Dong fang san xia [The Heroic Trio] (1993)

(On DVD, April 2004) Fans of the usual wacky Hong Kong action cinema antics will find plenty to like here as three of the loveliest Hong Kong actresses are unleashed on a film that could best be described as… strange. Kidnapped babies are the MacGuffin here, but the real attraction is seeing Maggie Cheug, Anita Mui and (woo) Michelle Yeoh star in a series of action sequences. Strange stuff, well-directed with a tremendous amount of style. This isn’t for everyone, though: Even Hong Kong cinema connoisseurs are likely to wince at some of the casual violence inflicted on babies in this film, especially when it’s glossed over in favour of more heroic images (To quote: “…most of the babies were returned unharmed…” Eeek!) On the other hand, the film has an undeniable sexiness, especially when the lead trio is allowed to, er, stretch their legs. Don’t miss the “exoskeleton” finale. The bare-bones American DVD is another fine hatchet job by Miramax, which can’t even be bothered to include an original-language track.

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