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|v屡 (1993)
The Black Morning Glory


Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 07/26/2002
Summary: Boring waste of time

Usually I am a pretty big fan of "female assassin" movies, but Black Morning Glory is so boring that I had a hard time watching it, much less having a good time while doing so. Michelle Reis plays two roles; one is a fashion designer whose boyfriend also happens to be a counterfeiter. She finds out about this and takes a video game that has the schematics for a printing press hidden on it. The boyfriend (who is played by some joker who makes Michael Wong's Chinglish look good by comparision) sends an assassin -- Michelle's long-lost adopted "sister", who happens to look just like her -- to get the game. When the "bad" Michelle finds out who she has killed, she goes back to her childhood home to hide out and ends up rekindling a romance with her "brother" (one billion people in that country and you have to "keep it in the family"?). Of course, complications arise as the cops and the crooks draw their nets tighter.

This normally wouldn't be bad B-movie stuff, but the main problem is that the film-makers forgot to put any action in here, instead concentrating on the romance. I really didn't buy Michelle as the goody-two-shoes designer or the assassin (the other actors don't fare much better), and this hurts the film as a whole. The exposition goes so slowly, it's almost painful to watch. I kept expecting something, anything to happen, but nothing does, except a lot of talk about flowers and some hammy romance. There are a few (and I mean few) action bits sprinkled throughout the movie, but if this film was trying to be a female version of The Killer (or just a good movie in general), it failed miserably. Black Morning Glory is just mind-numbingly dull from beginning to end, and not really worth anyone's time or money.

[review from www.hkfilm.net]


Reviewed by: danton
Date: 01/15/2002

After her successful debut in a number of supporting roles in films such as ACGS2, Swordsman 2 and FSY 1/2, Michelle Reis labored for a couple of years in starring roles in B-movies such as Zen of Sword and The other side of the sea, before finally establishing herself as an A-list actress with her role in Fallen Angels.

BMG is from that B-movie period early on in her career, and there's a good reason this film is almost forgotten now: it's simply not very good! It's yet another female assassin story, but unlike the girls'n guns flics with their emphasis on intense action (and in particular Jade Leung's take on the character in Black Cat), this film focuses almost exclusively on the romantic aspects of the female assassin genre.

Michelle plays dual roles: a killer employed by the Japanese Yakuza, and a HK fashion designer. They look identical, and in fact they are childhood friends who grew up together, until they were separated by a tragic event. The plot gets rolling when the killer gets the assignment to kill her doppelganger, which she does, not recognizing her victim until it's too late. If all this sounds contrived, you're right. And it gets worse. Having to flee the Yakuza, she travels to the remote village where they grew up, assumes her victim's identity and falls in love with a mutual childhood friend. Soon she is busy dealing with her romantic entanglement and simultaneously fending off the police and the Yakuza.

The plot is full of holes and contrivances, and worst of all, there are almost no action scenes. The one extended action sequence involving Michelle shamelessly rips off a famous Joyce Godenzi sequence from Eastern Heroes, but is otherwise not very memorable. Michelle is simply not very believable as the supposedly cold-blooded killer, and the film doesn't help by presenting her mostly as a romantic heroine. She is presented very attractively throughout the movie, and there is some pleasure to be derived from that at least, but otherwise there's nothing much here to recommend this movie. If you like Female Assassin movies, watch Beyond Hypothermia or the recent Bullets of Love instead.


Reviewed by: Inner Strength
Date: 01/12/2002
Summary: Nothing special

Poor story, and all in all pretty boring. Not recommended, unless you're completly bored.

Rating: 1.5/5

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

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: hokazak
Date: 12/09/1999

Michelle Lee plays a fashion designer who discovers herboyfriend is involved in a counterfeiting ring around the same time that one of the counterfeiters is killed by a female assassin on a motorcycle who bears a striking resemblance to her.... Turns out the two women grew up together, and as little girls both used to play with the same boy, who is now a lawyer vacationing back in the little town where they all grew up. Trouble stalks Michelle's two characters, after a crucial piece of counterfeiting equipment falls into one of their hands. The action reaches its climax in the small coastal town where they grew up, as various pieces of the past comes back to haunt... Pretty good drama, and Michelle Lee in assassin-mode is fun to watch. Not necessarily for those who require constant fighting action, though.