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China O'Brien (1990)

R | | Action | 1992 (Peru)
A police woman, expert and instructor in martial arts, leaves the city to stay with her dad, sheriff in a town with peace and quiet - or so she thinks. She gets plenty opportunities to show her martial arts skills.

Director:

Robert Clouse

Writers:

Robert Clouse (screenplay), Sandra Weintraub (story)
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Cynthia Rothrock ... China O'Brien
Richard Norton ... Matt Conroy
Keith Cooke ... Dakota
Doug Wright Doug Wright ... Termite
Nijel ... Jonsey
Arturo Rivera Arturo Rivera ... Oscar
Scott McMillan Scott McMillan ... Police Captain
Patrick Adamson Patrick Adamson ... Lickner
David Blackwell David Blackwell ... Sheriff O'Brien
Chad Walker Chad Walker ... Deputy Tyler
Stanton Davis Stanton Davis ... Barlow
Robert Tiller Robert Tiller ... Owens
Lainie Watts Lainie Watts ... Patty
Jaren Harbrecht Jaren Harbrecht ... Man in Bar
Rip Black Rip Black ... Worden
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Storyline

China O'Brien; big city police woman; martial arts trainer, is forced to hand in her badge and head home to her father and the small town where she grew up. The peaceful town she knew is now struggling against the clutches of organized crime. When her father, the town sheriff, is killed China decides to run for his position and clean up the town. The poll results spark a series of confrontations that finally decide who runs the town . . . Written by Mark Harding <mah@imdb.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

She is the ultimate weapon. See more »

Genres:

Action

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

1992 (Peru) See more »

Also Known As:

China O'Brian See more »

Filming Locations:

Coalville, Utah, USA See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Golden Harvest Company See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby

Color:

Color
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Keith Cooke broke his hand shortly before filming commenced while riding a luge with Cynthia Rothrock. This necessitated his character being one-handed. See more »

Connections

Followed by China O'Brien II (1990) See more »

Soundtracks

If You Don't Believe I'm Leavin
Performed by Kregg Nance
Words and music by Pam Sawyer & David Wheatley
Courtesy of Barley Lane Music & Wheatley Music USA
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Well choreographed and minimum thought! Smashing!
2 April 2010 | by BrickNashSee all my reviews

I suppose this was an early attempt to fuse Hollywood with eastern martial arts films, thoroughly flaunting the fact that Robert Clouse, the director of Enter The Dragon was at the helm.

Unfortunately, Robert Clouse was no great shakes as a director and this time there is no Bruce Lee.

Bad acting, cheesy story and a TV quality feel, but none of that matters because the fight scenes are fantastic!!!!!

This is where the film comes into it's own with a partial eastern production behind it. The fights are superbly choreographed and really show off the different talents of the three main fighters. There is a bit too much 'acting' between the fights but not overly so.

Keith Cooke really steals the show with his amazing kicking techniques while Richard Norton opts for a more wrist lock and throw style which is cool beyond belief leaving Rothrock as a good all rounder. This allows you to pick your favourite depending on what style you like, very much like a video game which is good.

The real downpoint to the film, and a lot of these east/west films suffered from this, is that there was no final threat to speak of. The main antagonist is an ageing man with zero fight capability and It was just really wave after wave of goons for the heroes to dispose of, which is no bad thing but it would have been better with a really threatening figurehead and a great end fight between China and a Boss.

The film was in many ways far ahead of it's time and ticks a lot of boxes with regards to the feminist movement. The China O' Brian character is the superior authority in the film with all the lawmen working beneath her, Rothrock gets top billing in both opening and Closing credits and she is not sexualised in any scene and never wears anything lewd or revealing. For 1988 that was pretty much unheard of even in Hollywood let alone a low budget martial arts film.

A great one to watch with mates or even a girlfriend. The sight of a woman kicking scumbag arse is universally appealing!


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