The Inspector Wears Skirts (1988)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2005-09-24
“The Inspector Wears Skirts” is a girls with guns action comedy. It isn’t funny enough to be effective as a comedy, there isn’t enough action for an action movie and we don’t get to know the characters very well. It is probably representative of this sub-subgenre but a film starring Sibelle Hu and Cynthia Rothrock should be a lot more impressive. The final scenes at the jewelry exhibition have some very decent fighting and gunplay along with a comic interlude that actually is part of the plot. Not a very believable part but it doesn’t have to be.

In order to get there, though, the audience has to sit through a lot of yawn inducing material enlivened with a few highlights. The entire roller rink episode could have been clipped without loss to the content or structure of the movie—and the musical number in the middle of it should have cut. The obstacle course episode, after a good start, was just too many long shots of too many girls in jumpsuits hopping over barriers and climbing ropes. The result, including the victimization and redemption of Ailene, was much more tightly written and directed and its follow-up, the training ambush on the training tower which solidified Ailene’s position with her former antagonist May, was short, violent and exciting.

Jeff Falcon is a terrific bad guy in the showdown at the end of the movie. He goes from being just a tough criminal to a martial arts expert with a very specific style in the twinkling of an eye. His style reminded me the cat claw style of Chung Faat in “The Magnificent Butcher”—odd looking but very effective. He was beating the tough combination of Sibelle and Cynthia until the rest of the female commando join the fight, underlining (as if it was necessary at the eighty-third minute of an eighty-eight minute movie) the one of all and all for one spirit of the commando.

Stanley Fong has a funny and well executed scene during the final fight. He and a number of other police officers have been captured by the robbers who plan to kill them once they divulge who the rest of the undercover officers are. He confuses the captors by wailing about how he simply can’t die just then because he has so much on his conscience. He has list that includes almost every type of aberrant behavior imaginable while tapping out a message in code on the wall with his head—it is just about indescribable and is the comedic high point of the movie.

Some extended flashes of decent action filmmaking surrounded by long stretches of conventional and dull boilerplate.

Reviewer Score: 3