Country: Hong Kong
Genre: Action/ Martial Arts/ Girls With Guns
Director: Wong Wai-Yip
TRASH CINEMA RECOMMENDED MOVIE
When it comes right down to it, The Way Of The Lady Boxers aka Madam The Great is a pretty lousy movie. The plotting is lame, many of the actors are pure amateur hour, and the drama is embarrassing. What saves the movie is the charisma of the two stars, Sibelle Hu and Sharon Yeung, and the number of quality martial arts sequences director Wong Wai-Yip shoehorns into the narrative.
I’m not really complaining about the concept, although it’s hardly original.
There’s a gang running arms and drugs from China to Hong Kong, so HK cops Li Tong (Sharon Yeung) and Wai Nan (Robert Mak) head to the Mainland to help the Chinese cops nab the bad guys. There’s the usual jurisdictional squabbling. There’s also a romantic complication. Wai Nan’s former squeeze is dating Sam Ho (Lin Wai-Kin), the head bad guy of the Hong Kong triad involved in the trafficking.
The problems start with some of the acting. Carter Wong, as Captain Chiu Chie, is just deplorable. His attempts at emotion are laughable.
The storytelling is just as inept.
Here’s an example of a particularly stupid plot point. Wai Nan and his lady love are celebrating her birthday together when she notices someone at the window. Wai Nan checks it out and doesn’t see anyone. Now, keep in mind that Sam Ho has already tried to kill this lady once. Wai Nan decides that this would be a perfect time to go out to the local convenience store to buy candles for his girlfriend’s birthday cake. Duh.
Even the continuity is retarded. At one point, Li Tong leaps on a henchman driving a buggy. Cut to a shot of these two in a completely different place having a kung fu fight. The buggy is nowhere to be seen.
So, for the most part, The Way Of The Lady Boxers is incompetent at worst, mediocre at best.
What kept me watching were the fights, choreographed by Bobby Wu Chi-Lung. Now, I’ll grant you, they’re nothing special by the standards of the Golden Age of Hong Kong, but then again, they don’t have to be. Our fighting femmes execute plenty of roundhouse kicks, flips and other acrobatics, they fight in and around the usual scaffolds, construction sites, and abandoned buildings, and every once in a while, someone gets impaled on a sharp object or falls off a high place and lands hard.
Put it this way. The Way Of The Lady Boxers is one of those flicks you should probably watch with your finger poised above the fast forward button, stopping only for the action sequences. This isn’t as much of a criticism as it sounds like because the action sequences comprise something like thirty percent of the movie.
Bottom line: The Way Of The Lady Boxers will give you your fix of Girls With Guns action, and we all need that once in a while, right?
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