Director: David Chung
Stars: Michelle Yeoh, Derek Yee, Richard Ng
An arms smuggler (Yeoh) is hired by the Chinese government to smuggle a different type of cargo -- a secret agent known as 001 (Yee) and the ruler of a province known as Kaal, which is being overtaken by the Japanese so they can build a chemical weapons plant. While in Kaal, Yeoh mistakes a small-time hustler (Ng) for 001 and the action sets off from there.
This was Yeoh's final action-oriented role before her marriage to producer Dickson Poon (and five-year "retirement" from the HK film industry before returning in 1992 with the excellent Police Story 3: Supercop) and is a great showcase for her talents. Her character (roughly based on Indiana Jones) has a knack for beating up people in inventive ways using bullwhips and ropes, which provides the means for some great fight sequences. Magnificent Warriors does have its faults, though -- the script is fairly poor, mostly serving as a bridge between the action bits. This is not bad in and of itself, but when some character development is attempted, it comes off as heavy-handed and only serves to slow the movie down. Thankfully, there's not too much of it, as this film is chock full of good action sequences, which are marred only slightly by some choppy editing and a bland soundtrack that repeats itself throughout the movie.
If you're a fan of Michelle Yeoh, you should enjoy this movie, since it's really more of a showcase for her talents than anything else.
Note: one of the big rumors as to why Michelle Yeoh "retired" from the HK movie industry was that she was nearly crippled on the set of Magnificent Warriors. Yeoh refuted this rumor somewhat in an interview with "Screen Power" magazine, saying "Actually, I was quite badly hurt...I was doing a scene and I ruptured an artery. It was kicked until ruptured. It was hurt so bad. At one stage they thought I would never have any more feeling in that part of my body, just below my shin. I was limping for a long time too...but the main reason I wanted to retire was because once you're married, you want to have a normal family life. You can't have a normal life being in the movies" [from Vol. 3, Issue 1].
A review of the DVD for this movie can be found here
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