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ROYAL WARRIORS [1986] | Horror Cult Movies

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RUNNING TIME: 86 minutes


Royal Warriors

Two villains attempt to rescue a prisoner who’s being transported on a aircraft from Tokyo to Hong Hong, but additionally on the aircraft are Hong Kong cop Michelle Yip, air marshal Michael Wong and ex-Japanese cop Peter Yamomoto, and so they kill the crooks and land as heroes. The stuck-on-himself Michael eats up the highlight and activates the allure in the direction of the quiet Michelle, whereas the stoic Peter is extra involved with reuniting along with his spouse and younger daughter and patching up his marriage. Nevertheless, the 2 hijackers have been a part of a bunch of 4 army buddies who made a pact to at all times keep collectively and avenge the deaths of any of the group….

Regardless of what you’ll have heard, Royal Warriors, which sees the return of Michelle Yeoh in an identical however actually not similar position, is neither a correct sequel nor certainly a prequel to the groundbreaking “Femme Fatale” film Sure, Madam! which paired Yeoh with Cynthia Rothrock – although in fact it’s really easy to be confused. Within the UK Royal Warriors was initially re-titled Police Assassins on video, with Sure, Madam! subsequently packaged as a sequel referred to as Police Assassins 2, whereas in many different nations, Sure, Madam! and Royal Warriors have been referred to as In The Line of Responsibility and In The Line Of Responsibility 2, resulting in In The Line of Responsibility 3 and In The Line Of Responsibility 4 which starred Yang Li-Tsing, credited as ‘Cynthia Khan’ to hyperlink her to Rothrock and Yeoh who was initially billed with the surname Khan. Amazingly Eureka are additionally going to launch these latter two movies, and I can’t wait, however for now we now have Royal Warriors, which isn’t as necessary a movie as its predecessor nor as well-known. Nevertheless, a case will be made for it being superior. Sure, Madam! spent extra time with its criminal characters quite than its two predominant stars and, whereas it actually wasn’t boring with first rate characterisation and far of the humour coming off okay, it did really feel prefer it partly wasted the abilities of Yeoh and Rothrock, and appeared to mark time in the direction of the tip. Nevertheless, Royal Warriors permits Yeoh to point out off her abilities all through in addition to giving her an opportunity to actually present her performing chops for the primary time. It virtually disperses with comedy, a rarity for such a movie on the time, as a substitute specializing in motion and various motion too, however the plot nonetheless has its attention-grabbing facets together with barely extra sympathetic dangerous guys than normal, a shock fifteen minutes wherein really knocked me for six, and extra darkish turns in the direction of the tip. Maybe the one actual flaws are the annoying character of Michael Wong and a rating which, whereas typical of the style and interval, is quite overused. Each movies share a whole lot of faces.

It seems that additionally current at dinner are Peter and his spouse – did Michelle intentionally organize this? Michael simply can’t cease asking them irritating questions regardless that it’s apparent that the 2 are going by means of a troublesome patch. The cocky, silly Michael is undoubtedly effectively performed by – Michael Wong, who resists the temptation to mug [and appears to be speaking in English too], however there are occasions you might want that any individual would kick the hell out of him. Then out of the blue one thing occurs which certain as hell got here as a shock to me although I suppose it might not do to everybody else; I’m going to attempt to not reveal it so it retains its impression. The 2 mates of the 2 shot hijackers need revenge, and we get a couple of quick flashbacks exhibiting how their bond got here to be. The set doesn’t persuade us that we’re in a warfare zone which is unspecified [Vietnam?], however these bits do compel and there’s one scene which is de facto fairly highly effective even when it might have performed with being longer. All this actually doesn’t flip them into characters you want, nevertheless it does give us some understanding of them, and is a pleasant change from the same old unscrupulous drug lords we get in these movies, although we by no means do discover put why two of them have been rescuing that prisoner on the aircraft within the first place. Quite than going after them himself or counsel that they group up, one of many males orders the opposite to take out Michell, Michael and Peter. After the primary failed try, a bayonet left behind matches up with those on the aircraft, so Peter decides to make use of the opposite two as bait so he can catch the attacker. The ensuing carnage causes Michelle to be fired, however in fact that simply frees her up much more to catch the dangerous guys. It’s uncommon that for the ultimate quarter there’s just one dangerous man, although he’s actually a strong one!

