Guardian Angel (Philippines 1994)

Rating: *(*)
Review Date: 5/18/19
Director: Philip Ko
Cast: Cameos by Yukari Oshima, Philip Ko, Alexander Lo Rei, Dick Wei

A mix-and-match disaster of two unfinished projects by director Philip Ko, but the action pieces are pretty satisfying. The film makes absolutely no sense at all and the continuity is nearly non-existent, but I'll try to summarize it as best as I can. A woman named Rosa wakes up in a prison cell and is recruited by the Filipino police to work with two other women to take down a major drug lord in Taiwan. Part of her training is to seduce and murder minor crime bosses along the way, as well as killing her new boyfriend (?), who conveniently happens to be a professional assassin. A scruffy Hong Kong cop named David (Alexander Lo Rei) takes an interest in Rosa and shows up occasionally, but has no bearing on the story. Intermingled with Rosa's missions are a couple of scenes in Manila with Interpol agents Yukari Oshima and Philip Ko, but they have nothing to do with anything. Also, there are a handful of completely pointless sex scenes thrown in with characters that aren't even in the story. The film laughably ends in the most abrupt way possible, when Rosa confronts the bad guy and "The End" pops up onscreen as soon as she shoots him.

It's an incomprehensible mess, but the women are gorgeous and the action scenes are well-lit and fun to watch. The actress who plays Rosa is stunningly beautiful, and while her stunt work is weak, her intensity is spot-on and she looks great with a gun. She also flaunts a delightfully attractive wardrobe. The woman who plays Lisa is amazing, and she ends up stealing the show with her fierce glare and defiant pout. She's also a really good fighter, and most of the hand-to-hand fight scenes are relegated to her. I wish I knew who she was, as I'd love to see more of her work. The third member of Rosa's team is Candi, who is kind of a bimbo and doesn't do much. The most amusing thing about her is that her hair drastically changes length between scenes throughout the movie, which makes you wonder if she's even the same character (or the same actress, for that matter). Even though Yukari Oshima gets star billing, she's in exactly one action scene and doesn't get to do much other than jump around and shoot stuff, which is a shame. Dick Wei has a throwaway role as a minor villain, but his one fight scene is ruined by gratuitous undercranking. It's unfortunate that the film with Rosa, Lisa, and Candi never got finished, as it could have turned out to be a great female action flick (hence the optional 2-star rating, for female action fans). As it is, there's no benefit gained by the extra footage that's spliced in, and it just makes the film even more confusing to follow.