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RUNNING TIME: 94 minutes



In The Line of Duty IV

In Seattle, Insp. Yeung Lai-Ching and Officer Donny Yan are after a drug cartel, together with colleague Peter Woods. Peter manages to trace the criminals to their supposed dealing location, however when he takes {a photograph} of a CIA agent concerned, he’s seen and shot. In his dying moments, he offers the movie to a passing Hong Kong immigrant dock employee, Luk Wan-Ting, who loses it within the ensuing chase, however no person will imagine that he hasn’t nonetheless received it, and the police thinks he’s one of many crooks. Donny and Yeung are ordered to extradite him to Hong Kong, however then he escapes custody. Penny believes that Luk is harmless whereas Donny thinks he’s responsible, however a far greater drawback is that the cartel might need somebody on the police pressure retaining tabs on them about their investigation…

You’ll be able to’t actually say that they left the most effective for final, seeing as there have been 4 extra In The Line Of Responsibility motion pictures to go after this one, two of them persevering with to star Michelle Khan as Insp. Yeung Lai-Ching [her real name], who additionally returned because the character in two movies in any other case unrelated to this collection. Complicated undoubtedly, however acceptable contemplating the retitling and swapping of titles these motion pictures have undergone. Nonetheless, In The Line Of Responsibility IV does appear to make a concerted effort to high the earlier three, and comes off as just about a real traditional of the motion style, which makes it one thing of a disgrace that Sure, Madam stays probably the most well-known of this franchise as a result of it was the primary, however didn’t truly comprise that a lot motion, the emphasis being extra on its supporting characters and their comedic hijinks. However that’s not one thing you possibly can say in regards to the second, third and fourth instalments, with this one providing a battle or a chase seemingly each couple of minutes, but regardless of seemingly having so little time to such issues it additionally has a reasonably first rate plot containing some real suspense. Royal Warriors and In The Line Of Responsibility III elevated the brutality however right here it’s toned down a bit, as is the character of the preventing. We’re again to prolonged pictures and large angles, even when the editor nonetheless has his work minimize out for him in disguising Khan’s doubles, and brawling is extra grounded with loads much less wirework. It’s moderately odd to see Khan now preventing on this totally different approach, particularly as she’s enjoying the identical character too, and he or she type of performs second fiddle to an rising Donnie Yen, although she does get probabilities to showcase a real appearing means. There’s far much less gunplay too, the purpose clearly to pack in as many fights as doable although ingenious touches abound to maintain issues contemporary. As for humour, it’s virtually non-existent on this one, but it surely’s probably not missed.

Pictures of Seattle beneath the opening titles lead us right into a shopping center the place cops are tailing Chinese language drug sellers. Yeung and Peter comply with some to a seaport that night time [and we’re now in Vancouver!] the place a cargo has simply arrived from Hong Kong. Yeung acrobatically infiltrates the docks however is caught by one of many workmen, Luk Wan-ting, whom she convinces that she’s a stowaway unlawful immigrant, however at his condominium she tries to stealthily test in with Peter, who’s pursuing the sellers to an unknown location, however Luk catches her. Immediately Luk’s brother Ming crashes in by a skylight, pursued by six armed thugs armed with metallic bars to whom he owes $20,000. Luk battles them whereas Yeung does nothing besides one kick and twirl some odd wrench nunchuku. Will we slowly construct as much as Khan correctly preventing? Nicely truly no, she’s battling a villain within the subsequent scene! In the meantime, Donny tails a man to a restaurant, the place his buddy Captain Michael Wong [Michael Wong playing a different person than he did in Royal Warriors despite them both having the same name as himself] occurs to be having breakfast with a lady, and inadvertently obscures Donny’s view because the villain leaves. Elsewhere, Peter has adopted the opposite sellers to a mining company warehouse on the docks, the place they promote cocaine to a Caucasian gang. Peter makes an attempt to arrest all of them, revealing that the Caucasians’ chief is a CIA officer named Mr. Robinson, which the Hong Kong sellers didn’t know. The ensuing gunplay has Robinson and his males shoot shoot all of the Chinese language lifeless, plus Peter after he’s has given him his gun and the adverse of the picture. Luk by accident drops the adverse into the ocean, a splendidly cheeky thought in order that we have now this MacGuffin which no person ever finds, and is rescued by the arrival of the police, who’re satisfied Luk has the movie. A cop violently interrogates hin, however Luk efficiently defends himself and escapes, heading for Ming’s place, the place Ming offers up his ID card to get $3000 for a seat on a ship to take Luk again to Hong Kong that night time. Ming then sacrifices his life to avoid wasting Luk, in fairly a touching second.

