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Lethal Angels
AKA: Naked Avengers
Viva Wei, Tin Sum, and Cherrie Ying
Chinese: 魔鬼天使
Year: 2006
Director: Steve Cheng Wai-Man
Producer: Manfred Wong
Cast: Tin Sum, Andy On Chi-Kit, Jordan Chan Siu-Chun, Cherrie Ying Choi-Yi, Jewel Li Fei, Meme Tian, Viva Wei Hua, Tony Ho Wah-Chiu, Samuel Pang King-Chi, Gao Yuan-Ping, Yuan Yuan, Fung Hak-On, Nic Yan, Chan Yee-Ting
The Skinny: Naked Killer retread is no patch on the original. Okay for throwaway exploitation fare, but those seeking darker or more entertaining thrills will likely be disappointed.
 
Review
by Kozo:

Red-blooded males take note. Director Steve Cheng's Lethal Angels (AKA: Naked Avengers) cribs liberally from Wong Jing's ultra-successful Naked Killer formula, meaning this movie has babes, bullets, and even some skin. However, unlike Naked Killer, Lethal Angels is only a low-budget knockoff of Hong Kong's erotic action thriller genre, and suffers greatly for it. The production design is less lurid, the action less exciting, and the eroticism strictly low rent.

The stars aren't much to write home about either. Lethal Angels has Jordan Chan, but he's only in a supporting role that requires the fallen star to do little besides deliver occasionally horny dialogue. Former Black Mask Andy On is the male lead here, but all he does is look handsome and act inert. That leaves it to the babes: buxom Taiwanese model Tin Sum and the always welcome Cherrie Ying. Plus, this film has a Category III rating. Red-blooded males must really be paying attention now.

Sadly, if that attention is coming from the understandable desire to see either Tin Sum or Cherrie Ying get their groove on, then the viewer will be disappointed, because neither turns in a revealing or sexy performance. Audiences may also be disappointed because Lethal Angels is not good movie, and is only tolerable because it's a recent attempt at a once-popular Hong Kong Cinema genre.

Tin Sum stars as Yoyo, who joined a quartet of killer babes led by Winnie (Jewel Lee) after her family was offed by evil triads led by a gloriously overacting Tony Ho Wah-Chiu. Winnie now works with Emma (Cherrie Ying), Dora (Viva Wei), and Macy (Meme Tian) to take out horny evil bastards, but their man-killing exploits draw the attentions of cops Jet (Andy On) and Darren (Jordan Chan). Jet is especially intrigued because Yoyo happens to be his college sweetheart, who disappeared after her family got killed. At the time, Jet was at the movie theater, waiting in the rain for Yoyo to show up for their date. She never did because she went off to be an assassin, leaving Jet bitter and thoroughly wet.

Jet is eager to reconnect with Yoyo, but she's now undercover in a new mission, to kill mob boss Bowen (Yuan Yuan). Yoyo is posing as a nurse to Bowen's daughter Sandy, with an eye on offing him, his wife, his second-in-command Bowell, and everyone else who may be around when it's time to do the deed. However, this is a personal vendetta for Winnie, who was once viciously rejected by Bowen, so she wants Bowen's daughter dead too. Yoyo shows expected hesitation over murdering completely innocent youngsters, and Emma shares that feeling. Dora and Macy do not, however, leading to the possibility of a two-on-two grudge match between hot babes that could justify the cost of a Lethal Angels DVD purchase.

However, that battle would probably occur in a film with a larger budget, and Lethal Angels simply doesn't have it. The action occurs only sporadically, and is only average stuff, with some obvious wirework and quick-cut doubling. Also, the gunplay is fake to the point of distraction; the filmmakers opt for CGI instead of dummy rounds, using obvious post-production work to create muzzle flashes. Not surprisingly, it looks terrible. With the shrinking of the film industry, it's understandable that they cut some costs. However, this sort of cheapness is inexcusable.

Lethal Angels isn't so bad that it's offensive, ala Wong Jing's exceptionally tasteless Naked Weapon. Lethal Angels is simply average and unspectacular, like one of those late nineties thrillers starring either Angie Cheung Wai-Yee or Pinky Cheung Man-Chi. Those jonesing for this sort of cheap exploitation thriller may be amused, and the filmmakers at least keep the lame filler to a minimum. However, the meat of the film hardy compensates. The revenge plot is pure boredom, the story development lazy and full of holes, the content rather tame for its rating, and the star pairings (between Tin Sum and Andy On, plus Jordan Chan and Cherrie Ying) generate as much heat as a raw hunk of lead.

Also, the sex and titillation are practically nonexistent; there's a naked striptease by Viva Wei in the first ten minutes, but after that nada. This is a film where nothing surprising or remotely buzzworthy occurs; the whole could probably be considered laughable, but laughing may require more effort than the film is really worth. Basically, Lethal Angels rates a solid "ehhh" on the entertainment meter, and will probably never have the words, "It was great," or even "I thought it was good," attached to it. Phrases that could be heard include, "It was okay," or "I didn't hate it," or "I got what I expected." Truthfully, I got what I expected too, so I shouldn't be complaining. Regardless, I feel the urge to continue griping. (Kozo 2007)

 

Availability:

DVD (Hong Kong)
Region 0 NTSC
CN Entertainment
16x9 Anamorphic Widescreen
Cantonese and Mandarin Language Tracks
Dolby Digital 5.1
Removable English and Chinese Subtitles
 
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