Asian Cop: High Voltage


Year of release: 1995

Genre: action

Director: Andrew Kam

Action director: Donnie Yen

Producer: Si Wing-Gaai

Writer: Cindy Chow

Cinematography: Patrick Jim

Editor: Chan Gan-Shing

Music: Marco Wan, Lee Hon-Kam

Stars: Donnie Yen, Roy Cheung, Lily Lee, Edu Manzano, Lai Chi-Saan, Frankie Chan

Rated II for violence and language

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One of Donnie Yen's first outings as an action director, Asian Cop: High Voltage is about as generic and low-budget as the title and junky cover art suggests. But despite its' problems, the film still does provide enough decent dual-fisted antics to make it worth a viewing for the action junkies out there.

In the movie, Donnie plays your usual hot-headed cop. He's determined to get justice at any cost after the death of his wife. Donnie's tactics end up generating bad press for the Hong Kong police department, so his superiors send him off to the Philippines to bring back a criminal. After he gets there, Donnie is paired up with a straight-shooter (Edu Manzano) who, of course, doesn't get along with him. After the criminal is assassinated, the mismatched duo must team up to bring down a local crime lord (Roy Cheung).

Asian Cop: High Voltage follows the cheap action playbook to a tee, right down to a plucky sidekick that gets killed, and an awkward romance with the crime lord's girlfriend (Lily Lee). Combined with the sub-par acting (in either the Chinese or English-dubbed versions, it's pretty awful), a generic cock-rawk soundtrack that was probably stolen out of the 99 cent bin of Sam Goody, and camerawork that makes it seem like the film-makers couldn't afford a lighting rig, one might be forgiven if maybe they would just give up on the picture completely after about fifteen minutes in.

If you're a more patient and/or tolerant viewer willing to put up with some (well, okay, a lot) of cheese for the sake of watching people getting the crap beaten out of them, then you'll probably find more of value with Asian Cop: High Voltage. The awkward exposition aside, the film does throw a lot of action at you, and most of it is pretty solid. Unfortunately, like many of Donnie Yen's early attempts at action direction, there's too much emphasis on camera trickery versus focusing on the actual action. But, at the end of the day, this is a perfectly serviceable cheap action flick that'll make for good watching with some buddies and a few frosty adult beverages.