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December 10, 2005

Hong Kong "Girls Kick Ass" Double Feature

Naked Weapon
Chek Law Dak Gung
Tony Ching Siu-Tung - 2002
Hart Sharp Region 1 DVD

The Inspector Wears Skirts
Ba Wong Fa
Wellson Chin - 1988
Universe Laser & Video DVD

Say what you will about Tom Cruise, if you need a reason to look forward to Mission Impossible 3, her name is Maggie Q. Not only is she cute, but as an Asian-American, Maggie Q speaks fluent English, unlike some of the stars of a big budget Hollywood film about Japan. The film she is in, Naked Weapon is actually better than what would be expected by the title, and was actually shot as an English language production primarily with Chinese and Asian-American actors.

I'm almost surprised this film wasn't made by Luc Besson. Part of the film also owes a debt to Kinji Fukasaku. The premise is that young girls are kidnapped by the mysterious Madame M to be trained as highly paid assassins. A young C.I.A. agent has been on the trail for the past six years. The action sequences are all post-Matrix with much wire work involving the kind of leaping around that Nijinsky probably dreamt about. While there are a lot of weapons, there isn't much nudity, except for a discrete shower seen involving Ms. Q and Anya, her assassin "sister".

The director, Ching Siu-Tung was the action choreographer for Zhang Yimou's Hero, and House of Flying Daggers. As a director, Ching also had a hand in all three of the Swordsman films. With his credentials, one has to wonder why he wasn't asked to direct any of the Hollywood female action movies that have come and gone. Ching, the son of Hong Kong director Gang Cheng also includes pioneer Hong Kong action heroine Cheng Pei-Pei as Maggie Q's mother. Cheng was widely seen in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, the film that introduced Zhang Ziyi to the world. Maggie Q and Zhang appeared together in a film that is unspeakable in any language.

Further research indicates that The Inspector Wears Skirts was actually directed by the most popular Asian actor in the world. One would wish the film was as funny as the similarly titled The Lieutenant Wore Skirts. The film is about Sibelle Hu's organizing and training of a squad of policewomen. Cynthia Rothrock also is on hand to show Hu's trainees some real martial arts. The lowbrow humor and slapsticks are less amusing than a scene that takes place in a roller skating rink. Several policemen and policewoman perform a song and dance number that looks like a scene from Grease as directed by Corky St. Clair. The Inspector Wears Skirts managed to get less interesting as it progressed, but I had a nice little nap during the end of the film.

Posted by Peter Nellhaus at December 10, 2005 07:18 PM


this one really sounds like a date we didn't have. how are you doing, i am on the road to bangkok tomorrow again, this time something about stainless steel counter tops and young lesbians.
so many little things happening, write to me too silly man.

Posted by: lumena atherton at December 14, 2005 11:54 AM