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happydogpotatohead | New Orleans, LA USA | 05/16/2001
(2 out of 5 stars)
"A very unsatisfying sequel to the wonderful "Heroic Trio." The movie is dark and quite frankly very depressing. Three of the most likable major characters die horribly. Defeat and darkness seem to be the major themes here. There are also other problems; the villain is unbelievably silly, even by HK action movie standards. Master Kim, the villain, spends much of his time in the movie talking to a severed head. Michelle Yeoh is barely in the movie, and much of Anita Mui's screentime is limited to domestic scenes with her husband, who apparently has forbidden her to be Wonder Woman now that she has a child. Maggie Cheung has to carry a lot of the plot (such as it is) as a result, and she's definitely not up to the task in this movie. Instead of appearing scrappy and self-reliant, as in Heroic Trio, her character in "Executioners" comes off as shrill, mean-spirited, and not very bright. But I don't know if anyone could have worked with this ruin of a plot. Even by HK action standards, the plot is lacking. Several of the most interesting plot threads that began in Heroic Trio (the fact that Wonder Woman and Invisible Girl are sisters, for example) are dropped completely or handled poorly in this movie. The characters are denied the depth and humanity they could have had. The actresses (for the most part) do the best they can with the script (except for Cheung, who really is not very likable here), but the overall pessimism and ugliness eventually overwhelms them - and everyone else in the movie.Overall, this sequel is very disappointing. I can wholeheartedly recommend "Heroic Trio," but not this movie. Fans of the first film would be well advised to give this one a pass. There's really nothing to recommend this depressing, sludgy mess."
Grim "un"reality of post-armageddon China
Dennis Bartok | Hollywood/Los Angeles CA USA | 04/20/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"This film's prequel, The Heroic Trio, end with a triumphant mood as the sexy trifecta of Wonder Woman, Invisible Girl and Thief Catcher make good and rid China of a demon from Hell who threatened the very existance of mankind. When Executioners opens, it would seem that no one was paying attention to the evil people who lived on Earth because China (and the rest of the world by extension) is devastated in a post-holocaustic setting without clean water and with very little future to look forward to. The Trio comes out of semi-retirement to battle the evil forces of monstrous megalomanics and military murderers. Throw in a couple of superhuman freaks and the battleground is set. But fans of Heroic Trio should be forewarned: even though Good must always defeat Evil, there are very few happy endings in Executioners. It's a very sad film that emphasizes the need for sacrifice in order to acheive the Greater Good. And this film has sacrifices in spades. On the bright side, it's well acted and Anita Mui stands out in a stunning performance that features her mercurial beauty and her martial arts guile. Michelle Yeoh is Michelle Yeoh and there's no greater compliment than that. Maggie Cheung treats the film as though she's slumming with a B-script instead of starring in an A-level art film but she's still a treat whenever she's chewing up the scenery with her grumpy outbursts. Anthony Wong provides the necessary touches of Evil that make you yearn for the Heroic Trio to hasten his demise. Damian Yau will make you cry.The music is, as always, a plus in any HK film that features Mui.
Don't sit back and expect a rollicking good time. This is heavy duty fare here. But's it's probably the most-layered and intense HK film that you'll see in a good long time."
Classic flick with all the trimmings
rebelranger | 06/22/2001
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Its hard to say that this movie was awesome, but it was close. I enjoyed the performances of the actresses more than the plot. AS strange as this may seem, each of the stars, possed skills that set them apart from the others. Anita Mui gave an outstanding performance with her talents using the sword. Not to say that Michelle Yeoh and Maggie Cheung gave there best to make this movie a classic. But the movie dragged at points. THe women made the movie worth the view!"
"Is It Still An Oath?" ~ Love, Hope And Friendship In A Post
Brian E. Erland | Brea, CA - USA | 10/23/2008
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Note: Chinese with English subtitles.
Synopsis: The '93 release of `Executioners' reunites the fab Heroic Trio for one last go against the forces of evil. If you thought the storyline in the first film was rather grim wait until you see this one. The three heroes now dwell in a dark and dismal China, a place where mankind is barely surviving after a nuclear holocaust. Shadow Fox (Anita Mui) has retired her mask and cape and now fills her time with taking care of her husband and little girl. Invisible Woman (Michelle Yeoh), no longer possessing her cloak of invisibility, works tirelessly to protect essential supplies coming into the city for the suffering masses and Chat (Maggie Cheung) is still making a living as a thief catcher for hire.
If things weren't bad enough, dwelling in the shadows of this devastated landscape resides a sinister, masked madman known as the Black Knight who is determined to rule the world. With the military under his control and the fresh water supply cut off from the city it's only a matter of time before he takes over. That is unless the Heroic Trio rise up and make things right.
Critique: while I enjoyed seeing these three lovely and talented ladies together again I was somewhat disappointed to see that the overall feel of the film had lost that campy, superhero vibe so pervasive in the first movie. What remains in its place is a highly post apocalyptic study on madness, disorder, the corruptive nature of power and the amoral reasoning methods used by both sides of the conflict. There's a lot going on here so the storyline takes a long time to unfold, leaving little time for the delightful martial arts sequences that made the first film so popular. Sadly, the Heroic Trio doesn't get back together as a fighting until the last twenty minutes or so of the film, much too long a wait if you ask me.
Overall an interesting film but I wouldn't recommend it for children. There are some pretty disturbing moments such as; a despondent young women committing suicide with an automatic weapon and a beheading to name a few. The scene of the starving Anita Mui and the rat was definitely not for minors. However if you're a fan of Hong Kong cinema and the fabulous Mui, Yeoh and Cheung enjoy!"
I wanted to like it! I really did!
Brendan Klein | philadelphia | 04/08/2000
(2 out of 5 stars)
"Lemme start off by saying that I really did want to like this film. I loved the pop art Heroic Trio and all it's silliness, but this film just fell so flat for me. I can handle it being a dark film, but this is pitch black and so grim! After a devastating nuclear war, pure water is scarce in HK. The three fighting Divas must once again regroup as 'the Heroic Trio' to battle an evil overlord and vie for control of the purified water. This film could have worked if it had a little more in the script department. The action sequences were top notch and it did have a very intriguing plot. But it wasted so much time on thinking of ways to kill of it's characters. Maggie Cheung (So BEAUTIFUL!) returns as Chat (formerly known as theif catcher). Anita Mui now has a daughter (constantly in peril, very annoying!), and spends most of her time locked up in prison. She avoids the poisoned food and becomes so hungry that she......... Michelle Yeoh has very little screen time and spends most of it protecting the pure water. Lau Ching wan, Takeshi Kaneshiro, and Anthony Wong (three of my favorites) all turn up supporting roles, but are nowhere nearly used to their fullest!Overall, very dissapointing."