(aka Gen-X Cops 2, Gen-X Cops 2: Metal Mayhem,
Jackie Chan Presents: Metal Mayhem)
This is one of my all-time favorite Guilty Pleasure movies.
Now, a true guilty pleasure movie is one where we know that what we are watching is not a good movie, and yet we love it far more, flaws and all, than many good or even great movies.
I’m not talking about the so-bad-its-good movie, or the intentionally bizarre Indie made to catch the interest of jaded festival goers, or the instant cult film, designed to attract fans of the real guilty pleasures, but the supposedly commercial movie which veers into batty, strange or absurd territory – and which we love for exactly what it is. Think of films like Wild, Wild Planet and you’ll see what I mean.
I first saw this on the (then correctly spelled) SciFi Network as one of the first offerings of their newly established “SciFi Studios”. Of course, this one was a re-badged Hong Kong film, but who’s counting?
This was back when they gave critics a chance to review their upcoming “SciFi Originals” (yes, that happened. Really. I’m not making this up), and they broadcast it under the title Jackie Chan Presents: Metal Mayhem in a mixture of English and Cantonese dialogue (with, yes, subtitles. On SciFi. I’m not making this up. Really).
It’s hard even to begin to convey just how wacky this film is. An over the top, evil mad genius Gen X computer expert steals the unstoppable police robot he helped design for the FBI, putting the blame on his old friend, undercover cop Edison (played, naturally, by Edison Chen). Two of Edison’s fellow cops, Match and Alien, get blamed as well, and they go on the run, trying to find Edison while avoiding the obsessed FBI agent (played by Paul “Antman” Rudd, with bleached blond hair. Really. I’m not making this up!) pursuing them all.
Along the way you get references to the recent handover of the former colony to Red China, hypnosis, an underwater gun battle, a guy in a lobster suit, slapstick comedy, lots and lots of Chop Sockey martial arts, and Robot battles!
Yes, not only does the bad guy get to blow things up with a super awesome killer robot, but the good guys fight him with not one, but two different robots! Okay, it’s in very so-so CGI, but it’s battling robots. What more does any nerd need?
On the whole, it owes more to the Three Stooges than Jackie Chan, and once it gets moving it rarely slows down. Except for a few bits of plot.
But only occasionally.
Sadly, unlike most of the other SciFi “Originals” of the same era, this only got a blink-and-you’ll miss-it DVD release and has remained elusive, although you can find it now and then on the web.
It is interesting to note that Stephen “Match” Fung has since gone on to direct the two part Steampunk fantasy, Tai Chi Hero (part one was released here as Tai Chi Zero).
As I said, words fail me. If you ignore any promptings about logic or physics your brain might have, sit back and surrender to the film, then this one is an absurd treat, like George Newman’s Twinkie Wiener.