In the Line of Duty 3 (1988)

Posted in Reviews by - October 16, 2022
In the Line of Duty 3 (1988)

Debut starring-role vehicle for young Taiwanese dancer, Yang Li-tsing, renamed “Cynthia Khan” by her new employers, D&B Films, based on a combination of the stars of the studio’s first smash-hit movie, 1985’s Yes, Madam!: that’s Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Khan, née Yeoh. Cynthia Khan picks up this notable ‘girls with guns’ film series from Yeoh – who starred in the first two films, confusingly known as Yes, Madam! and Royal Warriors – who took early retirement after marrying D&B Films co-founder, Dickson Poon. Cynthia Khan is a great onscreen fighter, but you certainly won’t be mistaking her for her namesakes given her solid if somewhat vacant performance. In the tradition of 1980s Hong Kong action movies, she is put through the ringer: shot at, run over, blown up and beaten, particularly at the hands of baddies Dick Wei and a possessed Michiko Nishiwaki in surely one of her finest villain roles. Khan plays Madam Yang, a tough HK cop assigned to Chief Qin’s team. Qin (Paul Chun) is also Yang’s uncle, setting up a nice if over-baked gag in which Qin continually tries to shield his niece from the more dangerous aspects of her job, which helps to round the edges of her character. She is assigned to protect a Japanese cop (Kamen Rider star Hiroshi Fujioka) who is in Hong Kong on a mission to avenge the death of his buddy at the hands of the passionate, maniacal crooks known as the ‘Duo Robbers’ (played by Stuart Ong and Michiko Nishiwaki). Their relationship is complex; militant communists who look like a Wall Street Bonnie and Clyde, they’re in town hoping to secure weapons for the Japanese Red Army and enjoy strange bonking sessions in-between bouts of widespread killing. They’re the sort of couple who make-out after setting fire to a speedboat and killing everyone on board. When her pill-popping hubby is run over by the cops, Michiko teams up with another communist sympathiser (played by Dick Wei) and the two of them commit to making Madam Yang’s life a living hell, until the obligatory fist-flying, sledgehammer-throwing finale set in a warehouse full of dangerous props. There are cameos from Sammo’s ‘Lucky Stars’ troupe (including Eric Tsang, Stanley Fung, and Richard Ng), but they feel incongruous, designed to add zaniness to what is essentially a typically gung-ho cop movie. Despite this slightly rocky start, D&B Films would stick with their new signing for many more In the Line of Duty sequels.

AKA: Force of the Dragon; Yes, Madam! 2.

This post was written by
Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a laptop in London, UK.

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