皇家師姐
Yes, Madam! (1985)


Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011


Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 01/29/2010

An incriminating piece of gang-related evidence has been inadvertently stolen by a pair of bumbling crooks (John Shum and Mang Hoi), who take great pains to save their skin while on the run from the police and the Triads. Meanwhile, a special task force is drawn up to bring the crime syndicate down, and Inspector Ng (Yeoh) teams up with her foreign counterpart Morris (Rothrock). Together despite their open scepticism of each other, they take on the crime lord and his army, but may have met their match with the petty criminals in possession of the crucial evidence...

I’ve said it before, but there are certain things about Hong Kong action films from the 80s that instil a feeling of warm cosy familiarity that is hard to shake off even if the film itself doesn’t live up to expectations. Tacky synth soundtrack? Check. Silly hairstyles and clothes? Check. Dick Wei as the main evil henchman? Check. John Shum larking about? Check. James Tien as the smug, arrogant villain? Check, check check. Throw in a cameo by Richard Ng (and Sammo Hung, producer of the project) at no extra cost, and you have all the hallmarks of Hong Kong cinema from the period that arguably produced its most well loved genre films.

However, YES, MADAM! is strangely lacking focus. The two leads share relatively little of the screen time, while the comic team of John Shum and Mang Hoi take centre stage. While their overly “shouty” routines wear thin after a while (for me, about ten minutes into the film) there are a few touches of genuine humour in there, and the proceedings are livened up immensely by the addition of Tsui Hark as their forger friend. And the scene where the pair keep trying to get locked up to avoid the Triad gang only for the two police women to keep releasing them is pretty funny.

When the two female leads take the screen, there is a definite lack of chemistry between them. Although the film contrives to create a cop buddy movie atmosphere, there is very little character development. While most would argue that this is an action movie and therefore to hell with character development, I would still have liked a bit of flesh on the bones, so to speak.

Mind you, the action scenes are pretty damn good. But when you throw the likes of Michelle Yeoh, Dick Wei and Chung Faat into the mix, something pretty damn good should come out of it. Speaking of Chung Faat, his character is bloody hilarious, despite not delivering a single line of dialogue that I can recall. It’s impossible to think that someone looking the way he does could have stayed on the streets for so long without being identified as demonic. Put it this way, he doesn’t look human...

Some mention must be made to the film’s misogyny and dubious dialogue. Well, if you’re very sensitive, you will probably find YES, MADAM! pretty offensive. Personally, a lot of the insults are so outrageously over the top that I found most of it quite funny. My favourite line is delivered by Tien, who, when being tackled by Yeoh, admonishes her with: “if you want to show off, do it in the kitchen!”

YES, MADAM! is not a solid gold movie classic, with its reliance on comedy skits and with an unsatisfactory conclusion, but is one of the best films in Rothrock’s extremely variable filmography. And Michelle Yeoh fans should be pretty happy if they can live with the fact that her physical skills are used somewhat sparingly.

Reviewer Score: 7

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 11/20/2008

A very deep and talented cast, a script that wanders around while concentrating on the wrong people, paper thin characters who don’t develop and an extended action sequence that has some very brutal and (unfortunately for some of the stunt men and extras) realistic looking hand to hand combat—“Yes, Madam” was just another day at the office in the film business in Hong Kong in the 1980s. It’s a female buddy movie where the buddies never really connect emotionally but they do lay waste to platoons of villains.

Since we don’t find out anything interesting about Inspector Ng and Inspector Morris the focus of the film moves from extremely well choreographed and executed action scenes to dreadful and dreary scenes of three petty thieves trying to be funny and failing. While one should always review the film as such and not what it could have been, there are just too many missed opportunities to ignore. The most obvious lacuna involves our heroines. Some backstory, a bit of bridging cultural differences, some female bonding around something other than spinning side kicks, even a glimpse of them as people who think and feel as well as punch and kick might have made this a very different and possibly much better movie.

Michelle Yeoh crashes headfirst—and directly at the camera--through a glass barrier on a balcony while hanging from the balcony rail by her knees, much like kids hang from jungle gyms in schoolyards. She grabs two villains and using the momentum of her swinging body, pulls them past the jagged glass and onto the marble floor twenty feet below. This scene is difficult to describe (at least for me) but impossible to forget and could have launched the girls with guns genre on its own. Yeoh’s Inspector Ng is brave, resourceful, and outrageous. Cynthia Rothrock’s Inspector Carrie Morris has the same qualities—they are so alike (other than the obvious racial/ethnic differences) that at first the two of them get in each other’s way and on each other’s nerves. It doesn’t take long, though, for the most basic similarity they share to come out—each is great at dispatching bad guys in the most outrageous and flamboyant ways possible. And each, of course, looks great while doing so


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 12/03/2006
Summary: GOOD!!

