Top Female Force (HK 2018)

Rating: **
Review Date: 6/21/22
Cast: Kabby Hui, Alycia Chan

It's nearly impossible to tell what's going on in this film without the benefit of subtitles, but I'll try. A wealthy businessman or crime boss is throwing a fancy party and eight attractive young men and women are assigned to work security for it. Or maybe they're working undercover to spy on what's going on. Before long, a terrorist group shows up to crash the party by jamming communications, planting bombs, and killing hostages. It's a pretty grim affair, with the end goal being to force the attendees to sign over their assets (I think). Or maybe it's just an excuse to eliminate the competition. Regardless, the covert agents pair off into boy-girl couples that each have their own troubles to deal with. Against all odds, they manage to survive long enough to get the upper hand and then proceed to take out the bad guys with extreme prejudice.

Honestly, it's not a terrible film, and after seeing "Yes Madam! New Lady Enforcers" (2018) I was pleasantly surprised. The cast is attractive and capable, even if the action scenes aren't very convincing. Only one actress in the cast has a grasp of martial arts and her scenes are fun to watch. The other actresses can't be faulted for making an effort, but their action scenes are soft, slow, and clumsy-looking. However, they all look great handling guns, and I appreciated the film's no-nonsense approach to violence. The action is brisk, but not particularly inspired, and I enjoyed the interplay between all of the characters (even though I had no idea what they were saying). Shoe continuity is surprisingly good, but wardrobe continuity isn't. At one point, Kabby Hui, who has been wearing a strapless dress all evening, rips it off and is somehow wearing a sports bra underneath it. The female villain also starts with bare legs and ends up wearing fishnet stockings, because she's evil, I guess.

It seems like a competently made movie, except that the white balance is consistently off, as if the entire thing was shot with fluorescent lighting or through chartreuse filters. It gives the entire cast an unhealthy green complexion. This may also be a problem with the capture and/or transfer, since I was forced to watch a questionably legitimate version of the film online. I'm surprised it hasn't found a proper release, when much worse films are readily available. The visual effects are subtle and mostly effective, although digital blood becomes overly distracting towards the end. Overall, despite its various shortcomings, I found myself enjoying it throughout, and it never oversteps its bounds into exploitation territory. Well, except at the very end when it indulges in an embarrassingly gratuitous pool party. It's also unclear why the title is "Top Female Force" when there are an equal number of equally talented males on the team. Evidently, that's not a selling point.