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天使行動 (1987)

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 10

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 11/09/2010
Summary: Schizophrenic but fun

An international drugs syndicate is wiping out international cops in retaliation for a successful raid on their opium farms, so interpol hire David Charlie's-I-mean-Chiang's Angels group to stop them.

It's dumb, it's cheesy, and it seems to bounce around uncertainly between thriller, comedy and exceedingly violent action, but it's quite entertaining. A particular highlight is Yukari Oshima's sadistic and psychopathic villainess, offset by the cool pragmatism of her partner Hwang Jang Lee. The cast is somewhat international - well, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Japan and Thailand all field some actors, and the presence of 3 directors perhaps explains why the film sometimes doesn't seem sure what it wants to be.

It's not great cinema, but it's fairly entertaining, and the brutal final fight where the girls kick the shit out of each other is a fine example of the way only Hong Kong can get away with treating its actresses.

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: cal42
Date: 07/05/2008
Summary: This Angel just doesn't do it for me...

There are so many genre classics from the 80s but sadly ANGEL isn't one of them. The script-by-numbers is the main problem, along with indifferent direction. Gangsters want to produce enough drugs to sell to the world; a small bunch of heroes wants to stop them. Throw in some high-ranking police officers that have been kidnapped by the gang and you have the whole plot in a nutshell. The “Angels” of the title are an obvious reference to CHARLIE'S ANGELS, only this time you have a visible boss (in the form of Shaw Brothers veteran David Chiang) and a male Angel (Saijo Hideki).

The ladies come in the form of Moon Lee and Elaine Liu. It has to be said that the latter does not look as if she wants to be there at all, and seems particularly uncomfortable with the action scenes. Moon Lee has the moves but is just too cute to cut it as an action star. She tries to convey intensity and fury, but only ends up looking cuter the angrier she gets. Watching a pissed-off Moon Lee is like watching an enraged kitten – it’s not scary and you end up just wanting to pet it until it’s in a more temperate mood.

Not all the women are Angels – Japanese bad girl Oshima Yukari plays the lead muscle of the crime syndicate and gets to show off her moves as well. But it’s her partner in crime Hwang Jang-Lee that steals the show. He has a couple of great scenes, and is easily the best thing in the film. Why he wasn’t given a bigger part is beyond me.

Apart from Hwang Jang-Lee, the only other highlights are a couple of decent stunts, one involving climbing up the outside of a skyscraper. The rest left me feeling extremely unsatisfied. There’s also a sense of the film being steered in different directions (well, it had no fewer than three directors, so maybe that’s not surprising). For example, it seems to me that clues are planted that the American DEA Officer is a turncoat working with the drug ring, but confusingly this never actually happens and it turns out he’s on the level after all.

All-too-brief highlights aside, ANGEL can’t really be recommended to the casual fan. But if you’re really into the girls-with-guns sub genre of Hong Kong action cinema, you may want to have a look. And yes, Moon Lee really is that cute.

Reviewer Score: 4

Reviewed by: Frank Lakatos
Date: 09/29/2005
Summary: Boring........

Boring. Besides Hwang Jang Lee's presence, and a few minutes of a well choreographed Moon Lee vs Yukari Oshima fight, this movie is a snorer. ***(for Hwang Jang lee's scenes)/*****

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 02/12/2002

After an international police force destroys their opium fields, a crime family led by Yukari Oshima and Hwang Jang Lee begin to ruthlessly kill cops all over Asia. Desperate for help, a US DEA agent (Waise Lee) suggests that the cops hire a rogue group known as the Iron Angels.

One of the best examples of the "girls-with-guns" genre, Angel packs in tons of action of both the kung-fu and gun-fu variety. The script's not going to win any awards, and the pace could have been tighter -- but overall this is a great action film, propelled by Moon Lee (who plays one of the Angels) and Yukari Oshima's excellent performances. Oshima, in particular, is spectacular as a sadistic villain in the movie. Her performance alone is reason enough to see this movie -- when you add in that she's in some inventive action sequences featuring exploding shirt buttons and acid-squirting bracelets, then you have the makings of a good night's entertainment. The only bit I could have done without is Elaine Lui's ditzy performance as the money-hungry, bumbling Angel. According to the documentary Deadly China Dolls, Lui didn't feel comfortable doing action scenes, and it shows. She sticks out like a sore thumb.

Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: Terrible

Very low budget movie made in the late 80's, the story being about 'hard police women'. The concept was being used way too much in Hong Kong during the late eighties, and only a handful were worth watching. However, this is considered as a cult movie to a lot of Hong Kong viewers anyway, not a film worth any credit though.

Rating: 1/5

(This rating is based on the year & genre, so don't think it's based as a comparison on new releases etc.)

Reviewed by: jfierro
Date: 12/21/1999

After the Opium Fields of the Golden Triangle are destroyed in a police raid, Yukari Oshima vows revenge on all international drug enforcers, and begins a campaign of murder and kidnapping. American cop Alex Fong comes to Hong Kong to hire an elite group known as the Angels, consisting of Hideki Saijo, Moon Lee, and Elaine Lui, with John Chiang serving as their leader. There's a lot of sneaking around by the Angels before we get some decent battles. The girls-with-guns formula hadn't been finalized yet, so the film drags in many places. A good battle at the end makes this a decent rent for fans of the genre.

Reviewed by: hokazak
Date: 12/09/1999

Somewhat disappointing. Not enough fight scenes, and they aren'tlong enough when they occur. The final fight between Moon Lee and Yukari Oshima is good, though. English Dub available