Heroic Trio 2: Executioners
(Xian dai hao xia zhuan) (1993): **
Directed by Siu-Tung Ching and Johnny To
Oh, man, what a clusterf**ck of a movie. The plot is just a piece of pookynoodle. Remember how at the end of the first Heroic Trio movie they're all happy and everything? Well, this movie inexplicably opens like The Road Warrior: with footage of a nuclear explosion.
Yes, that's right, this film is for some reason a post-apocalyptic movie. It's seven (or so) years later. The trio has split up and they've all gone their separate ways. Wonder Woman is married and has a daughter. Thief Catcher is still a petty thief. Michelle Yeoh now ferries medical supplies around with her straightjacketed crazyman sidekick.
The basic plot is about a crazy, deformed guy who has control of the clean water, since apparently almost all the water is now radioactive. He has some sort of plot to take over the city somehow. Aww, who cares? It never makes any sense.
The biggest problem with this movie is that it's almost impossible to get involved emotionally with anythign going on, which sucks for a movie that is trying to be overly emotional at every turn. The directors are always showing you things and telling you how you're supposed to feel about them, but in no way is that emotion actually effectively conveyed. It's like having someone stand in front of you and say, "Feel sad! Now feel happy! Now be nostalgic! Now feel scared! Now feel sad again!" It just doesn't work on any level emotionally. It's mostly becuase it's paced way, way too fast. You can't get drawn into anything becuase it just flashes by in front of your face and then you're on to the next moment. Even when important characters die. It's pretty pathetic.
Why, then, did I even give this movie two stars? Well, it's got some nice, moody Hong-Kong cinematography, but mostly becuase it's a superpowered flying kung-fu movie with some very imaginative fight scenes. Fighting on telephone wires, using a jeep as a weapon in a church, punching straight through peoples' bodies, ripping limbs off, excessive stuff like that. It's all pretty well choreographed and good, outlandish fun. Although it is never explained why some people are just regular people and others have super flying kung-fu.
There is also a great scene where Wonder Woman has been thrown into a dungeon of a jail for some reason (I forget), and she takes her tin food tray and arduously fashiones the Wonder Woman mask out of it. Then there's a great shot of the outside of her jail cell and a guard standing there, and suddenly the shadow of the wonder woman mask rises along the wall beside him. He looks up, suddenly startled, then we cut away and can hear Wonder Woman beating the crap out of him. That sequence is probably the only well-crafted sequence in the entire darned film, unfortunately.
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