Country: Hong Kong
Genre: Girls With Guns/ Action/ Comedy/ Bullet Ballet
Director: Johnnie Kong
WORTH A LOOK
I can tolerate a fair amount of Cantonese comedy in a Hong Kong action flick, but there’s so much of it in Madam City Hunter that it really started to test my patience. And for those of you who are allergic to broad comedy, steer clear. This is really goofy stuff, folks.
Sheila Chan smirks and grimaces her way through the whole movie. Tommy Wong is more amusing as a clueless cop in love with supercop Ching (Cynthia Khan). But the only consistently funny actor in the film is Anthony Wong, mostly because he knows how stupid the comedy is and plays under it. He never says his lines straight.
I’m dwelling on the comedy aspects of Madam City Hunter because they take up most of the running time. Let’s face it, Hong Kong comedies are rarely more than fitfully amusing. They only work when they’re woven through bouts of furious action, and that’s not the case here. Other than two major action scenes that bookend the movie, there’s only an occasional dustup here and there.
Fortunately, what action there is pretty darn good, choreographed by Yuen Cheung-Yan and the Yuen clan. What’s especially impressive is that the fight choreographers even manages to make Anthony Wong look dangerous, and he’s not a martial artist at all, or even a dancer, like Cynthia Khan.
You’ve got hand to hand combat, acrobatics, hard hits, weapons fighting — the whole range of kung fu. It’s pretty exciting stuff, as usual for the Golden Age Of Hong Kong.
More surprisingly, given the fluffy comedic nature of the piece, the violence is sometimes bloody. The bullet hits are juicy and one villain gets impaled.
You want to know the plot? It hardly matters.
In the opening fight scene, Ching (Cynthia Khan) kills a member of the Five Fingers Gang. The other members want revenge. Meanwhile, Ching’s dad (Wu Fung) is shacking up with Siu Hung (Kara Hui), who isn’t much older than Ching. Ching suspects that Siu Hung wants to kill her dad for his inheritance. When private eye Charlie Chan (Anthony Wong) and his sidekick Blackie (Sheila Chan) investigate, it turns out that Siu Hung used to be the girlfriend of the leader of the Five Fingers Gang.
I know, it kind of makes sense on the page, but believe me, the movie barely holds together.
I wouldn’t have cared so much if the filmmakers had interspersed the comedy bits with more action, but as it is, my eyes were glazing over halfway through.
Casual trash movie lovers can probably give Madam City Hunter a miss, but lovers of Hong Kong action should probably give it a rental, with their finger poised above the fast forward button in case of boredom.
If you found this post helpful, share it by clicking on one of these icons!
- The Day That Doesn’t Exist - Horror that Isn’t Scary, Comedy that isn’t Funny
- Zen Of Sword - The Lure Of Power and Money
- Fatal Vacation - Hung Out To Dry
- The Last Duel - Collision Course
- Stagedoor Johnny – Saying Goodbye To A Doomed Art Form
- Another Chinese Cop - Lack Of Discipline
- Out Bound Killing - Killing The Hong Kong Film Industry
- Top Lady of Sword - Revenge By Proxy
- Bomb Disposal Officer: Baby Bomb - Male Panic
- Highway Man - Why Do Men Race, Anyway?