The seventh annual Another Hole In the Head Film Festival is currently running in San Francisco from July 8th through the 29th. It’s a genre fest featuring domestic and international horror, sci-fi, and exploitation films, and it just may be the first and last chance to see some of these on the big-screen. There are thirty-two films at the fest this year, and we’re trying to see and cover as many as possible. (And by we I mean me…)
Future X-Cops – directed by Jing Wong, Hong Kong; upcoming screenings 7/21 9pm, 7/29 9pm
Synopsis: It’s the future! And mankind no longer has energy concerns thanks to a brilliant scientist who developed a genius method of harnessing the sun’s rays to provide power to the world. That doesn’t sit well with BP and other energy giants though, so they decide to send a gang of killer cyborgs back in time to 2010 to kill the scientist before he finishes his discovery. The future of mankind and cheap energy bills rests in the hands of a policeman named Andy played by superstar Andy Lau. But to fight cybernetic assassins Andy may need to become one of them. Or something.
Check out our review after the jump…
Review: This flick is a visual mess. The story is fairly basic as described above, and it adds in a family friendly angle with the inclusion of Andy’s daughter coming along for the time travel adventure. It’s basically Timecop meets Spy Kids, but the cool time-travel action of the former is drowned out by the nausea-inducing CGI visuals. The movie feels like something that was intended as a pure popcorn entertainment, and while there’s nothing at all wrong with that aim the filmmakers seem to have forgotten to include the entertainment.
Everything from the bad “futuristic” backdrops to the constant overuse of cheap-looking CGI action and weaponry just offends the eyes as it splashes garishly and constantly across the screen. The evil cyborgs lack the slightest bit of personality and are only recognizable by their individual CGI enhancements. That’s not saying their “powers” are memorable or interesting either as the myriad collection of wings, dragon arms, and tails are more cartoonish than cool. One of the few enjoyable parts of the movie is the nurse offering to use her hands or tongue to make a patient happy. I’m taking it totally out of context and I’m an acknowledged fan of Asian nurse cosplay, but still…
Normally I’d talk both about what works in the movie as well as what doesn’t, but absolutely nothing works here. I generally like Lau, but the movie doesn’t really give him the opportunity to emote with any degree of dramatic power or sincerity. Instead he chooses to play it broad for the kiddies, pocket the fat paycheck, and move on to something much better. The audience should follow suit and jump straight to step three… move on to something better.
Check out the complete festival schedule here.
And check out the rest of our festival coverage here.