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The Heroic Trio (Dung fong saam hap) (1993)

  Directed by: Johnny To
Written by: Susanne Chan, Sandy Shaw
Starring: Maggie Cheung, Damian Lau, Anita Mui, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Michelle Yeoh
Links: The Heroic Trio on the IMDb, Buy on Video, Buy on DVD
Genre: Action

This movie gets: 10.00 (1 rating) Ranking: not yet ranked (awaiting 2 ratings)

""The Invisible Cloak cannot be found by anyone now."" - a review by timchuma

In present-day Hong Kong, 18 babies have gone missing in three months in a case that baffles police. Even more baffling is when an invisible foe tells them the 19th baby will be taken that night.

Determined to stop her, Wonder Woman (Anita Mui) fights that Invisible Woman (Michelle Yeoh) and manages to rescue one of the babies that was taken from the heavily guarded hospital nursery.

The next day we meet Thief-Catcher Chat (the always delightful Maggie Cheung), as she jumps her motorbike over the police barricade to get some armed robbers who have taken hostages in a chemical factory. Her method of entry into the factory is unique: she throws a lit stick of dynamite into a 44-gallon drum and hops on for a ride.

She beats up the bad guys and then goes to leave, but she is stopped by the police officer whose baby was kidnapped the night before, hoping that she will investigate.

Not long after this, we get to see the Invisible Woman for the first time, when her Invisible Cloak wears off at dawn. Yan (the Invisible Woman) take the baby she stole to her master in an underground lair where a scheme is underway to find a replacment Emperor of China.

Also in the lair is Kau, the Master's henchman who seems to get bits cut off him all the time (he eats his own finger when Yan chops it off).

We also meet the doctor who is working on a cloak of invisibility, which Yan has been ordered to get by the Master, and then kill the doctor. For some reason, the doctor doesn't want Yan in the room where he is working on the cloak, as he fears for her safety.

The next day, an anonymous informant tells the paper that another baby will be kidnapped. This time Wonder Woman is prepared by already being at the hospital (in her civilian guise) and also Yan. They get trapped in a storeroom by a psycho who says he is going to kill all the babies. The two only just manage to escape and warn the police who stop the psycho just in time. For some reason Chat is hiding in the nursery and decides to take one of the babies for a ride on her motorbike.

The three meet in a barn where they all try and get the baby (Wonder Woman keeps shining her throwing knife on Chat's cleavage to show her that she can't get away).

Feeling guilty about taking the baby, Chat breaks into the Master's lair and finds all the babies in cages. She then only just manages to escape herself after the Master throws needles at her that burrow up to your brain if they hit you.

Wonder Woman confronts Chat, who tries to shoot her with a shotty at point blank range but keeps missing. They both decide to try and get the babies back.

First, however, they have to deal with Kau, who has taken hostages at a railway station and wrecked all the computers so a train is going to crash. The police try and stop him, but they are blown up with mines and Wonder Woman's husband is among them. What follows is a spectacular fight sequence with a mid-air spinning motorbike and ends with Kau trying to hold back a speeding train. Chat throws him a stick of dynamite to try and get rid of him.

After this, Yan catches up with Chat and gets the needles out of her. Chat tries to convince Yan to go up against the Master with Wonder Woman, but she refuses and the other two go after her, Chat on her motorbike and Wonder Woman on a horse.

Hanging off the side of a cliff, Wonder Woman finds out that Yan is her long-lost sister. While they reminisce, Chat throws a rope down and pulls them up using her strong neck muscles.

Yan agrees to help them, but only if they go save the doctor first. They arrive at the lab only to find him being held hostage by Kau. They fight Kau again and after Yan says goodbye to the doctor, they go to fight the Master...

This is one of the most enjoyable action movies I have seen for quite a while.

The stars are what makes it so successful: Anita Mui as Wonder Woman is stylish and dignified, Maggie Cheung as Chat is the wild woman who could kick Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001)'s arse six ways to Christmas and Michelle Yeoh beats her own performances in the other movies I have seen her in.

The action is the other part of the movie that makes it great. There are several scenes that brought cheers and surprised laughter from the audience. All of the fight scenes are excellent also.

This is one of the best Hong Kong movies I have seen in years and surely one of the classics of modern Hong Kong action cinema.

timchuma gives this movie 10 out of 10.
Review created on Fri 24 Dec 2004

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