License To Steal (HK 1991)

Rating: **
Producer: Samo Hung
Cast: Joyce Godenzi, Agnes Aurelio, Elvina Wong, Yuen Biao, Richard Ng, Billy Chow, Ngai Sing, cameo by Corey Yuen

A mixed bag. Like so many other Hong Kong films of the era, the viciousness and brutality of the action scenes is matched only by the inane stupidity of the humor. In a plot similar to John Woo's "Once A Thief" (1991), Joyce Godenzi, buff and sexy Agnes Aurelio, and cute Elvina Wong are orphan sisters raised as professional thieves. Rash and overly ambitious Aurelio frames Godenzi and takes over the syndicate while bumbling cops Richard Ng, Ngai Sing, and a crazy swordsman wanna-be Yuen Biao try to bring the thieves to justice. As you would expect, the film builds to a climax where the two sisters "settle their differences" with a flurry of fists and feet. A stellar kung fu cast has been assembled, including Billy Chow, Yuen Biao, Ngai Sing, and some other guy who I've seen play a bad guy a lot (Billy Tang?). Watching them go at each other is a real treat, and Joyce's fighting has never been better. It's just far too goofy between the action pieces.