Luk is actually the one driving the narrative for some time, but it surely’s not as if Yeung and Donny [they really spent time thinking up names again] aren’t all the time going round moving into varied scrapes. Nevertheless, they grow to be at odds with their totally different attitudes to Luk, beginning when Donny, nonetheless satisfied Luk is a cocaine supplier, is about to shoot Luk however Yeung knocks his gun away so {that a} man she thinks is harmless can escape. The 2 later have interaction in a reasonably nicely written dialog the place they specific their opinions on Luk, policing and Yeung being “too sentimental”, but not lengthy after Donny helps Yeung and takes accountability when she’s instructed off for placing Luk at risk by taking him to his mom’s, whereas just a few scenes later the 2 appear nice with one another. I ponder if a few different dialogue scenes involving them have been minimize as a result of we wanted each single one of many twenty or so battle sequences to stay? Luk goes to Hong Kong and Donny and Yuen are ready for him. I’ve learn that the plot may be very difficult, but it surely’s in no way; Donny and Yuen preserve catching up with Luk who retains on getting away, whereas the gangsters are additionally after Luk and so they have anyone working for them within the police division. Who it’s is revealed pretty early on and, one might need most popular that the revelation occur later when he employs a needle to kill off anyone Donny has been beating, thereby making it appear to be Donnie prompted the loss of life, or possibly even later when he reveals a From Russia With Love-style shoe blade to silence, however then suspense will be good, and we’re enjoyably uncomfortable when this individual is lurking round, all the time seeming about to do one thing unhealthy, even taking Yeung out to dinner. We do get some clarification of what these crooked CIA members are as much as, which takes as its inspiration sure issues that have been happening in actual life on the time. But it surely’s way more battle, chase, bounce, drive, battle some extra.

Khan is extra at residence with a extra sensible fashion of preventing, and nonetheless capable of showcase her kicking expertise, although Yen will get a bit extra motion and is solely unbelievable even when he’s a bit awkward on display when not preventing. After that first battle with Yuen Yat-chor as Luk, we have now Yen battle non-oriental thugs in entrance of a shopping center, then afterward Khan will get a battle in the same locale with only one individual, which has an actual conventional kung fu movie fashion to it. Donny fights Luk twice, the primary together with a chase the place rooftops are jumped from with absurd ease. Then two thugs attempt to retrieve Luk from an ambulance and Khan fights certainly one of them on the roof, is kicked off, does a 720 diploma backflip, kicks by the facet home windows, and hangs the wrong way up by her toes, her head virtually placing the street whereas he retains kicking her – and Khan is doing most of this – earlier than she falls and we get a Raiders Of The Misplaced Ark-type clinging to the grill of the entrance of the ambulance, her toes dragging on the street! Kahn additionally fights a man who’s simply injected her with one thing although she’s weakened. Yen might get extra brawls, and even will get to battle a man doing what seems to be like a type of monkey kung fu, however Kahn will get to battle one other girl, Farley Ruth Kordica, the 2 making their approach down a part of a elevate shaft as they punch, kick, hanging and fall in an unbelievable scene that you just don’t wish to finish. After which Yen will get to battle one other man on a bike with axes and hammers; oh my god, that is motion filmmaking at its most pure, completely fantastic. The finale has Khan, Yen and Chor Yuen encounter Wong and a few others, with some opponents being swapped round! Khan has a swordfight with Wong and a rematch with Stephen Berwick whereas Yen, whose character is allowed to get badly injured, fights Michael Woods, who, when he realises he can’t win on martial arts talent, makes use of wrestling methods! All through, Woo-Ping likes his fights to play out in large areas so the digital camera can preserve again and take all of it in, which may be very totally different from the earlier movie. There are numerous falls on concrete with what seems to be like no padding, and Wong will get a clean bullet fired proper up shut into his face!

