Lethal Angels (2006)
Reviewed by: ewaffle on 2010-05-07
Summary: Not angels but very lethal
“Lethal Angels” is a police drama full of violence, rape and revenge. Winnie and her protégés aren’t very angelic but they are extremely lethal and efficient with three silent murders in a crowded dance club while being tracked by 15 CCTV cameras and staked out by two Hong Kong detectives. The first killing is in a mirrored back room with a stripper pole and tiny stage. The victim is Big Eye, a loathsome gangster who is enticed, garroted and stabbed using a knife blade that springs from a boot heel. The other two are dispatched on the dance floor which would be a gore hound’s delight. One was gutted like sheep by an Angel using a razor-honed kris while the other was skewered with a long, thin metal rod sharpened to a deadly point. The two detectives, Jet and Darren, missed the entire fracas.

The angels are led by Winnie who, as played by Le Fei, is as deadly and determined as a female praying mantis. The angels have been trained to carry out their murderous missions while ignoring pain and exhaustion, with no second thoughts. They are an impressive bunch who can react when a gun is fired by unsheathing a knife and knocking the oncoming bullet out of the air. With their deadly skills—and none is more skilled than Winnie—and Winnie’s determination to find evil men, expose them and kill them this is a force to be reckoned with. Jet and Darren are a bit out of their depth—actually way out, since Jet remembers Yoyo, one of the assassins in the club, finally recalling that he had a first date with her on the night that her entire family (and Yoyo as was assumed by everyone) was slaughtered by Triad minions against whom her father had testified.

Jet has only met Yoyo once, five earlier when he was a kid trying to impress girls with his basketball prowess. She didn’t show up for their date and was too busy to call, having witnessed the slaughter of her family, momentarily escaping from the killers and then being rescued by the angels who left a stack of bodies in their wake. Jet’s feelings are understandable: Tin Sum is just about perfect at Yoyo. She is a staggeringly beautiful actress with a face that the camera loves and has talent to burn. Yoyo could launch a thousand ships and burn the topless towers of Illium before she put her makeup on in the morning.

Part of the conflict is between Yoyo and Winnie. Winnie’s next target is Bowen, a person who really needs killing and who really needs to be killed by Winnie. There is an incredibly brutal flashback that shows Bowen kicking the prostrate and pleading Winnie until she miscarries in a pool of blood. It was his child she was carrying.. Winnie has a real Old Testament view of revenge—or would if there was a Christian sensibility. An eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth—and a child for a child. The angels will infiltrate Bowen’s compound, steal his money, take incriminating evidence and then kill him, his wife and his young daughter. Yoyo is sent as a replacement nurse for the child with expected results—she falls in love with her cute young charge.

The action plays out as one would expect with a lot flamboyant killing using dagger, garrote, razor blade, poison, spear and bare hands. While the angels have been trained with firearms—in one sequence Winnie throws several decks of cards in the air and tells them to shoot only the aces, which they do—all the gunplay is left to the police. Few survive but those who do are on their way to living happily ever after in a Hong Kong where, among other things, the Alfred Hitchcock classic “Notorious” is always playing in the same cinema.

There is quite a bit of extreme brutality including sexual violence and child murder and the plot is much too thin for so much blood and guts but director Steve Cheng moves quickly from splatter scenes to domestic tranquility and blooming young love. He doesn’t make the mistake of lingering over the gore splattered corpses.
Reviewer Score: 6