After the warmup on the road of Tokyo, the motion actually hots up on the aircraft, with Michael engaged in a shoot out whereas Michelle and Peter group as much as struggle a villain,; this sort of teaming up two towards one completely regular in Hong Kong cinema, bear in mind. The aircraft setting is rather well used all through. A automobile chase has a great deal of vehicles flip over and roll plus Peter working after a jeep and hanging on to it earlier than climbing on it; it’s clearly Sanada dis clearly doing this; in a while he’s buried in a great deal of sand. He will get a whole lot of alternatives to shine, together with a solo boat struggle [mysteriously cut to almost nothing in the UK video release], regardless that Yeoh will get extra, which is accurately. They each struggle a foul man collectively once more in an evening membership ,whereas she brawls solo on a tractor and inside a shack the place she and Ying Bai make use of virtually every part inside it together with a chainsaw throughout one part similar to that bit in The Protector. Its doable to nonetheless get a bit disillusioned that there isn’t extra martial arts on this scene seeing because it’s the ultimate struggle, however I used to be simply specializing in how a lot Yeoh was clearly getting bashed about, whereas she does loads of preventing elsewhere, her not having been a skilled martial artist actually not exhibiting. Her twice-shown scissor kick is superior, and I like the way in which she’s at all times completely happy to seize one thing like a hearth extinguisher to bash an opponent with even when stated opponent doesn’t have a weapon; it appears extra reasonable. She will get to drive a quite “on its final legs” armoured automobile and narrowly escape fireplace too, the digital camera exhibiting the latter twice. There aren’t any bits of humour within the motion scenes [and not much elsewhere really], whereas there’s a viciousness as with different D & B movies; right here there aren’t the actually nasty deaths of Sure, Madam! and Righting Wrongs, however folks get shot very bloodily and bystanders at all times have a superb probability of getting it too. A case will be made for not one of the struggle scenes fairly having the impression of that ultimate showdown in Sure, Madam!, however the choreography is definitely extra intricate, with extra strikes. Th0ugh what’s with that absurdly huge explosion for only a automobile? Look out for it, it’s very odd certainly.

Aside from the neon-drenched nightclub this movie isn’t as vibrant to look as its predecessor, although there’s extra location work. David Chang is best often called a cinematographer of many movies together with classics equivalent to God Of Gamblers and As soon as Upon A Time In China; as director he retains the tempo going, and Kan-Cheung Tsang’s screenplay does make us care concerning the characters [yes even eventually Michael] regardless that it seems like a kind of jobs the place sure scenes have been lower to the bone. That is a kind of movies the place you really need to have a additional two or three dialogue scenes between the three predominant characters, as a result of all of them present sturdy indicators of being attention-grabbing and the performers work very effectively collectively, but one can even admire the terrific economic system of storytelling, with not a minute of wasted footage, and even scene transitions usually designed to propel issues ahead, leaving out sure pictures or connecting one thing on the finish of 1 scene with one thing else in one other. Sanada is suitably brooding whereas Wong does ultimately get some scenes the place he’s not required to bother us which he pulls off quite effectively. He additionally will get into the motion, not the preventing, however he does grasp from a rope from a excessive constructing which admittedly is probably not that top in actuality however which nonetheless seems harmful. As for Yeoh, this movie requires her to convey a variety of feelings and, whereas she’s distant from turning into the very nuanced actress that she ultimately grew to become and who we’re now very used to, there are sturdy indicators of this in a good few scenes. Royal Warriors actually is a significantly better showcase than Sure, Madam! for Yeoh all-round and the script by no means lets us neglect that it’s actually her movie; her two co-stars are positive and their characters vitally necessary, however, maybe for the primary time in considered one of these movies, seeing as Man Hui, John Sham and Tsui Hark took a lot of the eye from Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock in Sure, Madam! whereas Yuen Baio had just a bit bit extra to do than Rothrock in Golden Harvest’s Righting Wrongs, it’s actually the feminine lead’s present.

There’s a lot to get pleasure from in Royal Warriors, which nearly makes it a disgrace that I’ve to criticise Romeo Diaz’s music rating, which turns into quite grating not due to its predominant themes, nor the compulsory villain chords or certainly a villain theme utilized in Sure, Madam!, however as a result of stated predominant themes are repeated way more usually than they wanted to be. Nonetheless, the lean, imply Royal Warriors is nearly a mannequin of economic system, and having an motion star who can act in addition to struggle raises its worth much more.

