Police Assassins (1985)

Posted in Reviews by - May 10, 2012
Police Assassins (1985)

Yeoh’s first starring role has the former Miss Malaysia as a buttoned up, straight laced HK policewoman in sassy 80s hair and makeup, concealing gun holsters behind high collar jackets and harem pants. She is soon supported by London’s top agent Cynthia Rothrock, recruited from Scotland Yard (ha!) with a remarkable fluency in Cantonese, to help Yeoh crack a case involving cheery criminal James Tien who is in hot pursuit of a microfilm displaying evidence of forged real estate documents.

Meanwhile, the film is in the unfortunate possession of three buffooning petty thieves: Panadol (Tsui Hark), Strepsil (John Sham) and Aspirin (Meng Hoi), whose boss turns out to be Sammo Hung in a particularly humble cameo. The trio keep the comedy broad and clean while Corey Yuen makes sure only his exclusive leading ladies supply the punishment. Cynthia and Michelle’s unlikely on-screen alliance save the film from completely laughing at itself, as well as delivering a spirited roundhouse kick for gender equality.

Yeoh, aged 23, was credited as ‘Michelle Khan’ in her first few HK actioners, before her marriage to entrepreneur and D&B Films producer Dickson Poon influenced a decision to retire from the film industry. Even if Yeoh hadn’t returned to the film industry (she thankfully did and has gone on to make a phenomenal impact in movies like Tomorrow Never Dies and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon), there is still a lot riding on this film for it not to be completely discarded as a mere curiosity. For starters, it features Delaware’s resident blond fury Cynthia Rothrock in her first crippling HK shoot, plus a never ending roll call of Golden Harvest contract talent sticking their noses in for mostly silly comedic cameos, including (among others) Wu Ma, Richard Ng, Dennis Chan and David Chiang.

But the real clincher is watching the formidable females – both of which seem criminally underused – duke it out in sublime, razor sharp fight scenes. The film’s visceral conclusion won’t disappoint as Rothrock fights Dick Wei and Yeoh takes on Chung Fat, here playing a fantastic psychopath called ‘Mad Dog’ whose large moustache is matched in size by two huge eyebrows. Yes, it is quite ridiculous, but in places, it is also quite awesome.

AKA: In the Line of Duty 2; Super Cops; Yes, Madam; Yes, Madam!

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Editor and creator of Kung Fu Movie Guide and the host of the Kung Fu Movie Guide Podcast. I live behind a keyboard in London, UK.

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