In the Line of Duty III
AKA: Force of the Dragon, Yes! Madam 2
Directors: Brandy Yuen, Arthur Wong
Stars: Cynthia Khan, Michiko Nishiwaki, Hiroshi Fujioka, Stuart Ong, Yueh Hua, Paul Chun Pui, Dick Wei, Sandra Ng, Eric Tsang, Richard Ng, Robin Shou
A group of thieves (among them Michiko Nishiwaki) steal a batch of diamonds and kill some cops in the process. A hot-headed detective (Hiroshi Fujioka) heads to Hong Kong to catch the gang, and a rookie cop (Cynthia Khan) is assinged to keep him out of trouble. Before long, though, she joins with the Japanese officer to bring the case to a close.
This movie's aim is pretty simple -- to make Cynthia Khan a credible star, and it does that. Khan (born Lan Yi Chiang -- her stage name is a combination of Michelle Khan [Yeoh] and Cynthia Rothrock, stars of previous movies in the series) had no martial arts experience before this film, but the producers needed a fill-in for Michelle Yeoh, who was retiring from the film business upon her marriage to producer Dickson Poon. Girls-with-guns movies, in particular the ITLOD films (Yes! Madam and Royal Warriors before title changes) were making good money with local audiences, and, more importantly, overseas and so the producers rushed forth with Cynthia as the star.
Given what she had to accomplish -- step into the shoes of Asia's biggest female action star at the time (it should be noted that Cynthia was only 20 at the time of filming and had only done some television work beforehand) -- Cynthia does a good job in the movie. She doesn't seem as tough as Michelle was, and there are obviously a lot of camera tricks and doubles used for her fight scenes, but overall she comes off as a credible action star. However, with such a large and talented supporting cast, one doesn't notice any of Cynthia's (small) shortcomings. The action (done under the direction of five co-ordinators) comes fast and furious, with just enough time given to some exposition to let the viewer catch their breath. Of particular note is the final confrontation between Cynthia and Michiko Nishiwaki; it's a very brutal fight that shows just how females can be just as aggressive (or even moreso) than their male counterparts.
Due to the dubbing, re-editing and re-titling of the movies for international release, there is some confusion as to exactly what movies fall in the In the Line of Duty series. There are several theories about the time line, but this is the one I subscribe to:
A review of the DVD for this movie can be found here
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