Fun Comedy and Impressive Action.
Scifihorrorfan | Parts Unknown | 07/03/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I don't want to mislead you - the movie does have a number of action scenes. But they take a back seat to the comedy in the film. For me, this film does feature some of the best martial arts, if not THE best work, by Cynthia Rothrock. People will say 'Yes Madam' or 'Righting Wrongs' when they are asked which is the best Rothrock film, but I strongly disagree. While those films featured more of her fighting, the coreography also relied heavily on stunt doubles for Rothrock. In fact, you can tell in on scene in 'Righting Wrongs' that it's her co-star Yuen Biao jumping on those tables in a dress! But I digress - this film also features some impressive fighting by Sibelle Hu, which is not something I can say often, since I've seen a number of her films where she looked absolutely awful.
Anyway, like I said at the beginning, if you're looking for a strictly Femme Fatale type of movie like those with Moon Lee and Yukari Oshima, you may be slightly disappointed. If you expect something similar to the My Lucky Stars films, except where the sex-starved males take a back seat to the women, then this movie is definitely for you.
An interesting note is that I read somewhere that Cynthia Rothrock's martial arts training was mainly focused on the Eagle Claw kung fu style. She uses it for a bit near the end of this film against a Monkey Kung Fu expert (see the film 'Iron Monkey (1977)' for more Monkey vs Eagle kung fu action), which is a treat to see. Too bad it's a little too brief for my tastes!"
Woman Police Academy...
nothing227 | Los Angeles, USA | 09/17/2000
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Sibelle Hu is appointed to organize an all-women police squad in this Hong Kong girls with guns action-comedy take on "Police Academy". Her regimen is harsh, yet she earns the girls' respect when a male cadet vs. female cadet tournament ensues, with the women coming up victorious. Fang, the leader of the men's squad then falls for Sibelle, and they eventually find themselves on the same mission. On their very first assignment, they wind up bound and gagged by diamond robbers, until Sibelle takes care of business. All in all a mindless action flick."
When Women Wear Badges...
Mike Schorn | APO, AE United States | 09/23/2009
(3 out of 5 stars)
"Arriving in the middle of Hong Kong's 'girls with guns' revival period was "Tyrant Flower", better known to English-speaking fans as "The Inspector Wears Skirts" - a typical Hong Kong action/comedy police flick with the twist that most of the main stars are ladies. However, to get right to the point, it's not the best of its kind: Corey Yuen set the bar high for this specific subgenre when he did Yes, Madam!, but even though "Inspector" retains one of that film's leading ladies (the amazing Cynthia Rothrock), it's neither the best movie to recruit new Hong Kong fans nor the ideal tool to make male chauvinists squirm with discomfort. Director Wellson Chin (Tsui Hark's Vampire Hunters) has managed to craft a decent little time-killer for those who like seeing girls kicking butt...but only if those same viewers don't mind dealing with a bit of shallowness and silly chick antics.
The story: tough commando Madam Hu (Sibelle Hu, My Lucky Stars) is recruited to train a hand-picked squad of policewomen to become specialists in diffusing hostage situations. Faced with the task of turning a group of pretty girls, narcissists, and nervous nellies into ideal law enforcers, she enlists the help of her comrade Madam Law (Rothrock, Above the Law) to teach the giggling girls the ropes of apprehending terrorists; it will take their combined efforts to prepare them to take on a pack of deadly jewel thieves looking to steal one of Hong Kong's most precious diamonds.
Actually, Cynthia Rothrock isn't in the movie too much: she's in the opening fight, wielding what looks like a ten-pound revolver, and re-enters the film 50 minutes later to send the girls-in-training on psych-out missions and have a part in the climatic battle against Billy Falcon (Six-String Samurai). These fight scenes and the stunts included are easily the strongest part of the film: though there's some obvious doubling, you can't beat the scenes in which Sibelle and Cynthia thwart a suicide bomber with a flagpole, a three-on-one weapons encounter involving a staff, sword, and three-section nunchaku, and a daredevil stunt featuring dropkick delivered from 15 feet off the ground. Even the cast members who aren't real martial artists shine, making the action scenes alone worth the cost.
By Hong Kong standards, the acting is pretty good: Sandra Ng (Portland Street Blues) was honored with a nomination for "Most Promising Newcomer" at the Hong Kong Film Awards for her performance, but none of the rest of the cast - including Regina Kent (Legacy of Rage), Kara Hui (My Young Auntie), and Ellen Chan (The Eternal Evil of Asia) as members of the squad - do any real injustice as far as their resumes go. With that being said, the film is a bit too Hong Kong-styled when it comes to its elaborate dialogue, head-scratching humor, and general on-screen alien tidbits that probably make sense to Cantonese audiences but are alien to me (e.g. a whole subplot includes Sandra Ng's character being passed over by men because she's ugly, but it took me a while to catch on because...well, she's not really ugly at all). Keep this in mind before looking for laughs.
Alas, the movie goes into chick-flick mode for a good 40 minutes when the girls go to a skating rink, witness a completely impromptu musical scene, and get two-timed by a double-dating jerk played by Michael Chow. I was disappointed that the film didn't consciously make any sort of social observation regarding women in law enforcement: sure, the men grumble a bit and try to undermine the girls, but there's no real moment of redemption in which the ladies stick it to their male detractors beyond any doubt (and if you think there is, then the on-screen guys certainly don't get it). Granted, something like that may have alienated certain members of audience, but for a movie that tackles a very realistic and global social issue, it doesn't have a whole lot to say on the matter, meaning you only get what you see. Not a bad movie, but you're going to have to a be a fan of one of the cast to get the most out of it."
Fun but silly...
SereneNight | California, USA | 02/06/2003
(3 out of 5 stars)
"This is a light, slapstick comedy in "Police Academy" style. Sibelle Hu stars as tough-as-nails police academy sergeant is chosen to lead an all-girl police academy team known as the 'female commandos.' While at first the girls seem to be failing to become a cohesive team, Hu's vigilance, and the girls own work-ethic soon persevere, and the Female Commandos become a force to reckon with.I really liked Inspector Wears Skirts, but it was neither a serious or sophisticated flick...It is what it is... A Chinese kung-fu slapstick movie, taken in this vein, it was pretty funny.This is the first in a series of "Inspector" films. If you like, slapstick cop films, you'll like this one. The only thing I DIDN'T like about this movie was the rather abrupt ending and the poor subtitles."