Black Cat 2: The Assassination Of President Yeltsin (HK 1992)

Rating: **
Director: Stephen Shin
Cast: Jade Leung, Robin Shou

A stone-faced zombie Jade Leung (with a bad haircut) returns as Erica, the computer controlled assassin from the original, and this time her memory has been wiped and she's hardly human at all. She does little more than parade around in a short black dress (which isn't bad), stare blankly, and widen her eyes occasionally. She finally smiles and speaks briefly 70 minutes into the film and is immediately carted away for some "corrective surgery." (The number of speaking lines she has may be fewer than Arnold Schwarzenegger's in "The Terminator" (1984)) Robin Shou is a welcome sight as the CIA officer assigned to work with Black Cat, but he doesn't get to show off his talents, and repeatedly gets his ass kicked. Lots of light B-movie action, but nothing overly satisfying. The martial arts sequences are slow, sloppy, and poorly choreographed and the chase scenes lack vitality. On the plus side, the film looks great and has an excellent soundtrack (in Dolby stereo, even!). Filmed exclusively in Russia and America with a primarily American cast (!!!), and the Russian locales are really gorgeous. The rest of the film just falls a little short and never kicks into high gear. You'd never guess it was a Hong Kong film!