The Blonde Fury (1989)

Posted in Reviews by - October 21, 2023
The Blonde Fury (1989)

The only Hong Kong movie to star a westerner sees Scranton’s very own Cynthia Rothrock tear up the screen in her ass-kicking prime, laying waste to gweilo fighters like Jeff Falcon and Vincent Lyn at the height of the genre’s ‘golden age’. The film is also famous for being a complete mess; a cobbled-together mix of different edits which was restructured and embellished following news of Rothrock’s ascent in Hollywood. With Cynthia scheduled to work with Sylvester Stallone and William Friedkin on a project which, unfortunately, never materialised, the original cut (directed by Sammo stunt team stalwart and Cynthia’s boyfriend, Mang Hoi) was completely remade by Corey Yuen Kwai, with reshoots summarily ordered to involve more action. With Rothrock filming both China O’Brien films in the USA for Golden Harvest at the time, little attention was paid to her changing hairstyles during the reshoots, and the film is now rife with completely bizarre continuity errors – sometimes within the very same sequences. The story and motivations of many of the characters also seems to wander, as the narrative shifts from an American reporter investigating a counterfeiting operation in Hong Kong, to a more convoluted undercover FBI sting involving a poisoned judge (Roy Chiao), a handsome detective (Chin Siu-ho), a rich maniacal villain (Ronny Yu), a kidnapped best friend (Elizabeth Lee), and a pair bumbling tabloid photographers (Tai Bo and Mang Hoi). In the VHS days, you would have rightly fast-forwarded through many of these sequences containing mostly broad Cantonese humour, and stopped only for the action, which is all very strong – especially Mang Hoi’s original ending, obviously filmed on the Dragons Forever set, which is now plonked in the middle of the movie and sees Billy Chow go toe-to-toe with Chin Siu-ho, and Cynthia taking on a brutal unknown Thai fighter. Rothrock remains majestic and vital throughout, grinning as she drives through 1980s Hong Kong complete with big phones, shoulder pads and slap-bass on the soundtrack. Compared to Rothrock’s other 1980s work – like Yes, Madam! and Righting Wrongs – this film underperformed at the box office, but despite its troubled production, it still stands as a landmark movie in the history of Hong Kong action cinema.

AKA: Above the Law II; Lady Reporter; Righting Wrongs 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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