Tai Seng video cover

Lethal Panther 2

1993

Director: Phillip Ko

Stars: Yukari Oshima, Crystal Kwok

Before the juggernaut of Jurassic Park de-railed the local HK movie industry (or, perhaps more accurately, put it off course) by becoming the all-time box office champ, HK studios were producing a record number of movies per year. To take a quote from Tsui Hark about Wong Jing's movies, most of these were "cheap, fast and no good," and Lethal Panther 2 is a good example. This cheapie (shot in the Philipines) is so derivative of other movies that it copies stuff from them wholesale, such as music from The Terminator and a "car joust" at the end ala Bullet in the Head. It doesn't really help matters that the film is edited so badly that it started giving me a headache about halfway through.

The story has Yukari as an Interpol agent who comes to the Philipines in search of some Japanese terrorists…and that's about it. There's the usual attempts at humor and romance, but they all fall flat, as does most of the script -- which really hampers the movie as a whole. And, as per usual for most of Yukari's films during this period, the emphasis here is really not on Yukari, but rather on a two-bit actor trying to make a name for themselves; this time it's a low-rent gweilo who makes Jeff Speakman look like a tough guy. Major Yukari fans might still want to give this one a look, since the role is a bit different for her (she actually smiles -- and not in an evil way -- during the movie) and it's one of the few times she's used wires onscreen.

RATING: 4

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