A solid action movie with 2 woman in the lead.

But the sloppy script doesnt help, with the 2 leads appearing that they dont like each other, but seem to get on easily afterwards.
I just cant stand that curly haired actor, he's is just annoying to me. And the ending where it just pauses doesnt help.

Nothing new here but watchable action movie.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 03/08/2006
Summary: no diclofenac...

three hapless crooks - strepsil (john shum), aspirin (mang hoi) and panadol (tsui hark) - accidentally find themselves in possession of a forged contract, which could land the corrupt property developer, henry tin (james tin), in a lot of trouble. his henchman, dick (dick wei), is hot on their trail, along with senior inspectors ng (michelle yeoh) and morris (cynthia rothrock) of the hong kong police and scotland yard, respectively, who want to bring down tin.

after making a strong debut with 'ninja in the dragon's den', it was three years before corey yuen returned to the director's chair in hong kong, having spent time away, directing 'no retreat, no surrender'. with 'yes madam!' he produced a film which is a classic example of mid-eighties hong kong cinema and set off on a path that would see him responsible for some of my favourite movies.

what you get here is a contemporary action-comedy-drama, which features a selection of hairstyles and clothing which has dated gloriously. besides the fashions, you have a narrative which nicely weaves together the good guys (sorry, girls), the good-bad guys and the straight up bad guys. And, in that trademark hong kong style, this means that some pretty violent action sequences are going to sit next to scenes of exposition, delivered by over the top villains, followed by a selection of goofball antics, before injecting some melodrama and, you just know, that the transition of tone isn't always going to be handled in a way that doesn't jar the audience.

so, what you have is michelle yeoh and cynthia rothrock doing battle with the likes of dick wei and chung faat (with his ludicrous fake 'tache), james tin roaring through a scene, sammo hung, richard ng and david chiang popping up with a comedy cameo, all weaving in and out of the scenes between john shum, mang hoi and tsui hark. it is the scenes featuring this triumvirate which account for most of the film and, being someone who has warmed to hong kong comedy, i'm more than happy watching their antics; with it being a treat, in particular (for me, at least), to see tsui hark in front of the camera.

still, if goofy humour and silliness isn't your thing, there's still plenty to enjoy. the opening scene is a cracker; more violent than i remember and michelle yeoh being shown off, with her martial arts skills, gunplay and stuntwork all being employed in frenetic style. cynthia gets a similar opportunity when eddie maher makes the mistake of taking her hostage at the airport. there's a smattering of other action scenes throughout the film, including a really fun sequence in tsui hark's apartment, and it all builds up to a tremendously watchable, bone-crunching final showdown, which is a real treat.

great stuff...


Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 07/12/2005
Summary: Fantastic Yeoh, average rest

The second installment in the In the Line of Duty films (the first being the Michelle Yeoh action epic Royal Warriors) teams Michelle with Cynthia Rothrock as two police women from different countries trying to bust a corrupt business man in Hong Kong. Michelle plays Senior Hong Kong Inspector Ng, and Cynthia Rothrock is Senior Inspector Carrie Morris, flown in from London to help out on the case. As the movie begins, a British man is about to turn over a piece of microfilm (the only evidence that can prove the illegitimacy of a real estate contract), but is killed by a hit man. Unexpectedly, a trio of petty thieves nicknamed Panadol (Tsui Hark), Aspirin and Strepsil enter the room and make off with the film before the hit man can destroy it. It turns out the agent was Michelle's date for the night, and when she comes in and finds him dead, it sets up the plot in which Yeoh and Rothrock must track down not only the three thieves, but the hit man and his boss.

Yes, Madam! starts off with a bang and some classic Hong Kong style extreme violence, but then slips into mediocrity. Yeoh is strong as usual, and Rothrock is solid in her role as the foreign inspector. Unfortunately, a majority of the movie focuses on the trio of boyhood friends turned thieves. Although funny at first, their constant arguing and yelling becomes tedious and over-exaggerated, and more time should have been spent with Rothrock and Yeoh and their end of trying to solve the crime. The martial arts scenes are sporadic, but are well choreographed and exciting. The final scene in which Yeoh and Rothrock go to bust the bad guys is incredibly entertaining, with some death-defying stunts and great martial arts battles. However, the rest of the movie can't match that one scene, and therefore can't be highly recommended.
6/10

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 02/04/2005

A group of small-time criminals (Shum, Yuen and Tsui) go to rob wealthy patrons in a hotel and accidentally stumble on a Triad hit, where they unknowingly obtain a microfilm that contains a Triad boss' dirty dealings. Hot-headed cop Yeoh tries to get the film back while trying to work around a gweilo Interpol cop (Rothrock) on the same case.

