DRUG FIGHTERS (1995) short review

DrugsFighters+1995-1-bBy 1995, old-school, down-and-dirty Hong Kong action cinema was a dying trend, largely exiled to Taiwan and the Philippines, where most of its stars languished in cheap productions leagues below what they deserved – among them was the great Yukari Oshima. A Taiwanese production, Yiu Tin Hung’s Drug Fighters is far from the worst that dark age of action cinema yielded, but also a far cry from the heights of the genre. Oshima (in a truly hideous wardrobe of garish tracksuits) plays a cop assigned to a new drug-busting police unit (alongside Lam Wai and Chui Siu Kin), tasked with bringing down a drug trafficker (Yuen Wah) who smuggles drugs through shipments of antiques. The film starts with a jolt, a fairly exciting shootout aboard a train, as prisoner Ken Lo is extracted by his blood brother Alan Chui (also the action director). Then it becomes an incredibly limp affair, unfolding in drab industrial landscapes and juggling a variety of snooze-inducing subplots, most of which main attraction Oshima is absent from. Playing her husband, Collin Chou pops up from time to time for painful scenes of romantic banter, while Yuen Wah mostly glowers charismatically a few dozen seconds at a time. Martial arts action is served in the last ten minutes, and it’s too little, too late: Oshima and Yuen do have a short but over-the-top fight that’s quite exciting, but not worth eighty minutes of stabbing yourself with a toothpick to stay awake. *1/2

Leave a comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: