The Lady Constables (HK 1977)

Rating: **
Review Date: 10/24/99
Cast: Angela Mao, Judy Lee (Chia Ling), Chang Yi

Wow! Femme fighters Angela Mao and Judy Lee together in the same film! What more could I ask for? Unfortunately, it doesn't quite live up to expectations. A prince is murdered and his five shiny pearls are stolen by a gang of thieves. The prince's niece (Judy Lee), his silent bodyguard, and a sheriff (Angela Mao) all go after the bad guys, but spend more time bickering with each other than they do investigating. Each of them manages to capture one of the four thieves, but they all end up mysteriously dying. It just so happens that the head thief (Chang Yi) is using our heroes in order to track down his disbanded partners so he can kill them and steal their pearls. Sneaky guy. But he eventually gets a taste of justice Angela and Judy style, and not even his umbrella of death can save him!

As far as kung fu movies go, the story is pretty good, but many of the characters are just downright annoying. The silent bodyguard is just so unnecessary - he speaks with little written scrolls that are accompanied by a silly musical stinger that gets old after the third time you hear it (and you hear it a lot). Angela Mao looks great - beautiful and fierce. She manages to outshine her onscreen and offscreen rival Judy Lee in nearly every scene, although Ms. Lee's talents are not to be scoffed at. The kung fu is energetic and well staged, but spoiled by that unforgivable editing technique of dropping frames. Fortunately, this is employed less and less as the film progresses. Definitely a must-see for Angela Mao fans, and fans of girl fu should get a kick out of it as well.