Ranking: ★★★★★★★★½☆



Restricted Version O-Card slipcase that includes new art work by Darren Wheeling [2000 copies]

1080p HD presentation on Blu-ray from a model new 2K restoration 

A barely speckly [but only slightly] opening couple of minutes segues into the same old improbable presentation with the movie wanting very a lot of its time however restored to trendy specs. The picture may be very clear and really sharp and grain is evenly balanced. Colors are barely muted however that would have been intentional.

Cantonese mono audio [theatrical mix]

Cantonese mono audio [home video mix]

English mono [classic dub]
I watched a couple of scenes with this dub. It’s pretty good of its form.

English 5.1 encompass [home video mix]
This later dub is, as these later dubs are usually, inferior to the early dub. The voice actors chosen have little character, although their traces are sometimes nearer to the unique script if one goes by the translations into English on the Cantonese model.

Optionally available English subtitles, newly translated for this launch

Model new function size audio commentary by Asian movie professional Frank Djeng [NY Asian Film Festival
Djeng does this one on his own, but of course with little loss of energy; okay he has a few short breaks but he’s still really going for it as fast as he can but with no loss of clarity. As always, he’s extremely specific and informative about settings, from the opening Tokyo festival actually being a real annual one which has lots of young people showing off their skills to potential talent agents, to a floating restaurant that capsised en route to a new location and which “conspiracy theorists” say may have been sunk. We also learn that Wong is dubbed by Jackie Chan’s usual voice double while Sanada is voiced by two people depending on whether he’s speaking Cantonese or Japanese. Djeng also narrowly escaped a stampede in 1993. There’s not much production info about the film itself, but Djeng keeps things interesting and seems to prefer it to Yes, Madam! like I do.

Brand new feature length audio commentary by action cinema experts Mike Leeder & Arne Venema
Leeder and Venema provide their usual lighter but still very informative track, sometimes covering a wider scope but that’s fine, and here they both contribute about equally rather than Leeder usually taking the lead. We learn stuff like when Leeder asked somebody in Japan “What’s to stop a kid from buying alcohol from a vending machine” and received the reply “Well they’re not old enough”, which tells us something quite profound about the difference of Japanese culture to ours. In reference to the plane window smashing, we’re told that a man once did get stuck for 25 minutes in a cockpit window which burst, and he survived! It’s also speculated that Johnny To directed a lot of the better scenes, and we learn that the film had a whopping seven cinematographers. What with some nostalgic chat about the old days which old timers like me can relate to, this is as fun a listen as we’ve come expect; they also both prefer this to Yes, Madam! too.

A conversation with John Sham [2018 Far East Film Festival [33 mins]
Most likely meant for the Sure. Madam! disc however not included due to lack of area, this sees Sham being requested about how he bought into the movie trade, then his producing profession. So there’s nothing about, for instance, the 2 Fortunate Stars movies which he starred in, however he clearly produced a various vary of flicks. We study that that it was him who requested Yeoh if she needed to get into motion, and that Yeoh tended to disregard he accidents and stick with it, whereas details about different movies consists of Sham being doubtful about giving Derek Yee an opportunity to direct The Lunatics till Yee described precisely how he would direct sure scenes. It feels like Sham’s contribution to Hong Kong cinema has been under-looked.

“Royal Warriors” and “Sure, Madam” areas – featurette by Arne Venema [10 mins]
A tour round Hong Kong, stating many areas. Hong Kong modifications shortly so a whole lot of locations are simply not there any extra, however Detective Venema is ready to, for instance, see the place Hark’s character’s residence in Sure, Madam! was when one angle reveals the identical skyscraper within the background, whereas we’re advised that the automobile chase principally consists of driving up and down the identical street. Venema is the primary man however Leeder joins him a bit; how good it’s to see them collectively.


Reversible sleeve design

A Restricted Version collector’s booklet that includes new writing by James Oliver [2000 copies]


Excessive octane stuff which can function a superb introduction for newbies to Hong Kong stuff, “Royal Warriors” comes within the normal positive Eureka package deal. Extremely Really useful!


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