The English title for this 1995 Hong Kong obscurity is TOUGH BEAUTY AND THE SLOPPY SLOP – a unique name, to be sure, but one without a particularly noteworthy movie behind it. Be assured, this one does do more than the bare minimum and is unique for a couple of reasons, but to look at its promising cast makes me certain that I am not the only one who would expect more from this.
The story: Police officers Tang (Yuen Biao) and Yiang (Cynthia Khan) go undercover in the Philippines to investigate the deeds of an ambitious drug smuggler (Waise Lee).
The film was released just a couple of years prior to Hong Kong's Gen-X movement and the revamping of the action genre's visual style, and yet there are very few indicators that this was not filmed in 1986. The filmmakers do manage to make the Philippine setting appear much more interesting than the countless American productions filmed there, but it's disappointing that, generally, this isn't a very intriguing feature. It teases some thrills and there are hints at inspired humor (i.e. the fight in bed), but the character dynamics are dry and almost all of the storyline twists are obvious from a mile away. The dramatic segments are not exactly boring, but do not expect to be particularly engaged.
Among the handful of unconventional things the movie does is being one of the few non-Filipino films to give Olympian martial artist Monsour Del Rosario a sizable role throughout the feature. Rosario looks good in fight scenes, and so do his on screen partners Biao and Cynthia, but these scenes suffer from a lack of substance until close to the film's end. There are moments so absurd in the choreography that you may feel disengaged – like when Khan kicks an opponent (Lung Chan) so hard between the legs that he flies several feet into the air – but all is forgiven when the finale begins. The three heroes take on Billy Chow in a killer fight that's only slightly diminished by undercranking and singlehandedly saves the film from a lower rating.
Nevertheless, it's hard to recommend this one based on one fight scene, so I'll advise you not to go very far out of your way to check it out. It's okay.
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