Genre: Action/Bullet Ballet/Girls With Guns/ Martial Arts
Director: Godfrey Ho/ Phillip Ko Fei
NOT WORTH YOUR TIME
Poor Oshima Yukari. She’s got charisma to burn, she’s cute as a button, and she can fight, but throughout her career, she kept getting stuck propping up incompetent directors like Godfrey Ho and Phillip Ko Fei, the ‘geniuses’ behind Deadly Target.
Deadly Target has tons of action, but the gun violence and martial arts sequences are so incompetently staged, they elicit guffaws of disbelief instead of thrills. Since Deadly Target was filmed during the Golden Age of Hong Kong, the filmmakers had no difficulty getting good martial artists to play the parts (in those days, if you threw a rock in Hong Kong, chances are you’d hit a martial artist), but for some godforsaken reason, martial arts choreographer Philip Ko Fei never allows anyone to complete a move. The action is all cut together from little bitty pieces.
In the final action blowout, which lasts a good twenty minutes, I counted one decent moment when Yukari Oshima does a nice parkour move, assisted by wires, and one or two amusing stunts. Otherwise it was one big yawn. Okay, that’s not quite true.
At one point, after the villain (Lee Chun-Wa) pushes his sister into the line of fire to create a diversion, she complains “Brother, I am your own sister. How can you drag me like this?” and he replies “To do something for your brother is repaying me.” You gotta love that line.
Actually, there is one halfway decent setpiece in Deadly Target that last oh, maybe a minute. It occurs about half an hour into the movie, and features a few decent stunts and falls. In fact, I’ve got the clip right here. After you’ve seen it, you’ll have seen almost everything worthwhile about Deadly Target.
And yes, directors Godfrey Ho and Phillip Ko Fei give us a couple of opportunities to ogle Yukari Oshima’s unholy flexibility, and we catch brief glimpses of her speed and power.
One more odd thing, considering the general ineptitude of the filmmaking: some of the music cues are quite good. I suspect the filmmakers stole them from Ennio Morricone — I thought I recognized one from the spaghetti western A Fist Full Of Dynamite.
Okay, I suppose I’m obligated to tell you what Deadly Target is about. Wong Jun Lee (Phillip Ko Fei) travels from Hong Kong to the Phillipines to buy guns from Lee Chun-Wa, and Hong Kong cops Anna Yeung (Sharon Yeung) and Cynthia Lee (Oshima Yukari) team up with Manila cop Eddie (Edu Manzano) to stop them.
Speaking of which, actor Edu Manzano is a meatball who can’t act or fight, so what good is he?
Not much, which goes double for Deadly Target.
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