The plot is pretty unoriginal and the script is sloppy to say the least. Yes! Madam also wastes a lot of time in comical scenes involving the bumbling criminals. But the action is top-notch. This is one of Yeoh's better early roles and some of Rothrock's best work; the final battle in the Triad boss' mansion pays back any boredom encountered during the rest of the film in spades. This movie inspired many knock-offs featuring other female action stars and opened the gate for other gweilos to appear in HK movies in starring roles.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]


Reviewed by: Graeme Noble
Date: 03/27/2004
Summary: Decent Action, Makes up for Lack of Action and Story

This film is extremely boring, I almost fell asleep, but it's the action that I was concerned about-since the film was bad!
The first action scene came at the half-hour mark and it's a short collaboration between Rothrock and a few thugs, nothing special here.
The second action scene is half way through the film, and Yeoh has a quick burst of Kickboxing, again nothing interesting, just typical Correy Yuen-Kwai stuff.
But the last fight is good, lengthy and well choreographed. Starts off with Rothrock fighting some thugs, firstly using a stick then some kickboxing, Yeoh does the same but against different people. Then Yeoh and Rothrock have individual fights, Dick Wei being the main opponent, and he's a perfect opponent, an excellent ending to a poor film.
So if you like one excellent and lengthy action scene, then go see it, but if you want quantity, stay away.
5/10

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: Mikestar*
Date: 01/27/2003
Summary: Madams Kick Ass!!

The cult film that set off a genre of female cop roles (effectively launching the career of Michelle Yeoh, whilst paving the way for Moon Lee and Cynthia Khan), 'Yes Madam' represent a pinnacle within 80s HK filmmaking. A combination of bold directing, innovative action choreography and enigmatic performances makes this film both engaging and entertaining.

Although the plot and costumes leave a lot to be desired, especially the contrite ending and misguided fashion sense (After multiple viewing I am still debating whether Michelle & Cynthia's costumes are in fact the trashiest and most tragic in the modern period of HK filmmaking), these elements are overcome by the stylized action scenes and performances.

Cynthia and Michelle offset each other perfectly in this film, initially operating as polarites within the text, their alliance as marginalised elements is well-handeled by director Corey Yuen. Whilst these two 'ballbreakers' are undoubtedly the central focus of the film, the supporting roles (Mong Hoi, John Shum and Tsui Hark) are equally impressive and important.

Whilst the film on its surface appears to be primarily a spectacle (mainly a series of scenes where these badly dressed women beat the crap out of the villians), Yuen does not ignore more probing social commentary. In particular the focus on issues of loyalty and brotherhood is worth noting here. Cynthia and Michelle's characters are equally marginalised within the context of the Hong Kong police system, where their gender continually serves as an obstacle towards success. Their procedure and method is continually questioned by a bureacracy that is depicted as both frustrating and neccesary. Equally evident the focus on the small-time crooks (Tsui, Mong and Shum) investigates the fracturing of brotherhood under stress and the shattering of loyalty. Whilst on the surface they each appear concerned with 'number one', their uncoventional loyalty is sensitively noted and admired within the text.

'Yes Madam' not only launched the career of Michelle Yeoh, realising her potential as an action starlet and femme fatale, but it challenged the roles of women within the police genre and spawned multiple sequels and derivatives. A fast-paced and enjoyable film, it remains a cult viewing for audiences and critics alike.




Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 12/01/2002
Summary: Super cheesy

Yes Madam! was the archetypal girls with guns movie, setting most of the conventions that hundreds of other movies would follow after it. The fact that it spawned an entire genre obviously shows the impact it had on Hong Kong audiences on its release.

Michelle Yeoh makes good of her first starring role, though her image in the 80's was very different to the classier image she has now. In the 80's she was very cheesy... but so was this movie. Corey Yuen has never been a subtle director, and the contrived plot is sometimes a little embarrassing, as is some of the humour. Sometimes it works though. The real star of the movie is of course the action though, which is very intricate and imaginative... and extremely brutal. I guess this was about the time that HK action was transitioning from the older more choreographed action to the newer modern day brutality. Yes Madam! and Police Story are fine examples of this style - lots of smashing and crunching and winceworthy falls. Great stuff in other words!

