Lung Wei Wang's CITY WARRIORS (1991) is an ultra violent cops versus gangsters/pimps film by the director of equally violent, but more sleazy ESCAPE FROM BROTHEL (1992). The plot in CITY WARRIORS is surprisingly easy to follow and understand and doesn't have too many turns and unclear happenings.
The film has a pretty impressive and talented cast. It includes the veteran Hong Kong actor Dick Wei who plays the lead role as the avenging brother from the mainland China. He is after his sister who turns out to be a prostitute in a very nasty Hong Kong brothel in which a thoroughly perverse transvestite is also "working" and beating the girls when they refuse to satisfy the customers' wishes. Jackie Chan's real life bodyguard (and the incredible fight machine at the end of Jackie's DRUNKEN MASTER 2, 1994) Ken Lo plays the role of the lead bad guy (as if Dick Wei's character wasn't "bad" by the end of the film!) who betrays and kills his way through to achieve his goal.
The film has some fierce action scenes and gun battles but they are nothing special in Hong Kong standards as their action choreographers like Ching Siu Tung can make things that make films like CITY WARRIORS look very tame in comparison. Still even the most modest efforts like this are more kinetic than most of the Western films.
The martial arts magic is pretty brief and so Ken Lo can't show his incredible talent too much in this film. The film concentrates on high level violence without any other meaning than itself. The film has some pretty brutal scenes and murders (especially the one involving the transvestite and two other people) and the finale is also as gratuitous as could expect, and is perhaps, in a way, even wilder than the finale in Aman Chang's BODY WEAPON (1999), which is, by the way, much better film, too.
CITY WARRIORS begins pretty promisingly but then becomes just another violent action film without any personality or deeper meaning and importance in it. I don't like this kind of films too much but I can only wonder how bad this would be if made in Hollywood, especially some 15 years ago!
CITY WARRIORS really isn't among the greats (or near them) of its country and I can't give it more than 2/10. If the viewer doesn't demand anything else than just violence and action, then the rating may well be higher, but things are not that way in my book.
2 of 4 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?