Reviewed By:Paul Cooke Director : Wilson Yip Scripted : Vincent Kok & Chi-kin Kwok Starring : Nicholas Tse , Stephen Fung , Kar-Ying Law , Rain Li , Alex Fong , Danielle Graham , Anya & Sam Lee
A cop and ghost buddy movie that invokes the spirit of Action adorned with all the snazzy accoutrements associated with todayís Hong Kong fantasy flicks. Starring Nicholas Tse as Chiu , leading officer of the Spirit and Paranormal Investigation Unit ĎSPIí, aided by a Good ghost partner to form Special Unit 2002.
When a girl falls from out of the night sky to her death atop a building , with no sign of an air born craft in the vicinity , the air is a crackle with an eerie phenomenon that soon attracts Chiu to the scene along with his ghost partner in the form of the always entertaining Sam Lee. The Ghost Cop Corp are on the case as a malicious spirit seeks to find his way back into the human world through illicit appropriation of reincarnation rights of a Good and true person. Chiuís job is to stop the Bad spirits from returning to the world and causing the deaths of innocent people , before they then go on and attempt to rebirth in evil form. Armed with a cool blood infused hand weapon that directly taps into his pure veins , like a variation of holy water blessed with the power to ward off evil , he pulls the ghosts into a parallel plain to do battle. Aided by vision drops that allow him to visualise his pernicious apparitions , and a nifty pair of Touch Gloves that enable him to grab the apparitions , Chiu is bestowed five minutes of paranormal time to do battle with the turbulent transgressors. His neatest trick of all comes in the ability to burn items in the real world that then appear with him in the ethereal one , so a hand gun copy created from sculpted paper once cremated is as real to use as before but effectively against ghosts. The sight of Chiu burning his 2002 business card as he hands it to a distressed female spirit , to reappear in her hand as new , is coolness personified.
When a regular traffic cop in the guise of Stephen Fung proves himself to have the sight to see ghosts things get even more interesting for Chiu as he has only worked with a ghost partner before. Fungís character Wind has been foretold as being Chiuís next partner as Sam Lee crosses over in reincarnation but as a ghost !. Wind has a swift introduction into Chiuís unusual crime fighting world , with the added hindrance of freezing up in the presence of ghosts. Chiu has to train his new partner not only in the skill of ghost busting but also in overcoming his aversion to all things non living.
The appearance of a disruptive spirit in the guise of a very attractive female form catches Chiu off guard , as amongst the explosive pyrotechnics and effortlessly hurled projectiles he has to ward off the attack as well as look out for his new partner. With balls of fire hurled and clashes of Kung Fu kicking the furious antics into top gear the encounter ends abruptly , with a consequence that soon affects both Chiu and Wind as the ghostly lover of their encounter crosses over to seek vengeance. Enter Alex Fong as the vengeful destructive force known as the Water Ghost , in a spectacularly over the top performance thatíll have any audience booing with glee in all the right places. His Water Ghost soon taps into the real world and brushes past Chiu to then go on and possess the body of Wind. With only one way left open to Chiu to defeat him the head of SPI has to do battle with his partner , to the death !.
Director Wilson Yip handles the Action well but occasionally allows the pace to slacken as the underlying tale of love diffuses proceedings. Chiu has to deal with his personal life conflict that denies him meaningful relationships for fear of an ill fated destiny for those who get close to him. With Hong Kong superstars Nicholas Tse and Stephen Fung guaranteeing a female audience it is only fair that the male patrons are treated to their delightfully attractive on screen love interests with the appearances of Rain Li and Danielle Graham. The moments of humour are subtle and work well with the overall feel of the film and make moments such as the unanticipated scene of a young boy being hit by two cars seem even more startling. 2002 is a well crafted slice of colourful escapism that is equal part Action , amusing , touching and sentimental , but overall value for money that will please most who take the time to discover what it has to offer.
Donít wait too long to catch this one and whatever you do donít go burning a copy as done with items in the movie , for these Hong Kong discs are just as cheap as more other worldly knock offs. Special wear Touch Gloves would make for a neat Christmas special edition though just for that festive spirit.
Presentation : Widescreen Aspect Ratio Aprox 1:77:1 Release : Golden Harvest Home Video Coding : NTSC All Region Sound : Dolby Digital 5.1 Extras : Trailers / Making Of / English Subtitles
Film: 3.0 Bitch Slaps Picture: 4.0 Bitch Slaps Sound: 4.0 Bitch Slaps Extras: 2.5 Bitch Slaps Overall: 3.5 Bitch Slaps