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In the Line of Duty 5: Middle Man (1990)
"Huang jia shi jie zhi: Zhong jian ren" (original title)

 -  Action  -  30 August 1996 (USA)
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Reviews: 3 user | 5 critic

When he is framed for being a spy because of his friend's illegal activities, David must escape from police, CIA, and assassins with the help of his cousin.


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Credited cast:
Cynthia Khan ...
Yang Lei-Ching
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Chuen-Yee Cha
Billy Chow ...
The General
Wai-lim Chu
Bruce Fontaine ...
Hit Man
Ricky Hung
Mark King ...
CIA unit Chief
Elvina Kong ...
Kong Lau ...
Officer Wong
Kin-sang Lee ...
Kiler in Shades (as Chris Lee)
Lieh Lo ...
Alan's Godfather
Yik-Sang Luk
The General's Secretary
Wai Shum ...


Michelle is the daughter of a Hong Kong triad leader. She inherits the organization's leadership after her father is killed by a rival gang who want to take over. The gang also interrupt her wedding, trying to kill her, but managing to kill her would be husband instead. She decides to take revenge on the killers. Written by kooji_kabuto (

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Release Date:

30 August 1996 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

In the Line of Duty 5: A Beginning  »

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Followed by Sea Wolves (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

5th entry in Hong Kong action series, IN THE LINE OF DUTY
4 July 2003 | by (Bronx, NY) – See all my reviews

IN THE LINE OF DUTY V: MIDDLE MAN (1990) is a lesser entry in the renowned series of policewomen-guns-and-kung fu films of 1985-90. It's got only one major fighting star (Cynthia Khan), not the two or three that the other films had (most notably YES MADAM, aka IN THE LINE OF DUTY 2, which starred a young Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock) and the villains aren't terribly formidable. The plot is even less consequential than those in the earlier films and has to do with someone stealing U.S. military secrets and selling them to foreign buyers. The male lead is David (David Wu), a Chinese-American serviceman who gets implicated in the plot. He turns for help to his cousin, Inspector Yang (Cynthia Khan) of the Hong Kong Police. The CIA is involved at various points. For some reason the action shifts to Korea late in the film where a Hong Kong crime boss involved in the plot, "Godfather" (Lo Lieh), is residing.

There are lots of Caucasians in the film including blonde Australian fighting femme Kim Maree Penn, who works for the bad guys and fights Cynthia in the film's final battle in a room filled with cases made of easily breakable glass. In the Cantonese-language version, viewed for this review, lots of English is spoken, although David, ostensibly an American soldier, rarely speaks it. Amazingly, Cynthia and David encounter enough Cantonese speakers in Korea to find their way around the place.

The good news is there are lots of fights in all kinds of interesting urban spaces and locations and Cynthia gets to engage in a lot of stunt-filled action--from kung fu to shootouts to foot chases to leaps onto speeding vehicles and from rooftop to rooftop. There's never a dull moment for her and she delivers the goods. Still, the fight choreography is never as inspired as in the four earlier IN THE LINE OF DUTY films (which had directors like Corey Yuen and Yuen Wo Ping). And there's a lack of recognizable villains. The one fighting villain familiar to HK fans is Billy Chow, who has one major house-wrecking fight with Cynthia. Kung fu vet Lo Lieh is also on hand but plays an old man and hardly fights. Another action film with Cynthia Khan, QUEEN'S HIGH (1991), is sometimes misidentified as IN THE LINE OF DUTY 5.

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