This was Jade Leung‘s third movie (after becoming
a star with the two Black Cat films) and it is a decent if not particularly
overwhelming "Girls with Guns" flick. It has some great locales and solid
action, but it is let down by a script that has only a modicum of originality.
Clearly influenced by the first Lethal Weapon film, Jade plays a despondent
and suicidal cop all too willing to take extreme risks with her life and
she shows little respect for the niceties of the law. Her supervisors in
Hong Kong gladly send her to Singapore to team up with Anita Lee in tracking
down a gun smuggling operation headed by an evil gweilo. Though the focus
is on the action, the director does thankfully manage to get both of these
lovely female actresses into some form fitting and sexy attire.
Not only does Jade's character take risks with
her life, but one has to be amazed at the risks that Jade the actress took
as well. That this former fashion model allowed herself to be constantly
pummeled and thrashed is astonishing, but that is nothing compared to Jade
hanging from a helicopter as it skips the water, pulled down some fast
moving rapids, rolling down a steep hill and jumping on a moving vehicle.
Clearly at times she is being assisted by stunt doubles, but there is little
doubt that she was doing a lot of this on her own. Generally, I would say
that this is one for Jade Leung fans (like myself) simply because she looks
fabulous and has a few moments of shimmering intensity that Jade excels
at with her burning dark eyes.
My rating for this film: 6.5
Reviewed by YTSL
Prior to my watching this movie, if I had been
asked to imagine what a 1994 Mandarin Films offering co-produced by Clifton
Ko and Ronnie Yu -- and possessing a script co-written by Vincent Kuk (along
with Roman Cheung) -- would be like, almost the last thing that would have
come to my mind would have been a “Girls with Guns” work that could be
said to be the reverse sex version of “Lethal Weapon”. Considering
that it is the handiwork of individuals most famous for their farcical
comedies along with the director of “Warriors of Virtue” and “Bride of
Chucky” as well as “The Bride with White Hair” then, it thus probably is
best to not take this not limited budget effort -- which nevertheless spans
three diverse territories (Indonesia and Singapore as well as Hong Kong)
-- too seriously.
The sad thing about SATIN STEEL is that, even
with its having some spectacular -- in terms of physical locale as well
as action -- looking scenes, one does get the distinct sense that the movie’s
makers did not pull out all the stops when making it. Alternatively
put: What with its having the rather game appearing Jade Leung and
Anita Lee as its stars, this could have been a top-notch action flick.
On the other hand, the way some of the scenes were envisioned and filmed,
it might also have been the kind of Category III work that earned its rating
from depictions of sex rather than violence. To put it bluntly: This
female (re)viewer definitely doesn’t see a logical reason for there being
scenes in this flick of Jade Leung taking a shower and having sex as well
as anything other than a tittilatory one for Ms. Leung and Ms. Lee being
shown pursuing suspects while clad in bikini swimsuits.
Either way, the film would have benefited from
having a more original as well as better quality story line plus script
(which undoubtedly suffers further from its dialogue being badly translated
into English). Instead, what SATIN STEEL got saddled with is a hackneyed
and stereotype-reliant (as well as -reinforcing) plot involving a Hong
Kong detective sergeant with suicidal tendencies -- due to her beloved
husband having been murdered on their wedding night by individuals who
were trying to kill her as well as him -- named Jade Leung (who is played
by -- duh! -- Jade Leung) who gets sent to Singapore to track down and
uncover the illegal international weapons trading of an “American Mafia
leader’ named Mr. Fowler (...Yeah, right).
In the city state that is infamous in Asia --
if not the whole world -- for having straight-laced, law-abiding folks,
Jade gets assigned a straight-laced, “by the book” -- well, relative, to
her -- partner (Inspector Ellen Cheng is portrayed by Anita Lee, and proves
to be the feisty Jade’s stylish and soft foil). What passes for comic
relief in SATIN STEEL comes in the form of the Singaporean policewoman’s
foppish boyfriend, Jean Paul Belmondo (Kenneth Chan proves to be an annoying
distraction for more than the film’s two main women). It really is
too bad that he could not be left behind in the “Lion City” when the movie
moves along to Indonesia, where Fowler goes -- with the two female cops
in pursuit -- to have a big meeting with eager arms buyers from an unspecified
Arabian country as well as South-East Asian ones like the Philippines and
Something else that would have made SATIN STEEL
more palatable -- at least for me -- is if the film had featured more of
Russell Wong (Someone I sincerely wish could have become half as ubiquitous
a presence in Hong Kong cinema in the past one and half decades as his
less handsome and talented brother, Michael). Here, he adds a touch
of class to proceedings as well as his lawyer-lover character, Ken, along
with some passionate frisson to his scenes with Jade Leung plus angst for
his scenes with his fluent Cantonese speaking patron and client, Fowler.
Otherwise, it actually wasn’t until pretty late into the Tony Leung Siu
Hung directorial effort that there was all that much to get all that excited
about. More specifically with regards to the action movie’s action
scenes: I have to honestly say that even during the offering’s climactic
chase and fight, I was more impressed by the exotic choice of location
-- a volcanic area that did look very interesting -- than anything else
(including the distinct possibility that Jade Leung might performed a significant
portion of her own stunts for this work).
My rating for the film: 5.5
Distributed by Yuki
The transfer is fine - quite clear with a tiny
bit of speckling. At one point the transfer goes bad for about a minute,
but it might just be my copy.
Cantonese and Mandarin language tracks.
There is no menu available - so no extras or
The subtitles are burnt on Chinese and English.