Two Tigers (Italy/China 2007)

Rating: **
Review Date: 1/13/14
Cast: Andrea Osvárt, Selena Khoo

You know my mother used to say "don't trust strangers in traffic jams."

If only Gilda had taken her mother's advice... This is the story of two women who get betrayed by sleazy lovers, and the impact it has on their lives and their friendship. One woman is Gilda Robbins (Andrea Osvárt), a professional assassin who is in Shanghai to knock off a Lebanese general, and the other is Lin (Selena Khoo), a Chinese prostitute who lives next door. Both women are tough and know how to take care of themselves, but in the end they have to rely on each other in order to survive.

This is not the female assassin action thriller I was hoping for, and the woman holding a katana on the box cover isn't even in the film. Nor is there a katana. The two fight scenes that are in the film are woefully pathetic, and the film would have been better off without them. The dojo scene is particularly embarrassing, and only succeeds in undermining Gilda's alleged combat skills. As a foreign production with non-English speaking actors attempting to act in English, the dialog delivery is a bit rough and broken, and Selena Khoo's English appears to be overdubbed with someone else's voice. Andrea Osvárt's delivery is a bit flat, but otherwise she's a decent actress with an expressive face and convincing body language. She's also quite pretty and has beautiful breasts. There are a fair number of topless love scenes, but they're not embarrassing, awkward, or uncomfortable, like similar "action porn" titles. In many ways it reminded me of a "Zero Woman" film, except with a bigger budget, better production values, a smarter script, and considerably less sleaze. That's not to say that it's a good film, but it's definitely watchable and the female characters are likable and fun to watch.

While the film mostly focuses on the existential crises and relationship woes of the two women, the assassin angle is used to add a sense of danger and intrigue to the otherwise unremarkable plot. An American cop has been relentlessly searching for Gilda for the last two years and finally gets a solid lead on her after her first hit in Shanghai, but their confrontation is the single most baffling and utterly ridiculous part of the film. Taken by surprise, Gilda is shot and falls into the sea, and in the ten seconds that it takes for our American cop to reach the edge of the water, she has managed to sneak aboard a speeding boat 100 yards away. Huh? Now that's some serious strength, skill, and stamina for you.