Enter The Eagles (HK 1998)

Rating: ***
Review Date: 7/1/99
Director: Corey Yuen Kwai
Cast: Shannon Lee, Michael Wong, Anita Yuen, Jordan Chan, Benny Urquidez

Shannon Lee, the daughter of the dragon, tears up the screen in her Hong Kong action film debut. Her fight scenes are superb and she takes a hefty beating by the end of the film (but rest assured - she also dishes out a good amount of punishment). I read in an interview that Benny Urquidez trained her extremely hard, but she never allowed a stunt double to take a punch for her. Bravo! And speaking of Benny - man, is he looking old. He can still put up a good fight, but he's just downright creepy (or even more so than he used to be). The film has a lot of exciting moments, but unfortunately, it's annoyingly stupid. The incidental plot revolves around a diamond heist that's being pulled off by Michael Wong and his expert team, including assassin Shannon Lee. Anita Yuen and Jordan Chan are petty thieves that get to the diamond first, and then all hell breaks loose, resulting in an explosive display of blood and bullets. The action scenes are tight and well staged, but overly silly - a recent trend for Corey Yuen it seems. But where the film really falls apart is in the atrocious dialog and the painfully unfunny and out of place humor provided by Anita Yuen and her boyfriend. Another thing that rubbed me wrong were several moments where Ms. Lee emulated her father, which resulted in an awkward combination of parody, tribute, and raw exploitation. Weird. Otherwise, it's a very well made and good looking film, taking full advantage of some beautiful locales in the Czech Republic. Another oddity is that the majority of the film is dubbed in English, what with Michael Wong, Shannon Lee, and Benny Urquidez all being fluent in it. Yet another mixed bag from the turbulent Hong Kong film industry.