6.6/10
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38 user 44 critic

Dong fang san xia (1993)

The all-female Heroic Trio are Tung (Wonder Woman), Chat (Thief Catcher), a mercenary, and Ching (Invisible Woman). Initially, they're on opposing sides - the invisible Ching is kidnapping ... See full summary »

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Cast

Credited cast:
...
...
Ching / Invisible Woman / Number 3 (as Michelle Khan)
...
...
...
Kau (as Anthony Wong)
...
Chief of Police (as Pei Chun)
...
Inventor (as James Pak)
Shi-Kwan Yen ...
Evil Master (as Yee Kwan Yan)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
...
(voice)
Cheuk Yan Chan
Keith Ferguson ...
(voice)
...
Ching / Invisible Woman (voice) (as Jessica Gee)
Patrick Keung
...
(voice)
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Storyline

The all-female Heroic Trio are Tung (Wonder Woman), Chat (Thief Catcher), a mercenary, and Ching (Invisible Woman). Initially, they're on opposing sides - the invisible Ching is kidnapping newborn male babies for her evil master, Tung is trying to solve the crime (rather more effectively than her policeman husband, who is unaware of her secret identity), and Chat, who was formerly employed by Ching's evil master, is trying to sell her services and inside knowledge to the police. But all three have something in common buried deep in their past... Written by Michael Brooke <michael@everyman.demon.co.uk>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Action | Fantasy

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for violence | See all certifications »
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Details

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Release Date:

12 February 1993 (Hong Kong)  »

Also Known As:

The Heroic Trio  »

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Technical Specs

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Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Goofs

Numerous instances of wires being seen...notably when Shadow Fox first appears...on Shadow Fox's throwing projectiles...bullets...babies...the motorcycle in the train station and the manhole cover. See more »

Quotes

Tung: So you're a woman.
Chat: So you're a bitch.
See more »

Connections

References Xue di zi (1975) See more »

Soundtracks

Female Heart
Music by Ta-Yu Lo
Lyrics by Xi Lin
Performed by Anita Mui
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Hong Kong fantasy almost at its greatest!
19 June 2002 | by See all my reviews

Ching Siu Tung, the master of wire work, and Johnnie To, the director of incredible The Big Heat, directed Heroic Trio in 1992. It stars three incredible beauties Anita Mui, Maggie Cheung and Michelle Yeoh. The story is very confusing, but these ladies play Thief Catcher (Cheung), Wonder Woman (Mui) and Invisible Girl (Yeoh) somewhere in future, where evil demon is kidnapping little babies in town, and it is soon revealed that he wants to train one of them to become the future king of China. The Demon has a helper played by very talented actor Anthony Wong (The Untold Story, Hard Boiled, Full Contact etc.) who can fight and keep intruders away from the demon master and babies. These three fighting ladies are on the trail of that baby stealing demon, and they start their fight for justice as the babies must get back safe. The story has some twists and turns, so it may seem a little confusing at first viewing, but the main merits of the film are not in the plot but in the outrageous and unbelievable action scenes, from which director Ching Siu Tung is best known. His most important films include Duel to the Death (the debut), Witch From Nepal and Swordsman films among many others. He is known also as "the wire master" and it is easy to tell why.

Heroic Trio is fantastic fantasy film, and will blow the viewer away, if one is not familiar with these kind of Orient wonders. These films have no equivalent in Western cinema. In Heroic Trio there hardly are any slow moments and only little of the usual stupid slapstick humor, that ruins little otherwise great films like Savior of the Soul and Ching Siu Tung's Terra Cotta Warrior. Heroic Trio is pure action and visuality, and it is easy to love, because there are practically no negative points in the film, considering this is pretty harmless fantasy genre.

The photography and atmosphere is stunning! The streets of Hong Kong are very misty and the greatest scenes are in the underworld in which the demon lives. It is hard to describe with words how this film looks like. The camera twists and flows smoothly and there seems not to be limits for visuality in these films. The fight scenes are great as usual, as wires are used and people fly high and camera shoots every detail in every possible angle. Ching Siu Tung is also action director and choreographer, and he has served in these roles in films like Tsui Hark's Zu: Warriors From the Magic Mountain and John Woo's The Killer and A Better Tomorrow 2. Films in which Ching Siu Tung are involved are usually totally over-the-top magic fests, and thus very unique even in Hong Kong cinema.

There is no any particular content in Heroic Trio and it is kind of empty, but if one can tolerate that and enjoy the visual perfection of this action film, then Heroic Trio is among the greatest Asian fantasy films. The sequel is far more serious as the atmosphere is very dark and holocaust like, and it is easy to see symbols about Hong Kong's future in 1997..

Heroic Trio has also very memorable music soundtrack and the film won even some prize for its theme song in Hong Kong movie awards or some other movie contest. The music is especially brilliant and sort of ominous in the underworld scenes with the sleeping and waking evil demon. The atmosphere is so brilliant, and the feel is just like one would feel in demon's cave! The soundtrack is great throughout, but those particular "demon scenes" are definitely worth a mentioning.

Heroic Trio is not too serious film, it is just action fantasy almost as fantastic as they come, but if there had been some theme or message in the film, it probably would've been even greater as a whole. A Chinese Ghost Story (also Ching Siu Tung's film) is perfect example of this: both visually unbeatable and still spiritually noteworthy. I like Heroic Trio still very much, because the look of the film is so unique, and this was actually the first of these Orient fantasy films I ever saw, and thus I was very amazed when I first saw this. Now after second viewing the magic's still there and the movie has not lost its impact on me.

Heroic Trio is 9/10 film, and is among the greatest (if not the cleverest) Hong Kong fantasies ever made. There are many many others, too, but Heroic Trio is proudly among them.


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