You’ll most likely snicker on the large American flag taking on one wall in the principle villain’s home, regardless that his hyperlink with the CIA is meant to be secret, however there’s one main comedy scene, and it actually works, the place Yeung and Donnie take Luk to satisfy his mom. Luk is handcuffed to Yeung, in order that they faux that the 2 of them are engaged and may’t preserve aside for a second. Mom makes them some meals and asks Yeung to carry out her hand, however in fact she’s not alleged to see {the handcuffs}. When the others go away, Mom is given a poignant few seconds on her personal so we are able to get a way of her making an attempt to course of all of it. It’s an fascinating selection, seeing as the apparent finish to the set piece would have been a closing gag. The entire scene can also be very nicely performed by Khan, who reveals an actual knack for comedy, however then she’s actually assured all through, a lot in order that it’s a disgrace that Yen is extra outstanding; sure, he shows superb talent and timing, however, in his second starring function after Tiger Cage, he’s nonetheless uneasy in entrance of the digital camera in any other case, and enjoying a personality who isn’t that likable, chilly and aggressive. For a collection which supposedly promotes the thought of the preventing feminine, it’s a disgrace that solely the second and third movies actually go to city on that. Sure, Madam had Yeoh and Rothrock play second fiddle to some comedic performers, and this one favours Yen over Khan, not that a lot however nonetheless there, even having the previous rescue the latter not as soon as however twice. Nonetheless, the 2 exhibit sufficient chemistry to make one want that Tiger Cage 2 wasn’t their solely reunion [and that one was brief]. Elsewhere, effort is made to offer fascinating opponents for them, lots of them non-Chinese language. This time the music rating, from Richard Yuen, emulates John Carpenter all through, offering a sinister vibe which we don’t a lot get from elsewhere. A couple of prolonged interchanging chords are all they normally want for the fights, and this works very well, whereas just a few melodic passages ably improve sure melodramatic moments.

In The Line Of Responsibility IV is the least visually robust of the 4 movies, and as I’ve already talked about hardly ever even tries to be humorous, however for my cash it outdoes them in most different respects. It’s a movie to indicate to those that don’t take into account motion motion pictures to be worthy of significant respect and reward, an excellent ballet of motion and energy, a shining spotlight from these “balls to the wall” golden days when Hong Kong filmmaking was probably the most thrilling on the planet.

Score: ★★★★★★★★★☆



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

1080p HD presentation on Blu-ray of the unique theatrical minimize from a model new 2K restoration
Once more, followers of the movie are handled to a restoration which is infinitely higher than any model that they’ve seen earlier than, whereas newcomers will have the ability to view it in the perfect approach. Colors are barely drabber than in In The Line Of Responsibility III, however then that was the palette used; the element continues to be there in spades, a lot so that you could generally spot when stunt doubles are used [which is a lot of fun in its own right, especially seeing as many actors didn’t just feature properly in the film but also doubled other actors]. Blacks once more look nice although the color isn’t used that a lot anyway on this one. Grain might be even higher distributed.

