Assuming the role of a female Indiana Jones, Michelle Yeoh (or Kheng,
as she's called in the opening credits) flies, kicks and quips her
way through his 1987 D&B actioner.
Although the scale of the film is initially impressive, what follows
is a mundane story involving the rescuing of a small city's Governor.
To spice things up, Japanese-Chinese relations are pushed to the
limits as the Japanese Army is in the process of taking over the
city for their own gain.
An eclectic combination of elements, ranging from tanks, motorbikes
and jeeps, to spears and rope darts are thrown into the mix and
all fail to produce anything of note.
The fairly frequent, though short, fight sequences are choreographed
with a great deal of imagination, but their direction often lacks
The only moments which got my adrenaline pumping were those featuring
Yeoh and her trusty rope-dart.
Unfortunately, her best fight sequence occurs within the first 20
minutes, and what follows fails to live up to what's preceded it.
Richard Ng is drafted in to do his usual comic turn, but again,
My overriding feeling was that I was watching Yes,
Madam! 2 - a film with one meaty fight scene, wrapped around
the soggy bun of a film.
Although the print's been sitting around for almost 15 years,
HKL have managed to present it with only minor marks and sparkles.
The majority of the film features a fairly muted colour palette,
taking place as it does in a desert-like location, and this aspect
of the transfer is handled well.
Understandably, the age of the print means that a crispness to the
image which rivals recent films, is out of the question.
However, detail ranges from good to very good, easily matching the
best that Universe have produced with films of the same vintage.
The only disappointing element of the transfer is the occasional
muddiness exhibited in some of the film's night scenes.
Something which I had noticed whilst viewing this disc, but had
put down as being an issue with my TV, is that the picture ratio
is in fact NOT 2.35:1.
On closer inspection, it is evident the image has actually been
cropped to 2.06:1.
I didn't feel that this caused any major problems, possibly because
I didn't particularly enjoy the film, but I have altered the 'Picture'
and 'Overall Rating' to reflect this.
disappointing sound mix is provided on the disc, as it features
a horrible reverb effect on everything but the dialogue.
Punches, explosions and gunshots are all affected by this problem,
and result in an off-putting soundtrack which is consistently distracting.
cases of oversimplified translations occur, but overall the subtitles
I did, however, dislike the unnecessary "Britishness" of the subs
in one scene:
Michelle demands "20 quid" from an arms dealer, and I couldn't help
feeling that would be somewhat unlikely considering the film's Chinese,
World-War 2 time-frame...
trailer, UK promo trailer, a Photo Gallery, Interview and Advert
are available under the "Special Features" menu.
The interview, conducted in a restaurant by Rick Baker and Toby
Russell, is a 15 minute chat with Michelle, which covers a number
of her movies and film-making experiences.
It's a generally interesting interview, and one which is made all
the more appealing by the loveliness of Yeoh.
However, obviously enjoying his lunch, Rick Baker's clanking fork
and plate are constantly heard in the background and are occasionally
The advert is a fun look at Michelle's first appearance on Hong
Kong TV, with her co-starring alongside a young Jackie Chan in a
promotion for 'Guy Laroche' watches.
A 20 minute biography is provided, and causes the same "fast-forward,
or listen to the uninterested guy" dilemma that all HKL discs possess.
Judging by their trailer, HKL were hoping to
attract the sort of crowd who would have seen Michelle strutting
her stuff in Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon and Tomorrow Never Dies.
Whilst this seems good business practice, they've unfortunately
managed to pick a film which is more likely to put off future Yeoh
The disc's poor sound, allied with the less than stellar film, make
this disc far from Magnificent.