Rating: 5/10
Year: 2002
Genre: Fantasy
Director: Wilson Yip
Cast: Nicholas Tse, Stephen Fung, Danielle Graham, Ka Ying Law, Rain Lee, Sam Lee, Alex Fong, Anya

If you read Chinese, you might probably notice the tagline on the VCD cover, which says, "The most expensive horror film ever made in Hong Kong before". Don't make the wrong expectation based on it. It is completely wrong and misleading. This film is not a horror film. Although the thematic elements contain ghosts and spirits, it should fall under the action or fantasy genre instead.
Tide (Nicholas Tse) is the head of a special unit in the law enforcement department. His responsibility is to investigate unexplained cases that cannot be solved by regular detectives. His unit usually consists of a man and a ghost. Because his partner Sam is ready for reincarnation, Tide needs a new partner, and that is Wind (Stephen Fung). Knowing the structure of the team, Wind begins to wonder about his appointment and is afraid if he is going to die soon...

To be honest, I am a hardcore fan of director Wilson Yip. Bullets Over Summer and Juliet in Love, along with Johnnie To's heroic series, are the most original and innovative Hong Kong movies I have seen in the past ten years. Yip's wit and determination as a director are exceptional. He has the charisma and cinematic senses to turn fantasy into reality. Yet, after the production of the semi-experimental Juliet in Love, he has shifted his focus toward a more commercial field of filmmaking. His previous film Skyline Cruiser was a big flop. This time, with 2002, he did rectify all the problems of his previous film and reassured us his infinite potentiality.

Similar to Skyline Cruiser, the main cast is young and energetic. The action choreography and special effects are more delicate and exciting than before. If you are looking for an entertaining popcorn movie, you won't be disappointed for sure. As an admirer of Wilson Yip, I did try to analyze it more thoroughly. From what I got, one characteristic is unchanged in all his films, that is, a desire for a warm home and family. In Bullets Over Summer, Francis Ng and Louis Koo's home is provided by Helena Law, the evidence is the group picture taken in the apartment; in Juliet in Love, the baby connects Francis Ng and Sandra Ng together, they become a family to a certain extent; in Skyline Cruiser, Leon Lai, Jordan Chan, Sam Lee and Michelle Saram all live together under the same roof and develop an intimate bond even though they are not real family members. In 2002, Tide's desire for a warm family is apparent. Ostensibly, he looks solitary, it seems that he does not care about anybody at all. In fact, he cares about everybody. He feels sorry for Sam's death, he does not want Wind to get hurt, he is looking forward to a love relationship. Identical to the lonely Francis Ng in Bullets Over Summer, he just does not know how to express his feeling. Wind also wishes to have a home, his passions toward Tide and Rain Lee affirm his desire.
What I like about this film is not the fighting or special effects, it is rather the sentimental depiction of the characters that stuns me most. To me, the most unforgettable moment of the film is the scene when Nicholas Tse is talking to Danielle Graham on cell phone in the lift. This scene is so touching and affectionate, that it is totally out of my expectation. The final duel between Tide and Wind is also remarkable, despite its striking resemblance with the final moment of Nowhere to Hide, for instance, the raining setting, the use of English songs, employment of slow-motions, etc....

Due to commercial restraints, 2002 is in no way comparable to the freshness and vigors of Bullets Over Summer orJuliet in Love. Nevertheless, Wilson Yip is still able to imprint his own signature on the film.

VCD (HK version) - Nice image and sound transfers. Other than that, nothing more, nothing less.

Reviewed by: Kantorates