For Hardcore Hong Kong Action Film Fans Only!
(3 out of 5 stars)
"The Lethal Panther 1 & 2 DVD is a double feature disc, with Lethal Panter 1 on side a and Lethal Panther 2 on side b. Both films are in full screen and both are english dubbed. The audio and video quality of both films are quite poor, they are comparable to video tape quality. However, LP1 is superior in terms of video quality. While the film transfer hasn't been cleaned and the picture is quite grainy, there is no picture skipping. LP2, in addition to being grainy, had a few moments of very bad picture skipping.Now for the review of the films themselves:
LP1 is the superior of the two on this dvd. While it's not great, it was quite enjoyable in the way typical Hong Kong actioners are. Sibelle Hu, an actress who HK film fans should be quite familiar with, makes a small apperance in this film. Here scenes are quite good, and she makes use of her martial arts abilities. But the cover is misleading, because Sibelle Hu is not the star of this film. While she gets top billing, the main character in this film is played by Maria Jo, who is also on the cover of the dvd. Maria Jo is featured prominently throughout this film, but her action scenes involve mostly gunplay, and those scenes, while not wholly elaborate, are quite well done and pretty entertaining. She even has a short fight with Sibelle Hu where she holds her own martial arts wise, even though Sibelle is obviously more skilled, and she makes a really exciting escape from the top of a building. While this film doesn't compare to the guns and bullets films of John Woo (which is a good thing for some, bad for others), it is pretty entertaining in that sense. So LP1 is good for fans of HK gun actioners, but don't expect much martial arts action here. Although the few scenes Sibelle Hu is in are pretty good in terms of martial arts choreography, the rest of this movie is all gun fighting, and it's quite well done, in the cheesy over the top HK film tradition.I give this movie 3 stars, and that's why I give the dvd 3 stars. I enjoyed it, but only because I didn't expect a whole lot from it and because I'm a big fan of HK action films. For those who are not HK action film fans, unless you're a die hard action film fan who doesn't expect much from a film in terms of character and plot development, you won't like this film. So be warned.Now for LP2. This film [was bad] big time, and that's saying a lot because I don't expect much in terms of character or plot development when I watch these types of films. All I want from an action film is for the action scenes to be impressive and/or fun to watch, and for the non-action parts of the film to not be so bad that I'm annoyed to watch the film to get to the action parts. But with this movie, the featured actress, Yukari Oshima (Cynthia Luster), played a very minor role while the major characters were played by some no name actors who I had never seen before and who I did not want to watch. While Yukari Oshima is a very good martial arts action film actress, this film did not utilize her abilities very well. Not only does she appear in less than half of this film, the scenes she does appear in are not very well done. Too much wire work is employed in this film, and it is done quite poorly, in a poor man's power rangers sense. Also, the action scenes involving the other actors in the film are poorly done. The main actor appears to not know any martial arts, so his scenes are mostly gun fights, and even these are poorly done. I can't complain enough about this film, and unfortunately, even Yukari Oshima's presence in this film does not save it. This movie gets negative stars from me. It's that bad. It's so bad that unless you've really got nothing better to do then to sit and stare at a wall, you will not like this film at all, although it may be fun to watch just to see how many bad things you can pick out from it. (If you're looking for a good Yukari Oshima film, check out Beauty investigators, where she fights the equally impressive Moon Lee in some very well choreagraphed martial arts action sequences. That movie also has Sophia Crawford, the ex Buffy the Vampire Slayer Stunt Double for Sarah Michelle Gellar. I would highly recommend Beauty Investigators to any action film fans, it's a genre classic. Although the dvd has poor video quality, it's watchable, and while it's english dubbed, it is in widescreen!)So to sum up, LP1 is a decent flick, which I would recommend to hardcore action film fans or HK film fans only, while LP2 is not worth the film stock it's printed on. Only buy this film if you can bear to watch films with below average video quality in full screen format. Otherwise, stay away."