Street Angels is standard triad stuff from the BOB factory,
who also brought us the infamous Young and Dangerous movies.
Chingmy Yau stars as Yen, a triad girl who gets sent to jail for
her boyfriend Walkie Pi (Simon Yam). Once she gets out, she proceeds
to find a job as a Mamasan at Number One, the top nightclub in the
city. Number One is owned a righteous fellow named Playboy Man (Michael
Tao), who finds himself enchanted by the self-possessed Yen. When
Playboy Man's top Mamasan Karen (Valerie Chow) defects to a competitor,
Playboy Man installs Yen as his top girl. However, their success
ignites a war between the two clubs, which sparks lots of violence
and your usual acts of indignant defiance. It also brings the return
of Walkie Pi, but whose side is he on?
This is cookie-cutter stuff made to
cash in on the Young and Dangerous craze, which was in full
swing at the time. Street Angels and Young and Dangerous producers Andrew Lau and Manfred Wong make no bones about swiping
from themselves; aside from the settings and themes, they even recycle
the exact same music. The effect probably means little to most viewers;
after all, this was just disposable cinematic filler, and in that Street Angels suffices pretty well. Director Billy Tang moves
things along efficiently, and the actors turn in competent performances.
Special note should be given to Simon Yam, who appears to be gunning
for some overacting award with his egregiously over-the-top antics.
Shu Qi makes her first point-revealing screen appearance here, and
despite being dubbed, she shows off an animated screen presence. Street Angels qualifies as competent, forgettable throwaway
cinema. Nothing of real import occurs here, but fans of triad flicksand
Shu Qiwill probably be satisfied. (Kozo 1996/2003)