China Heat (HK 1992)

Rating: **
Review Date: 6/23/00
Cast: Sibelle Hu, Mike De Pasquale, cameos by Mark Houghton and Sophia Crawford

Another nondescript, laughably excessive, "make it up as you go" B-movie action fest from Hong Kong. The film opens with a plane hijacking. Sibelle Hu and her crack team of female commandos are sent in to "negotiate," and Ms. Hu storms the plane by jumping onto it with her dirt bike and riddling the stupid bad guys with bullets. Whatever works, babe. After "liberating" the plane Sibelle and her female commando squad launch a ridiculously over-the-top raid on a notorious crime lord, who miraculously manages to escape. He flees to America, so Sibelle and her top two female commandos go to the States to extradite him back to Hong Kong. There, they are aided by a dorky police officer who's also a martial arts instructor (Mike De Pasquale), and things go all to hell in standard action film fashion. Eventually, the good guys all team up and go above the law to take out the nasty villain.

A marginally entertaining B-movie with some decent kung fu. Unfortunately, it painfully proves that white guys just can't fight worth a damn, although there's a fairly spirited exchange between De Pasquale and HK gweilo veteran Mark Houghton. Sophia Crawford also shows up briefly to beat up Sibelle Hu's body double - how bizarre. Although Sibelle Hu is the by far the best actor in film, she's really not the star. Rather, the two female co-stars are what really make the film worthwhile. They kick ass! And where is Ms. Hu for the last thirty minutes of the film? Obviously kicking back with a tall cool one while everyone else is tenderizing the bad guy. It's a total joke when she finally decides to show up and deliver the final blow. Uh, thanks... The music score is also all over the place, stealing music from at least a dozen other films including the ever popular "Aliens" (1986). The choice of music is also very odd, making the film sound like an overly dramatic western or fantasy piece.