Cheetah on Fire

What a cast this straight-ahead action film has! Lets just list them – because the cast is unfortunately a lot more impressive than the film itself.  Donnie Yen, Carrie Ng, Cheung Man, Ken Lo, Gordon Liu, Eddie Ko, Shing Fui-On, Michael Woods and John Salvitti. This is some fairly solid talent – but mysteriously it somehow isn’t enough to really spark this film up. It does have a lot of action – some of it reasonably good – but the filler between the action segments is very dreary and none of the characters really come alive on the screen.  You just don’t really care what happens to any of them and in the end when one of the major characters has a drawn out death scene it is impossible not to laugh out loud. Still for 90-minutes of mindless action and some beautiful women, this is not all that bad.

Shing Fui-On has managed to steal a valuable computer chip, but he is in the custody of the police. While transporting him, a gang – with Ken Lo and Gordon Liu among them – try and break him out – not to save him, but to kidnap him. The cops – Carrie Ng, Cheung Man – fend them off, but Shing is able to escape in the chaos.

Cheung Man, Carrie Ng and Donnie Yen
So now the bad guys and the cops (who also are joined by a sullen Donnie Yen) try and track him down – their main lead is Eddie Ko who is trying to auction the chip off. There was one very odd scene – Liu who was wounded in the kidnapping attempt has the bullet removed while having sex with a woman. Now I recall Stephen Chow in From Beijing with Love using pornography tapes as an anesthetic for a similar setup – so perhaps this is something doctors should look into!
Liu, Ken Lo and Shing Fui-On
Eventually, the bad guys get the chip – after much maiming and murdering – and fly off to Thailand. There they sell it to Michael Woods and John Salvetti who are encamped somewhere in the wilds of Thailand. Yen and crew accompanied by much of the Thai army invade the compound and the film turns into a war film. Strangely though – even with weapons everywhere, some of the major stars run out of ammunition and have to resort to hand to hand combat!
Ng, Woods and Eddie Ko
The action is actually a lot of fun – a bit over the top at times – sometimes silly looking – but everyone gets involved. Much of it is gunplay, but there are some good one on ones – though Ken Lo against Carrie Ng didn’t seem very fair! Yen actually does not go up against his foe – Michael Woods – from In the Line of Duty IV – but he does match up with Ken Lo and Gordon Liu.

Needless to say both Carrie and Cheung Man look lovely throughout – even after being wounded and beaten up – and Carrie never loses that stunning gloss to her red ripe lipstick. Carrie is truly the lipstick queen.

My rating for this film: 6.5