at the cover art/movie poster and that the film is produced
by Wong Jing, those with longer memories must be expecting a
modern-day remake of the producer's successful Naked Killer
the earlier film, in Naked Weapon, the sex is very much toned
down - there is a bit of nudity (fleeting shots of bare breasts
but nothing to get unduly excited about) - and the homoerotic
angle in Naked Killer is practically gone (here it is turned
into a deep friendship between two women - Charlene (Maggie
Q or Maggie Quigley) and Katt (Anya Wu).
of promising sports people and potential martial artists - all
young girls - are lured/abducted by Madame M (Almen Wong) and
brought to a remote island where they undergo intensive training
for six years and are turned into assassins. Again, the potential
for some steamy Big Doll House type of prison-fare never materialises.
So, this is a Ching Siu Tung (Heroic Trio, Chinese Ghost Story)
movie and while some of the girls look wacko, especially Jill
(Jewel Lee), they certainly are chaste. For their graduation
programme, the girls have to fight off each other ala Battle
Royale style until only one remains. Of course, Madame M breaks
her house rules and allows not one but three girls to live.
As a sort of farewell gift, the three girls are raped, a message
to say that their bodies are not even sacred.
missions take them all over the world and they end up in Hongkong
where Charlene meets up with her mother (Cheng Pei Pei). All
this while, Madame M and her China Doll assassins are being
investigated by CIA agent Jack (Daniel Wu), who also falls in
love with Charlene. In her attempt to kill Cheng Pei Pei, Jill
is killed by Charlene but Madame M, Charlene and Katt have to
fend for themselves when they come against the ruthless Ryuichi
who pretends to hire their services.
shot in English (is Ching aiming for a Hollywood stint?), though
there is a Cantonese dialogue track on the DVD, the dialogue
is stiff. As for narrative flaws, it is hard to think of these
supposedly hardened assassins to be so emotionally brittle,
especially between Charlene and Katt. And one wonders what kind
of hold Madame M has over her killers?
a Ching Siu Tung movie for its action and here he does not disappoint.
There is an ingenious move that leads to the breaking of the
spine and an interesting manner in which the lens of a pair
of sunglasses can be turned into a deadly weapon. Overall, the
action set pieces are well set up and executed, though it is
obvious Ching had Matrix in mind - especially the freeze frames
and balletic moves.
this movie is for Ching Siu Tung fans and anyone really hard
up for some action, babe or otherwise. (6 for the action)
- Stephen Tan