Yes Madam mostly deserves credit for the influence it had, rather than as a stand alone movie. It's not bad, but it's not exactly great. Michelle's follow up Royal Warriors takes the idea much much further, and is probably the best the genre ever produced - and one of the best HK movies of all time, in my opinion :) Yes Madam is definitely not in that league, but it's still a must see HK movie.

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 06/18/2002
Summary: Pretty good

[Yes Madam]

For anyone who still hasn’t seen this, don’t put it off, this is an excellent action film from the eighties, almost the female version of Police Story. The comedy is good and clean in true Lucky Stars fashion as they make a cameo appearance (Sammo, John Shum, and Richard Ng anyway), with some amusing scenes with Mang Hoi and Tsui Hark too. Action is non-stop, thanks to action directors Corey Yuen & Sammo Hung.

The main problem I always had with this film though is Cynthia Rothrock, who I make no secret of absolutely hating, as she ruined the look of a lot of action movies in the 80’s.

Still, an absolute classic without a doubt.

[4/5]

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: ElectraWoman
Date: 10/29/2000
Summary: 6/10-Nice to have seen the two females ACTING

Great action, but I swear to GOD the two female leads cannot act! Michelle Yeoh's performance is mostly stilted while Cynthia Rothrock is worse. Still, they are great martial artists.

Mang Hoi and John Sham (he's a politician now, isn't that scary?) are there mainly for comic value, while Tsui Hark does a rare turn in front of the camera. Most amusing is when Mang Hoi and John Sham gang-bash cop Wu Ma in a bid to get into jail :) While most of the film is light-hearted, the director then tries to make it dark, and I didn't think it worked. It made the film disjointed instead. The ending isn't something you'll see often in a Hong Kong flick, and it really didn't suit the film. Overall, just watch the fights.


Reviewed by: Fhrx
Date: 03/28/2000
Summary: Not the greatest, but still a top movie...

Cynthia Rothrock and Michelle Yeoh team up to track down a missing piece of microfilm that could put known villains behind bars for good. Yes, madam! Is one of the best ‘all female lead’ movies I’ve seen for a while.

Yeoh plays Inspector Ng, a Hong Kong cop who once worked in Britain’s biggest Police Station - Scotland Yard. Soon after starting her search for the missing microfilm, she is given a partner in the form of Cynthia Rothrock who is currently still working for Scotland Yard.

After a small but nice confrontation with an escaping criminal in the airport when she first arrives, Rothrock meets up with Yeoh and their personalities clashes somewhat but they eventually work out their differences and get on with kicking every ones rear end!

While it has more action but not as many fight scenes as most of Yeoh’s movies, Yes, Madam! Still contains some brilliant fights, one of which is the last one, which in my opinion, is Rothrocks best. The girls flexibility is incredible.

On the downside of things, I found the subtitles on the DVD a little bit lacking at time ( for eg, Scotland Yan instead of Scotland Yard ) but overall a good quality movie.

A warning to chauvinist males out there: these women whoop arse, and they look great doing it!

I give Yes, Madam! 8/10

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: ron
Date: 12/21/1999

Michelle and Cynthia Rothrock team up in a Sammo Hungproduction. They are two cops trying to find a missing piece of microfilm. The climatic battle is stupendous.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: hokazak
Date: 12/09/1999

Michelle Khan is great. Cynthia Rothrock's best movie after "Righting Wrongs." Tsui Hark has a funny role as the counterfeiter. Features the crazy-moustache guy from Twinkle Twinkle Lucky Stars, as the knife-fighting guy.


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

It's one of the three Michelle did before retiring, so it's prime young-Michelle-non-stop-action. The only mediocre film I've seen her in is Magnificent Warriors (a war story), and even that one is worth watching just for her.

[Reviewed by Anonymous]


Reviewed by: hkcinema
Date: 12/08/1999

A alight actionner. The plot is no big deal but it's a good kick-ass flick. Once again Michelle Khan does a great job. Cynthia Rothrock is not bad neither, although her acting skill are kind of limited. Mang Hoi and John Sham are both amusing to watch. The scene were Mang Hoi does a Chow Yun-fat imitation is very funny. The final fight is one of the best I have ever seen.

[Reviewed by Martin Sauvageau]