Way Of The Lady Boxer (HK 1992)

Rating: **
Review Date: 11/6/00
Alternate Title: Madam The Great
Cast: Sharon Yeung (Yeung Pan Pan), Sibelle Hu, Carter Wong, cameo by Jeffrey Falcon

After seeing so much comedic crap lately, it was refreshing to see a somber and gritty Hong Kong action flick once again. Police superintendant Sharon Yeung and her partner are working on a drug trafficking case which leads them to mainland China. There, they hook up with police captain Sibelle Hu and kung fu veteran Carter Wong (a stiff and uncharacteristic role for him). A confusing mess of escalating violence takes place as the film nears its blowout finale, which leaves Sharon's partner out of action and his girlfriend dead. When the good guys finally dig up enough evidence against the bad guys, a huge raid on their warehouse goes down in typical HK style.

This film could have easily been directed by Godfrey Ho, and much of the music was lifted from "Lethal Panther" (1990). It feels like a mix-and-match nightmare and the continuity is awful. It's also geographically confusing, since half the time I couldn't tell if we were supposed to be in Hong Kong or China. The fighting ranges from poor to good, depending on who's fighting and which stuntmen are involved. When she's not fighting with inexperienced stuntmen, Sharon Yeung's fighting scenes are great and she's fun to watch. Unfortunately, all of Sibelle Hu's fights are rather lacking. She's a beautiful woman and a great actress, but her kung fu just isn't that great. It's funny to see Carter Wong as a military man and he looks visibly uncomfortable with his role, but he really comes alive when there are asses to be kicked. There's also a constant underlying tone of Chinese patriotism and political propaganda throughout the film, which is awkward and just plain creepy. Overall, a confusing, but marginally entertaining action outing.