Posts Tagged ‘Yukari Oshima’

Aka Iron Angels and Fighting Madam

The HK Government lays waste to Thailand’s Golden Triangle poppyfields’ production which was worth $30 million dollars. The drug lord and his executives are furious for this disruption by the police and seek immediate reprisals against them. One of the executives Madame Sue, a ruthless killer starts murdering the police personnel involved in the Thai raid as revenge but refuses to listen to orders from her boss to stop. She kills him and takes charge herself. Enter The Angels – a specialist highly skilled team consisting of Moon – a secretary during her offtime, Elaine, Saijo, the new recruit Alex and their boss John Keung. Their job is to take down Madame Sue and her cronies who are looking to expand their empire abroad.

This is a mixed bag of a movie. Whilst it has many incredibly exciting action sequences that you normally associate with this kind of genre from HK in the mid 80’s, it is hampered by the fact that it’s a stop/start affair. If you come into this movie expecting an all out action movie you’re going to get disappointed as the movie is partly a spy thriller too which slows down proceedings. There’s a little bit of comedy as well but mostly this is a straight forward action/spy movie. The action you do see however is probably one of the best in the girls-with-guns genre (it has been called the defining movie in the genre) and features some brutal martial arts action especially the short fight between Moon Lee (in her breakout role) and her usual nemesis Yukari Oshima at the climax. The raid on Madam Sue’s HQ by The Angels is particularly memorable with guns blazing in all directions and explosions going off capped off by two of the main characters leaping off the top of a house through some pine trees which breaks their fall. HK action at it’s very best. The sequence even has Saijo dangling one handed on a helicopter ladder whilst mowing down Madam Sue’s goons with a machine gun.

There’s an excellent cast in this movie. The pick of the bunch has to be Yukari Oshima who is on top form as a cruel sadistic villainess who enjoys torturing her prisoners. She comes across as an icy cold and a not-to-be-messed person, even punishing her own workers if they’ve failed her. We don’t usually see her sexy side but here we see her in a swimming costume and even being sexually aggressive. Fans of Moon Lee will love her kick ass role in this movie. Whilst she had been in several movies previously as a minor character, this would the one that would make people sit up and hail her as one of HK’s newest female action star. She’s her usual cute self in this movie and shows her fantastic nimble and acrobatic fighting skills. It was nice to also see Hwang Jang Lee in this movie who is best known in the West from being in Jackie Chan’s movies Snake In The Eagle’s Shadow and Drunken Master. I have to mention that the rest of the cast are no slouches in their roles either.

Whilst this movie isn’t one of the best in the genre thanks to it being bogged down at times by the script, it does have plenty of intense violence to satisfy the action junkie. It’s certainly worth checking out.

Sadako’s Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

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Bullet is a delinquent teenage girl who is being released from jail. She has a fractious relationship with her police inspector father since he put his wife and Bullet’s mother in jail for a crime where she committed suicide. Since that time, Bullet went off the rails and joined a triad gang. As she comes out of jail, her father tries to patch up his relationship with his daughter but is ignored. Bullet joins up with her best friend Chitty and her delinquent gang. Bullet, Chitty and her friends unwittingly get involved in the activities of a dangerous gangster Mad and his cohorts when Chitty’s friend May is lured by an offer of a movie role, is drugged before being raped, videotaped and forced into prostitution by the sleazy Mr Chin. This enrages the gang who burst into Mr Chin’s office and demand the tape be given to them. Bullet’s impulsiveness for stealing some jewellery leads the whole group into trouble with May and her friend being kidnapped for ransom by Mad. Even Chitty’s aged uncle gets in on the action. However the rescue mission for the 2 kidnapped people results in Chitty’s uncle, May and her friend being killed. Chitty is upset and distraught that Bullet has caused all this trouble thanks to what she’s done. Bullet refuses to admit responsibility for her actions. Determined to make things right, Bullet takes matters into her own hands and armed with 2 molotov cocktails and a short sword tries to take on Mad and his gang all by herself. Despite her initial success, Bullet is killed along with her father who turns up just after his daughter has been shot. The female partner of Bullet’s father in the police force and Chitty now both want revenge on Mad and everything is set up for an explosive finale……

