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Archive for April 21st, 2012

Set during WW2 in occupied Manchuria, Brigitte Lin is The Black Fox, an eye-patched tough gunslinging woman who is sent to jail. A decorated army veteran and hero, The Black Fox is actually in jail with a hidden agenda. Locked up in this stinking hellhole is a host of bad ass women. Black Fox doesn’t exactly endear herself to some of the residents by deliberately getting them into all sorts of trouble with the guards but there’s a very good reason for this. Once 6 of the inmates along with The Black Fox has been sent to solitary confinement, she reveals her plan to them. She has chosen the 6 hand picked women because of their skills for a dangerous mission. There is an underground chemical facility by the Japanese Nazis that is producing chemical weapons which needs to be destroyed. If the women help her, she can break them all free from jail. In an audacious break out, the 7 manage to escape and head towards the chemical facility on horseback. However their freedom doesn’t last for very last when they’re captured by a renegade group and have to participate in some goofy contests in order to obtain their freedom. Meanwhile the prison governor demands the 7 women be recaptured and starts Operation Fox Hunt to track and hunt them down. Will the women be able to complete their mission or not?

I did have some reservations about watching this movie given that the director Chu Yin Ping also made the terrible Fantasy Mission Force but I needn’t have worried. The movie is better but it’s not a classic by any means either. The movie is played as an action/comedy movie and not as an outright comedy and it is that which worried me more than anything. I didn’t want to see anything like Fantasy Mission Force again. The movie is a cross between The Dirty Dozen and The Magnificent Seven. Believe it or not, this movie might actually have the honour of being the first girls-with-guns movie to come from HK. The cast of colourful characters led by Brigitte Lin is a delight to see. You’ve got a cool looking woman with a big 80’s mullet called The Black Cat, a beautiful demolition expert, a leopardskin wearing tough Mongolian wrestling female, a woman who becomes a brilliant swordswoman once she downs some alcohol, a cute cat burglar and a prostitute with an attitude. Together onscreen they’re a sight to behold!! The actual mission itself only takes a very small fraction (10 minutes) of the story. The rest of the time is spent showing how the women got themselves into jail, how The Black Fox gets them together, the break out and subsequent capture, the silly goings on to obtain their freedom and the various attempts by the prison governor’s forces to recapture the ladies.  The action is competently done with a lot of gun battles involved. The only problem is they’ve all been shot in darkness! Some of the action is a bit bloody and violent.

What I noticed straight away from one of the opening scenes was the soundtrack used in the movie. I recognised something from out of the old Battlestar Galactica series and sure enough it’s played countless times during the first half of the movie. But that’s not all that’s been stolen and used in this movie. Several western movie music including The Good The Bad And The Ugly also appears. How the filmmakers managed to get away with this I just don’t know. It’s obvious that nobody in Hollywood is aware of this. The plot is a bit disjointed but it’s still an enjoyable and entertaining movie. It’s also been repackaged as Jackie Chan’s Crime Force even though Jackie only appears in a blink-it-or-miss cameo. Another shameless cash-in on his name.

This is a perfect movie to check out when you’re bored on a rainy afternoon with nothing else to watch. It’s got some good comedy, the action is fairly exciting and the characters are such stunning eye candy…..plus it’s got Brigitte Lin in it so that’s a plus too.

Can’t find a trailer but did find this clip from the movie.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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