Her Fatal Ways III (HK 1992)

Rating: **
Review Date: 10/6/06
Director: Alfred Cheung
Cast: Carol "Do Do" Cheng, Alfred Cheung, Chan Chung-Yung, Anthony Wong

The final installment in the "Her Fatal Ways" trilogy is quite a departure from the first two, and paints a very interesting socio-political portrait of pre-1997 Hong Kong. While it's a comedy on the surface, underneath it's full of fear, paranoia, and distrust. An aging Chinese political leader decides to take a trip to Hong Kong in order to visit his childhood sweetheart, and Public Security Officer Shih-nan Cheng (Carol "Do Do" Cheng) is assigned to guard him. An airplane mishap takes her and her cousin Sheng (Alfred Cheung) to Taiwan instead, where policeman Yung (Chan Chung-Yung) is introduced as a new love interest. Back in Hong Kong, Inspector Lui (Anthony Wong) is assigned to assist Cheng, and the familiar mainlander shenanigans take place. Eventually, an assassination plot hatches, forcing Cheng, Sheng, Yung, and Lui to work together and save Chief Chien's life.

Apart from a delightful showdown between Cheng and the assassin, the film is completely devoid of action and focuses almost entirely on Carol Cheng's exhausting rapid fire yelling. Wow, that woman can talk up a storm. Most of the humor is very topical and cultural, making it impenetrable for Western audiences, but there are a couple of physical gags that are surprisingly amusing. An effeminate turn by Anthony Wong is utterly brilliant. Sadly, Ms. Cheng's character has lost a lot of her endearing charm and innocence, and suffers from a very unflattering haircut. The non-stop verbal sparring makes it difficult to recommend this film unless you're a fan of Hong Kong comedy or a Carol Cheng completist.