What an incredible Girls With Guns movie this was. We’re straight into the action immediately at the start as Sibelle Hu’s acrobatic police character Madame Wu goes in all guns blazing to a building as some jewel thieves hold a couple of hostages and that’s just the beginning of a series of sensational set-pieces that you will see in this movie. The fight choreography, shootouts, brilliant stunts and the tragic storyline that unfolds all adds up to make an entertaining movie that will blow you away. With an all star female cast of Moon Lee, Yukari Oshima and Sibelle Hu how can this movie not go wrong! This is Yukari Oshima’s movie though and the story is mostly focused on her character Bullet. Her character is mean and moody. It doesn’t help that she can’t control her rage and this brings down the rest of her friends with her. Right from the beginning where she gives the middle finger to a female police officer as she’s released from jail you just know that Bullet is a pack of trouble and with a pair of pants that she wears with the word “slut” written all over them it doesn’t take a genius to realise that Bullet doesn’t like authority very much! I did like the slow motion sequence as Bullet slashes her way through Mad’s gang in the middle of a street armed only with a short sword with blood covering her face only to be gunned down by Mad himself – it’s almost like she is sacrificing herself for the mistake she has made. This leads to a fantastic climax at Mad’s beach hideout with Moon Lee involved in an excellent hand to hand combat fight with 2 female opponents while Sibelle Hu blasts her way through the bad guys with a pump action shotgun. All 3 women give it their all in this movie with Moon Lee and Yukari Oshima given the chance to show how good their acting really is as well as their kick ass fighting skills. I’m not taking anything away either from Sibelle Hu who gives one of her best performances ever as a no nonsense police officer.

If you are a HK fan who’s never seen this movie then you owe it to yourself to see it. Violent, fast-paced and a high bodycount make this one of the greatest Girls With Guns movie I have ever seen. Miss it, miss out!!

No trailer but here’s Yukari Oshima character’s death scene in the movie.

Sadako’s Rating: 4.5 stars out of 5

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Two inexperienced female cops Grace and Ellen go undercover at a hostess club to catch a killer when a girl is found dead inside a dumpster. One of them accidentally learns that the club owner Chan is a member of a gang whose intention is to go to the very top by killing his superiors. To do this, he hires a deadly Japanese female hitman who’s very handy with a blow gun! After gaining the position he wants, he screws over the Yakuza by stealing their cache of arms. During a car chase and subsequent fight in which Ellen and Grace are chasing the hitwoman on a motorbike, Ellen loses her gun. When the Police Inspector learns about this, he suspends Ellen from duty and Grace is demoted. This leads to a rift between the two girls. Grace continues to investigate Chan and is unfortunately fatally injured by him. Ellen vows revenge but can she take down Chan and his gang alone? Is the mysterious Japanese hitwoman all that she seems?

Beauty Investigator is a very good entry in the ‘Girls With Guns’ genre with a great mix of action and humour. The action isn’t exactly top notch but it’s choreographed well enough. Moon Lee uses a nifty wrist missile launcher during the final showdown, first time for me to see anything like that being used. The only problem I had with this movie is the tone shifts from being comedic to serious after Grace is killed. As for the acting – Moon Lee and Kim Je Kee are funny together as Ellen and Grace. They constantly argue and bicker as best friends do. It’s silly stuff which I found amusing. Yukari Oshima as always is excellent as the Japanese black trenchcoated hitwoman but there’s a twist with her character near the climax. There’s one gratitious nude shower scene featuring Chan’s foreign girlfriend played by Sophia Crawford which was unnecessary in my opinion. Despite some plot weakness and the fact that the movie is low budget, this is still a thrilling and entertaining action movie which will please Moon Lee and Yukari Oshima fans especially the final fight that the two of them have with different opponents.

Sadako’s Rating: 3 stars out of 5

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