Fighting Fist (HK 1992)

Rating: **
Review Date: 2/4/13
Cast: Sibelle Hu, Chin Kar Lok, Shogo Shiotani, Ken Lo, cameo by Sonny Chiba

A bizarre Chinese/Japanese hybrid that bills itself as a Sonny Chiba film, even though he has less than a minute of screen time and doesn't do any fighting. A Japanese cop named Sato (Shogo Shiotani) goes to Hong Kong to kill some members of Jimmy Lee's gang, and when Hong Kong police officers Julia (Sibelle Hu) and Teddy (Chin Kar Lok) show up at the scene, they're blamed for the murders. When Lee targets Teddy for revenge, Julia travels to Japan to track down Sato and bring him to justice. Sato has his own agenda for dealing with Lee, but he has to contend with Lee's fearsome assassin (Ken Lo) first.

The film starts out as a police action film, and then shifts to a martial arts training film when Sato visits his old master for advice and to learn some new karate tricks. Shogo Shiotani is a very good fighter, but his exchanges with Ken Lo primarily boil down to him running away and staying out of his blade's reach, which isn't particularly interesting. Super talented Chin Kar Lok is sadly underutilized, and only gets one good fight scene in before being written off. And then there's the lovely Sibelle Hu thrown into the middle of this. She's fun to watch as a tough cop chick, but her action scenes come up woefully short, which is a shame. Pretty standard cops and gangsters fare, highlighted by an unexpected betrayal and a shockingly downbeat ending.