1080p HD presentation of the unique export model from a model new 2K restoration
Curiously, it is a uncommon instance of an export model being longer than a Hong Kong model, although the additional footage is simply 17 seconds value. We see Yeun and Donnie being launched as new companions, however, seeing as there’s no battle between them, and the scene is so quick, the movie doesn’t undergo for it being omitted. The English dub is roughly on the identical degree as most of people who have been accomplished on the time; not unhealthy, however missing a lot of the flavour of ones accomplished within the ’70s.

Cantonese and English audio choices (each of their authentic mono displays)

Non-compulsory English Subtitles, newly translated for this launch

Model new characteristic size audio commentary by Asian movie skilled Frank Djeng (NY Asian Movie Pageant)
I get the sense that the commentary tracks for these two movies have been accomplished in at some point by each Djeng and Leeder/Venema, seeing as those for In The Line Of Responsibility IV don’t sound fairly so contemporary. It’s fascinating that on each tracks the third movie is most popular to this one. Djeng gives the same old background on performers with out going into tedious biography mode, feedback on a good few scenes as they play, and explains an altar seen within the background in a single scene, telling us that it represents both the god of the earth or household ancestors. He additionally factors out the sky continually altering within the closing battle; I used to be too into the motion to note.

Model new characteristic size audio commentary by motion cinema specialists Mike Leeder & Arne Venema
Leeder and Venema are stronger on the tales this time round, my favorite being Leeder shortly placing on a T-shirt earlier than going to work with Simon Yuen and Woo-Ping, not realising the T-shirt was for certainly one of their movies which irritated them considerably. We additionally be taught that homes don’t have any central heating in Hong Kong. The 2 are fairly important; Leeder even thinks that the bike chase will get too foolish, whereas Venema thinks much less cash was spent on the artwork path. Venema reckons that Khan and Yen lack chemistry, and Leeder doesn’t assume that Khan is attractive – nicely I can’t say agree with these two factors, however hey!

Archival commentary by Hong Kong skilled Stefan Hammond and lead actor Michael Wong
This monitor was on the Hong Kong Legends DVD. Hammond and Wong instantly have a great rapport, and it’s pretty to listen to recollections coming again to Wong from a movie he hasn’t seen for twelve years, although Hammond spends moderately an excessive amount of time explaining not simply the plot however precisely what’s happening on display. Wong spots that he’s driving his personal automobile and tells us that, when he was instructed he’s going to be put within the ice field, he thought it was a joke, solely to be put in a single in actuality and tied to actual ice. In the meantime Hammond tells us that Khan had nightmares after doing that ambulance scene. There’s a number of chuckling at and mild mockery of the movie, which is okay.

Archival interview with Donnie Yen [19 mins]
Additionally from the Hong Kong Legends is that this interview, the place Yen actually lets the viewer know the way arduous and hard Hong Kong motion is, the place you “Don’t do something straightforward”, emphasising issues such because it doesn’t matter how nice a martial artist you might be in the event you don’t look good in entrance of the digital camera, and telling us that generally cameramen are hit and need to go to hospital! Woo-Ping would preserve saying to him, “Extra energy”, a lot that Yen feared he’d kill Woods if he hit him any extra. Yen doesn’t have a very excessive opinion of Khan, saying she was of restricted means.

Archival “Donnie Yen: Type of Motion” featurette [15 mins]
From the Area 3 Hong Kong DVD from IVL is that this comparable piece, although taken from the set of Kill Shot, with some chat with one other man, although solely Yen is subtitled, and an illustration of a great angle to movie a punch, and a battle from that movie being shot. Yen rightly says that Hollywood doesn’t do motion as nicely for a number of causes, dismisses storyboards, and says how he judges actors’ means early on by getting them to do some easy stuff. As he generally does, Yen comes throughout as barely smug – not that I’d ever inform him to his face.


Reversible sleeve design

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


At instances taking motion to dizzying heights, “In The Line Of Responsibility IV” is genuinely exhilarating, and on a fuller disc than “In The Line Of Responsibility III” too. Extremely Really helpful! 



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