In the Line of Duty III

If ever anyone says that they don’t enjoy watching the “girls with guns” films because they lack the intensity of the male action films, ask them to check out this film. It is intense, brutal and ferocious. I sat there in gleeful disbelief as Michiko Nishawaki cold bloodily kills anyone in her way and as Cynthia Khan relentlessly chases after the bad guys/girls. What made this film an instant classic in 1988 was not only the great action scenes, but also the perverse yet passionate love story between Michiko and her partner (Stuart Ong), the bitter hatred that grows between Michiko and Cynthia leading to the eventual fight to the death and the theme of revenge that runs through this film.
Michiko looking so sleek and stylish in her sunglasses and weaponry along with Ong burst into a flashy jewelry show in Japan and gun down everyone they can and haul off a bag full of valuables. In the process they kill a young cop and his partner follows them to HK after promising the dead man’s wife that he will honor his memory.  Inspector Paul Chun Pui assigns his niece Cynthia Khan (Inspector Yeung) to host Hiroshi around town because he thinks this will keep her out of harm’s way.
This film was Cynthia’s breakthrough film. After giving up on a dance career, she made a few small films in Taiwan (from where she comes) and then was discovered by D&B who were looking for a femme fatale to replace the retiring Michelle Yeoh. Along with Moon Lee and Yukari Oshima, she helped push the “girls with guns” genre into a great deal of popularity over the next number of years.
At any rate, being with Hiroshi proves to be far from a safe place to be – he is intent on finding the pair of killers (Red Army terrorists actually) which is fine with Cynthia who is chaffing under the protective wing of her uncle – and the two of them get into a number of fights with Michiko and Ong. Everyone one of the fights outdoes the one before and the intensity level just keeps rising. The final fight with Cynthia taking on both Michiko and her friend Dick Wei is simply astonishing in the apparent level of hatred that has grown between these adversaries and the desire they have to hurt one another.
As good as Cynthia looks in this film – she shows great athletic ability – Michiko simply steals the show whenever she is on screen. Her stunning beauty is enhanced with a performance that is sensual, smoldering, passionate, and vulnerable – but always deadly. In her first scene she comes up to a security guard and lustfully kisses him as she repeatedly stabs him to death. This personifies her character in the film.


This is “girls with guns” at its best - great action, beautiful tough women and not an inch of compromise.

My rating for this film: 8.5


DVD Information

Distributor: Universe

The transfer is spectacular. During the jewelry show the stones simply sparkled.

Letterbox

Subtitles in English, Traditional Chinese, Simplified Chinese

Trailers for this film, In the Line of Duty IV and V and Yes Madam

Information on Cynthia Khan

It is very heartening to see this film in such good shape – and as a bonus this version has the nude scene of Michiko which many of the video versions had deleted!