Yes, Madam! (1985)

Posted in Reviews by - May 10, 2012
Yes, Madam! (1985)

Michelle Yeoh’s starring-role debut sees the former Miss Malaysia play a buttoned-up, straight-laced HK cop 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 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 buffoonish petty thieves: Panadol (Tsui Hark), Strepsil (John Sham) and Aspirin (Mang Hoi), whose boss turns out to be producer Sammo Hung in a particularly understated cameo. The trio keep the comedy broad and clean while Corey Yuen makes sure his leading ladies supply the punishment. Cynthia and Michelle’s unlikely partnership saves the film from completely laughing at itself, as well as delivering a spirited roundhouse kick for gender equality. Yeoh, 23, was credited as ‘Michelle Khan’ in her first few Hong Kong actioners, before her marriage to entrepreneur and D&B Films producer, Dickson Poon, influenced her decision to retire from the industry (thankfully a decision she reversed following their divorce). This was also the first crippling HK shoot for USA forms champion Cynthia Rothrock, who positively shines in her debut, bolstered by a never-ending roll-call of Hong Kong acting talent jumping in for mostly silly comedic cameos, including (among many others) Wu Ma, Richard Ng, Dennis Chan and David Chiang. But the real appeal is watching the film’s formidable leads duking it out in sublime, razor-sharp fight sequences, which are some of the best that Hong Kong cinema has to offer: gawp at Rothrock’s spellbinding fight with Dick Wei while Yeoh takes on Chung Fat, here playing a fantastic psychopath called ‘Mad Dog’ whose large moustache is matched in stature by two huge eyebrows. Sure, it’s ridiculous, but it’s also unequivocally awesome.

AKA: In the Line of Duty 2; Police Assassins; Super Cops; Yes, Madam.

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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