By buzz_clik 11 Comments
I can't remember when or how I heard about Future Cops. What I do remember is that not one corner of my mind was left unblown after I saw it. Future Cops is the best sci-fi slapstick Street Fighter II movie with Super Mario Bros interludes that you've probably never seen. Oh, and it also has a musical number. And a Dragon Ball Z character. The film even has some relatively serious actors in it, with appearances from Andy Lau (House of Flying Daggers) and Chingmy Yau (Naked Killer). The fact that Future Cops makes Naked Killer look like serious cinematic endeavour should speak volumes about the former's insanity. But I'm getting ahead of myself.
Future Cops opens in a sombre-yet-cheesy way, complete with a triumphant fanfare of cheaply synthesised trumpets. It is 2043 and General, the leader of Hong Kong's largest criminal group, has been arrested and is awaiting trial. Wait, did I say he was the leader? I meant he's the "reader", as the frequently hilarious subtitles have dubbed him. You know you're in for a treat when the opening translation has gone awry.
Luckily, General's minions have a plan to prevent their reader... sorry, leader from being convicted. With their less-than-trusty time machine, Kent, Thai King and Toyota will travel back to the year 1993 to brainwash the judge in their beloved General's case. Makes sense, right? Obviously this is the best plan in the history of planning things. It could only have been better if they'd explained it with a hastily drawn stick figure blueprint and a pointy stick.
I'll just break here to explain the Street Fighter II link. All of those bad guy characters I mentioned are Hong Kong versions of everyone's favourite fighters in the street: General is Bison; Kent is Ken; Thai King is Sagat; and Toyota is Honda (I know, right?). You'll notice that the allegiances have been futzed with. If you can't get on board this fact, then you may as well stop reading and forget you even heard the name Future Cops. It only gets loopier from here.
So, with the dubious trio of villains jetting backwards in time, who's going to stop them? Why, the Future Cops, of course (although, I guess they'd simply be called the Cops in this era). Having learned of the cunning-and-not-at-all-fucking-circuitous plot to indoctrinate the judge's younger self, Broom Man ( Guile), Ti Man ( Vega) and Ah-Sing ( Dhalsim) are also sent hurtling back through the decades. Lung ( Ryu) just chills in future Hong Kong.
When they arrive, our heroes quickly meet Tai Hung, although they are unaware that he is the future judge they are looking for. A 28 year-old student and a complete loser, he's constantly bullied at school and even his sister Chun May ( Chun-Li) can beat him up. The Future Cops tag along with Tai Hung to school, where they help turn his fortunes around.
Broom Man goes undercover as a music teacher. It is during his introduction to the students that we're subjected to a syrupy and goddamn creepy musical number, where Broom Man seduces a female student through the magic of soft focus and flashforward fantasies of their life together. There's also a clay-based parody of Ghost in there too. Winner.
Ti Man enrols as a student at Tai Hung's school, while simultaneously romancing Chun May. While they're on a date, the two lovers wander into an arcade and play a game that looks suspiciously like Super Mario Bros. And when I say they play it, I mean Ti Man has a remote that zaps the two of them into the game. They leap over turtles, they capture flowers that spring from gravity-defying blocks and they grow to enormous sizes. The amazing thing is that this is neither the craziest nor the most copyright-shattering scene in the whole film.
Meanwhile in the future (does that even makes sense?) General has escaped from prison to come back and kill Tai Hung himself. After reuniting with his underlings in 1993, General tracks down Tai Hung's school where he proceeds to cause havoc in the most rinky-dink manner.
And so to the final battle, where:
- Chun May and her mother both become Chun Li clones who Spinning Bird Kick all over the place
- the mother's boyfriend transforms into a Blanka-alike with the ability to turn into an electric beach ball
- Tai Hung becomes Goku and fireballs Honda
- Ti Man becomes a human missile and drills right through General's body
- the school is lucky to be standing after so much brickwork is destroyed
It should be noted that although Tai Hung is possibly supposed to be Akuma, he definitely looks more like the DBZ character. After this momentous tussle, it's just left to have the heroic cast pose and freeze for the credits to scroll by, and Future Cops sadly comes to a close.
You may think I've been a bit spoileriffic in this rundown of Future Cops. Believe me, even armed with this in-depth knowledge your poor widdle brain still does not have the capacity to brace itself correctly. It's so nucking futs that you can't help but marvel at the surreal lawyer-baiting genius of it all. It's a perfect storm of critically injured Engrish, bizarre homages, nonsense plot and dated special effects. Go on. You know you want to.