Reviewed by: ewaffle
Summary: Good Shu Qi vehicle
As a Hong Kong movie, "My Wife is a Gangster 3" has plot holes big enough to drive a Sinotruck Howo through with unfunny cross-cultural humor, contrived conflicts, sudden changes in tone from slapstick to bathetic and a generally wasted cast of talented Korean actors. However it also has an extraordinary performance by Shu Qi at its center that redeems the movie and makes the couple of hours spent watching it more than bearable. In a part written for her substantial talents, Shu Qi shows steely resolve, unflinching loyalty to family and her newly found bumbling protectors, flashes of anger and the type of sorrow that really affects the audience. She has spent enough time in the gym so that she is credible at a martial arts trained heroine although no one is fooled (nor are they meant to be) by the editing and doubling of the fight scenes. She is simply good enough an actress and good enough in this part that we believe her character could, for example, take on and defeat half a dozen Triad toughs without breaking a nail.
Reviewer Score: 8
The wife of the title is actually two characters, neither of whom Lim Ar-young is married to--the terrified Korean to Chinese translator, a female who becomes Ar-youngs alter ego and fervent disciple and Han Ki Chul, assigned to protect her by his Korean crime boss. Han is very low in the gangs hierarchy but manages to stay out of her way while she dispatches various toughs and professional assassins sent after her and who falls in love with her. The plot limps along with enough fights, explosions and knife-play to keep us interested whenever it drags but everything always comes back to Shu Qi, gorgeous, poised and every inch a real movie star.
Ti Lung plays her father, an honorable old gangster with a mistake in his past that haunts him still; Ken Lo is the bad guy played with snarling glee. The last couple of shots, after the bodies of Ken Los henchmen are stacked up and the romantic entanglements are swept away, are a screen filling close-up of Shu Qi with her trademark million watt smile.
For what it is worth the first two (especially the first) in the MWIAG series were much better constructed as stories that hung together with characters that seemed more real but also more stoically heroic than the more contrived scenario in this one.