Ti-Man eat a fridge... no I don't know. At any rate, Ti-Man needs to explain why he and Broom Man are in the house to Chun-Li, and he tries to get by by using Broom Man appropriately as a broom, until Tai-Hung comes in to save their asses by beating them (most notably punching Broom Man in the DICK, though he doesn't react). Broom Man gets himself enrolled as a teacher and even has a music video moment as he falls for Sui-Wai, while Ti-Man ends up as a student (note they get by through lying here, so what about the computer chips?). Though we see Ti-Man getting shocked when he tells Chun-Li he's come over to study because of the computer chip! Ti-Man takes her to an arcade as he tries to flirt with her, and even teleports him and her inside a Super Mario Bros. arcade game! For copyright reasons probably, they've got different colour hats, but they even have to jump over a Koopa! Chun-Li quizzes him of Ti-Man's lackluster courting skills and even takes a guess at how everyone in the future is gay! But according to Ti-Man, in his time, too many people have AIDS, so they have to let the AIDS carriers die and not make love! So all the kids are test tube babies. Oh yeah, the Mario references don't stop with the Koopa, Chun-Li even grows three times her height! After all that Ti-Man and Chun-Li go back and get it on after Ti-Man gets a knife in the back.

The next day there's a sports day on at school with Tai-Hung competing, Choi-Ney gives him a sweater she's been knitting... I don't know what it is, but something about this small scene is REALLY funny, it feels so randomly spliced in, is the sweater she knitted for him purposely terrible? What's even funnier is that he loves it enough to wear it! Oh, because absolutely no one has any confidence in Tai-Hung, Ah-Sing gives him some helping hands throughout each of the events, including give him Future Cop chips that let him inherit the strengths of each Future Cop! (They're literally plastic discs) oh, one of the commentators says that if Tai-Hung wins he'll eat his microphone, I'll let you guess how that goes. So after Tai-Hung wins everything at the competition, Team General finally appear on the scene! Think the movie had forgotten them? They find Kei-On in an arcade (playing STREET FIGHTER 2 of all things) and Kent tells him they want Yu Ti Hung and that he'll give Kei-On plenty of fortunes if he helps them out. Thai King and Toyota appear in school the next day to greet Siu-Wai and her nameless friend, who Thai King KICKS IN THE TITS, then Kent comes out of nowhere and Hurricane Kicks the two of them, because he needs to win over the kids as the new teacher. Kent poisons Ti-Man in the middle of class so that he'll quickly lose all his strength and intelligence, Broom Man learns about this little trick via the convenience of a plot hole and gets angry when he sees Siu-Wai swooning all over Kent as he takes her for a drive.

He follows them, shows off some of his Jedi mind tricks (I swear to god the subtitles for how he seemingly caught a lift on top of a car make it even funnier) and then confronts Kent, who has lost the admiration of Siu-Wai when he shows her his true colours. Broom Man and Kent get into a massively destructive fight with fireballs and cars being hurled every which way, it's a goddamn spectacle. Broom Man fails in the end though, and we learn that the now Ti-Manchild may soon be dead because of Kent's poison needles. That doesn't matter much though as Kent quickly appears after the drama to stab Ti-Man with the antidote, guess he does have some honour after all. Back in the future, some literally faceless intruders break into General's prison and let him free because they've got their own time machine, and General just wants to kill the Yu Ti Hung of old (what about the one of his time?). Back in Tai-Hung's time, Uncle Richard uses Tai-Hung's birthday party as a chance to declare how he and Tai-Hung's mum will be getting married next month, so Tai-Hung's surname will be changed to Yu. As per tradition with Richard's family it seems, Tai-Hung's name will have "Tai" changed to "Ti" to represent his generation (I can't really tell with the subtitles), if you haven't noticed it yet, Tai-Hung is now Yu Ti Hung, in retrospect I think a lot of people would have seen this coming but I thought it was a neat little twist. Oh, Kei-On was in attendance at Yu Ti Hung's party because Chun-Li is a bitch so he runs off to tell Team General, and you better believe shit goes down! General takes over the school and the whole place plunges into madness (M. BISON THE HEADMASTER, just let that sink in for a minute), with all the teachers having computer chips put in them that turn them into lunatics.


Of course, the Future Cops have computer chips of their own that can give Chun-Li and Yu Ti Hung the same superpowers (so Chun-Li FINALLY becomes Chun-Li), and because Yu Ti Hung is unlucky, his computer chip goes up his nose a lot like that thingy Arnie sticks up his in Total Recall. Though the chip only works if the user has a lot of courage, which as you can guess, Yu Ti Hung doesn't, it's only until he realizes he may as well save all the new friends he's made. As the Future Cops storm the school, plenty of explosions abound as Yu Ti Hung even flies in on his own flying scooter (why yes it doesn't tell us where he got it), until he crashes that is. Fear not though! He does balls up and make an epic return as Akuma of all Street Fighter characters! Just in time for one big brawl against General too, with Richard as Blanka and Chun-Li's mum as a second Chun-Li: Chun-Tai!

At the end of the big showdown we get a re-union with the guys of 1993 and the Future Cops, until Lung (Ryu, as you've probably forgotten) shows up! He brings news of a new super villain that has traveled back to 1993, but everyone just laughs this off and poses for the camera. The end. This is most definitely one of the strangest adaptations ever, varying between being 'better' and being 'worse' than the US Street Fighter, there's so many bizarre scenarios that the only way they could have been thought up was by not being under any drugs at all and just being a concentrated madman. To be honest though, it's nigh-incomparable to the guilty pleasure that is the Van Damme Street Fighter movie, which was at least officially approved. The movie is hysterical, both intentionally and unintentionally, with many laughs coming from just how impossible it is to take anything seriously. The editing and sound mix is at times sloppy, and even so the bizarre choreography of the fight scenes reflects the nature of the Street Fighter 2 game to an extent! Not to mention, the string effects are quite badly done, just look at how everyone flies away when an explosion is nearby! Also, while the characters don't look exactly like their videogame counterparts, the similarities are pretty faithful, though Akuma looks a bit more like Son Goku of Dragon Ball Z (even more so, the music that plays when he appears sounds like the first few notes from the very first Dragon Ball opening). The whole thing is full of plot holes and sadly lacks any Street Fighter 2 music and most sound effects, but goddamn it's a lot of fun.

Director Wong Jing made City Hunter earlier in 1993 starring Jackie Chan, this film is most noteworthy for the bizarre inclusion of a game-accurate Street Fighter scene, Wong Jing must have simply been itching to take this further and Future Cops was his chance. It's a bit hard to judge the acting in this because nothing is meant to be taken seriously, but everything is done pretty well, the cast inclusion of the very attractive Chingmy Yau (of Naked Killer fame, similarly, Simon Yam who was also in that film stars here as Ah-Sing) as Chun-Li is always welcome. I've no idea how this film could be hated, ridicule it and criticize it maybe, but hate it? You have to be one harshly unhappy person to do that. Find this movie and see it, all this insanity is going to poison me one day.

  • Madness: 6/5
  • Plot holes: 3/5
  • I should really make more categories to accommodate films like this

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