|Kwok Tse Kin|
|Sze To Kam Yuen|
|Nicholas Tse||Yau Chiu|
|Law Ka Ying||Paper Chan|
|Alex Fong||Water Spirit|
|Poon Kin Kwan|
|From Poker Industries|
2002 could be described as Ghostbusters meets The Frighteners in China. 2002 is a special, one-man department of the Hong Kong police dealing with incredible events. They bust malevolent spirits and, on occasion, help average ghosts to resolve the issues that are keeping them from reincarnating. It is a one-man department but that doesn't mean the officer goes it alone. Traditionally, he works with a ghost. The current department, Inspector Yau Chiu, is partnered with Sam who was his partner in life when they were patrolmen. But Sam's time to reincarnate is approaching and Chiu needs a new partner.
Fung sees spirits and has seen 2002 in action so he applies for a transfer from Traffic. He doesn't know about the ghost requirement. Paper Chan, a former head of the department, determines that Fung is fated to die and he is accepted.
Chan has also told Chiu he is destined to live to 80 but everyone who touches him, relatives, friends, colleagues, will die. Chiu believes him because his parents are dead and he is the one who killed Sam. He lives a life with no companions except Sam and Chan and Sam is moving on. Chiu is not wild about hiring Fung just because he's about to croak, even though Chan swears up and down that Chiu has nothing to do with Fung's death.
Fung and Chiu answer their first call together and Chiu explains all of their high-tech equipment: there are the touch gloves that allow them to grab hold of the ghosts, the spirit-biting gun that coats a bullet with the blood of the gunman so it dissipates the spirit and the vision drops which make the spirit solid for five minutes. Their first call is a fire spirit and there is a slight problem. Fung is literally paralyzed with fear by ghosts. The fire spirit is successfully dispatched but that leaves her boyfriend, the water spirit, miffed, and, of course, it's personal.
Stephen Fung is doing his shy nice guy again but doing it much better than in The Avenging Fist. At one point he is possessed and it wasn't until just now that I realized that, of course, the same actor played Fung and Fung possessed. I think, Mr. Fung may have a future in edgier roles than he has previously assayed (My Schoolmate the Barbarian, The Avenging Fist).
One thing that fascinated me, as a westerner, was Chan's shop. He is called Paper because he sells the funerary offerings that are burnt for spirits, not just money but cell phones, game consoles and guns. The idea that a paper item burnt in this world becomes real to a ghost is used consistently and with good effect. Chiu has to burn his name card in order to give it to a ghost and Chan whips up a paper sword for one of the battles. Another idea well used, reminiscent of The Frighteners, is that a person temporarily dead, or in a coma, can battle spirits on their own ground (but if he goes on a date he will need the vision drops to appear solid).
The fight sequences are much better than in The Avenging Fist though just as wired (ghosts, after all, are not earthbound). There are fewer of them but they are shot so you can tell what is happening and, somehow, spirits flying about is more believable than people in magic gloves.
In Yip's Bullets Over Summer, Mike (Francis Ng) comes to an inevitable end determined by his character and illness. In 2002, Fung and Chiu have to decide whether their fates are as inevitable or whether they have free will. This adds just enough depth to make you care about the characters and their decisions without keeping it from being a fun, popcorn movie.
To the 2002mobile! (~30K)