Is Clarence Ford artistically bankrupt?
Curtis G | OC, CA, USA | 09/11/2001
(3 out of 5 stars)
""Martial Angels" is a pretty obvious rip (or is that "homage"?) of "Charlie's Angels" with obvious bits of "Mission: Impossible 2" and "The Matrix" thrown in for good measure. Which is not to say that it doesn't have its charms. Indeed, how can you go wrong with such lookers as Kelly Lin, Shu Qi, Rosemary Vandenbroucke, and Rachel Ngan, to name a few? Even Sandra Ng looks pretty good as a girl, and pulls off some funny lines. But "go wrong" is exactly what director Clarence Ford does. The "action" scenes in this flick are so bad, and the talking scenes between the women so good, that Ford should have trashed the action script and just made an HK version of "Steel Magnolias." Call it "Titanium Lotuses" and he's in business.
I've come to expect (and enjoy) a certain amount of cheese from Ford, but "MA" is the cheesiest. The continuity flaws are numerous and obvious, and the "technology" so primitive and illogical, that you might wonder just how stupid Ford thinks his audience is. I expected much more from the guy who gave the world "Naked Killer." If you're a die-hard fan of any of the cast or crew, it's worth a look; but lower your expectations first."
Surely Angels, But not Exactly Martial: Eye Candy with Dread
Tsuyoshi | Kyoto, Japan | 07/27/2006
(2 out of 5 stars)
"You know somewhere deep inside this muddled action flick lies a much better film. Sadly, however, you will not see that better one. All you can see is one unoriginal caper, two poorly-done gun actions, and so-so eye-candy images of seven lovely women walking and talking like Charles' Angels.
Shu Qi plays Cat, a retired thief whose ex-boyfriend is taken hostage by Russian gangsters. They order her to steal an anti computer-virus software (but they never think about just buying it with the money they have spent on the helicopter and so many weapons) Anyway, Cat's former partners re-group for her to rescue the poor man, but things do not go as they originally planned, and so on and on.
The names of these characters -- Qi Shu as Cat, Kelly Lin as Octopus, Sandra Ng as Monkey, Teresa Mak as Goldfish, Rachel Ngan as Pigeon, Rosemary Vandebrouck as Peacock, and Amanda Strang as Spider - need a bit of refinement, but at least they all look lovely and sexy. The joyful interactions between these females are the best thing in the film, really fun to see, especially the relations between Qi Shu's Cat and Kelly Lin's Octopus, which suggests an untold story with a sexual nuance, like the amusing shower room scene in `So Close' (where Qi Shu was seen opposite Vicki Zhao).
Except for Sandra Ng, who provides some precious comic scenes, there is little I can recommend in the film. The actions are not great with two feebly-done shoot-out sequences (one in the deserted factory, one of the most tired cliché of the genre). The caper scenes lack originality and excitement, and the film's most incredible and stupid sub-plot requires the presence of a sexual deviant (Terence Yin who should have known better) who is also a safecracker! The results are just awful and embarrassing, nothing that you want to even think about after watching it.
In short, my advice is, forget it. Don't even think about it. This is a caper film, but without the caper it could have been much better."
Not worth one star
Peter M. Waldvogel | Woodhaven, New York United States, and sometimes C | 07/09/2003
(1 out of 5 stars)
"In short - this movie is just painfully bad. A few pretty girls, a nonsensical poorly executed plot, and some of the worst acting on the planet! I would be suprised, but then again it is a Hong Kong movie. It seems that the only interesting "Chinese" movies being made these days are coming out of the Mainland and Taiwan. What is wrong with HK? They just don't have an excuse!"