Lady in Black (1987)
Reviewed by: STSH on 2001-09-17
Summary: First half is great
... but the wheels start to fall off around the middle.

The opening scene is a classic thriller mood set-piece worthy of Hitchcock. The story explores familiar Hitch territory for awhile. But somewhere around the 45 minute mark, things get wobbly. The acting turns into shouting melodrama, then the story leaves the track of credibility to go for sensationalism instead. The ending is spectacular, gory and very stupid.

For as long as the credibility lasts, Brigitte's performance as the used and abused wife is compelling, but she becomes less of a presence around half-way. Tony LeungKF, on the other hand, is terrific throughout, having great fun with one of his nastier roles. Veteran baddie Shih Kien has a very rare go at playing a good guy and, terrific old trooper that he is, matches Tony Leung.

Part of the problems with this film must go to that awful and often-seen fixture in HK film, the loud and excrutiating little kid. I sincerely hope whoever it was who played the little boy decided to go to the US and study law instead of inflicting his ghastly presence upon the HK public. Nuff said 'bout him.

Overall, a mixed bag. Disappointing by the end, and all the more so given the promise it showed at the start.
Reviewer Score: 5