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Executioners
Chinese: 現代豪俠傳
Anita Mui, Michelle Yeoh and Maggie Cheung
Year: 1993
Director: Johnnie To Kei-Fung
Action: Ching Siu-Tung
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, Anita Mui Yim-Fong, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Lau Ching-Wan, Damian Lau Chung-Yun, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Paul Chun Pui, Eddy Ko Hung, Lau Tak, Dion Lam Dik-On
The Skinny: Follow-up to The Heroic Trio is more compelling but also more over-the-top. If you can handle the abundance of sappy montages, then you should be okay.
 
Review
by Kozo:

The follow-up to the hit The Heroic Trio is much more serious. The result turns out to be more compelling, but the overdone direction can leave you bewildered. Thankfully, the ace cast of Michelle Yeoh, Anita Mui and Maggie Cheung return, and the production proves to be just as entertaining as the first film, if not more.

Years after the wonderful incidents of The Heroic Trio, the world has apparently gone to hell. An apocalyptic future awaits out heroes, and to top it all off there's a water shortage. It seems megalomaniac Mr. Kim (Anthony Wong in makeup) owns all the world's uncontaminated water. However, all that turns out to be a scam as there's plenty of uncontaminated water just out of reach of the populace.

Our heroes decide to combat Mr. Kim's blatant water bill fraud by seeking out the pure water source. Thief Catcher (Maggie Cheung) teams up with a hat-wearing rogue (Lau Ching-Wan) to find the water, while Invisible Girl (Michelle Yeoh) attempts to protect the President and prevent a military coup by the power-hungry Paul Chun. Meanwhile, Wonder Woman (Anita Mui) has domestic issues with police chief hubby Damian Lau. Then she goes missing, which can only make matters worse.

The plot is waaaay ridiculous, but Ching Siu-Tung's action is terrific. Johnnie To goes overboard with a veritable marathon of montage sequences. It seems every key moment in the film needs to be punctuated by a pop song usually sung by Anita Mui. The overdone romanticism sort of works, as the film has incredibly huge tonal shifts which change between silly and tragic. The plot shifts gears quickly, making the film a strangely wrenching experience.

Given To's emotional bullying of the audience, the film turns out to be more compelling than its prequel. He chooses to defy commercial expectations, and the results can leave you tired and exhilirated - but also annoyed if you happen to like mega-mega happy endings. At least the three female leads turn in fine work, bringing presence and dignity to the overdone comic book plotline, as well as a believable athleticism to the action. Thanks to its overdone emotion, quick pacing, terrific action and strong female leads, Executioners turns out to be a prime example of Hong Kong Cinema at work. (Kozo 1996/2000)

 
Note: • Like its prequel, Executioners was purchased by Miramax/Disney and is currently no longer available in a subtitled, letterboxed DVD from Tai-Seng.
Availability: DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
Johnnie To: The Heroic Trio Series Box Set
Mega Star (HK)
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1 / DTS 5.1
Removable English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean Subtitles
Also see: The Heroic Trio (1992)
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image courtesy of Tai-Seng Video Marketing, Ltd.

   
 
 
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