First things first. Police Assassins is nothing to do with Police Assassins! It is, in fact, about good cop Michelle Yeoh's fight to find her friend's killer and recover evidence that would incriminate the big mean man who had a hand in his death. Drafted in to help her is Cynthia Rothrock who, for some inexplicable reason, comes over from England and, coincidentally, speaks perfect Cantonese.

There are a lot of inexplicable things about this film. Firstly, three of the loveable criminal rogues are oddly named after pharmaceutical products - Panadol, Asprin and Strepsil. Then there are strange little scenes that appear to have nothing to do with the movie, such as a fight between a traffic warden and a policeman over who gets to give a car a parking ticket. Then some parts of the plot are so badly explained that it is difficult for those following the subtitles to understand. Why is a piece of microfilm important? And why did the dead man have it? It isn't until the end that these things are sort of resolved.

Quibbles aside, the real point of the thing is to show off the cast's kung fu at any given opportunity. Michelle Yeoh proves once again why she is Hong Kong's leading action lady with some death defying stunts, a lot of which she performed herself. Rothrock proves more than capable as the bad cop to Yeoh's good cop. She, too, does some high kicks and even manages to move her leg in a weird twisted position.

Police Assassins - or Yes, Madam as it is also known - is, in theory, an all-right film despite the little inconsistencies. It is even quite funny in places, like the time-old joke of the phone ringing and the person at the other end asking for the Chinese takeaway. However, this isn't enough. The characters seem too stereotyped and the protagonists lack any appealing qualities whatsoever.

The only reason that anyone might find it bearable is the fighting.

Reviewed on: 12 Apr 2002
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Martial arts queen Michelle Yeoh kicks ass with help from Brit Rothrock.
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Director: Corey Yuen Kwai

Starring: Michelle Yeoh, Cynthia Rothrock, John Sham, Mang Hoi

Year: 1985

Runtime: 90 minutes

BBFC: 18 - Age Restricted

Country: Japan


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