aka 天使特警 aka Tian shi te jing
Written by Johnny Lee Gwing-Gaai
Directed by Hua Shan
Angel Force gives us what we want, tons and tons of action. Sure, there’s a plot in there, a half-baked rescue mission in the jungle that for some reason is done by cops, and some corrupt cops angle, but mostly it is just tons and tons of action. Shooting, kicking, knifing, punching, ridiculous stunts…Hong Kong action at its finest. These are the types of videos guys like me seeked out like crack at rental stores because nothing like this was coming out of US studios. Angel Force just brings back so many memories of renting anything I could from the woefully undersupplied Foreign section of the local video stores, at least until I got to a town with an awesome video store, and then the rise of cheap DVDs.
One thing about Angel Force is the film randomly leaves the Hong Kong cop setting for the middle of the film to do a jungle commando rescue mission, a la the beginning of Predator. This sets Angel Force enough different from the competition without it becoming one of several jungle commando pictures that were also out at the time. I do love all these girls with guns flicks, the danger is with most having similar plots and featuring the same core of actresses, without ridiculous stunts the films will begin to blur. So anything that helps a picture stand out is good in my book.
Angel Force immediately opens with action as cops May and Peter attempt to arrest a gang run by Shing Fui-On, but that turns into a protracted martial arts battle complete with slow motion, high flying jumpkicks, people getting knocked over barrels, people getting shot, and slowmotion scenes repeated three times in a row for emphasis. Shing Fui-On eventually escapes, largely because they don’t bother to chase him. And that he’s meant to show up again at the end of the film. Within another minute, May is involved in a big shootout on a highway while tailing a narcotics suspect. So by five minutes into the film we’ve had two huge action pieces, and then finally the opening credits.
Burmese General Kun Tza is so evil that women try to kill him, and he captured a dude named Harrison and his hiding him in his secret Burmese jungle prison. The US government wants Harrison back. Why, is he George Harrison or something? Harrison Ford?
They even call in cop Peter Lung, who was about to go away on vacation with his wife and son…D’oh! He’ll lead the expedition into Jungle 29, yes, Jungle 29, and must recruit some men. Why are they sending city cops into the jungle? Don’t ask so many questions!
The first guy they try to recruit, Benny, is so damn crazy he tries to beat both both Peter and May up, so he’s a perfect member of the team! Hasan joins the group because they pay people to beat him up and they won’t help unless he joins them. Hasan takes them to a general who hates general Kun Tza, so the Good General joins the team.
When they get ready to begin the mission, Peter gets shot by a woman who escapes on a motorcycle. May chases her down on a bike herself, then there is an awesome fight in a torn up old building where everyone fighting May either gets killed by her, their fellow bad guys, or by falling onto gigantic spikes. Why to people keep falling on giant spikes? I’ve only fallen on like 37 giant spikes this year, they are easy to avoid…
Peter must be in the hospital for a month, so they have May take over. This movie totally threw me with this sequence where the main character got dumped for the next hour of the film. The mission begins. I can’t help to notice there are like six extra members of the group we’ve never seen before. Who will the cannon fodder be, hm? They are all now dressed in jungle fatigues, too.
They get ambushed their first day. This battle is rather confusing, but at least the bad guys had the decency to wear a different kind of camouflage so you can tell them apart. Eventually Benny tries to rape a female bad guy he captures, but May yells at him and the rest of the team has her back. The captured woman later threatens to kill May, and Benny kills her and saves May.
The team locates what is probably the enemy base. They just declared that it’s the base, and it is. They sneak in and then start blowing random things up! Woo-hoo! Booms, bangs, blams, bazooms, kerpows, blasts, kablams, snuhs, rat-a-tat-tats, and whams! They find Harrison, who is some squirmy white guy. What a disappointment.
Evil General Kun Tza comes in with a big big gun, and blows away the good general. He also kills some of the other team members who didn’t get names. Not THAT guy! NooOOOOooOOO!! Benny and May are the only ones left (besides Harrison), and they run to a jeep and try to escape, but Kun Tza’s kung fu powers allow him to kick barrels into jeeps and cause them to crash, then he starts beating up the two heroes left.
General Kun Tza escapes with Harrison in the back of the jeep, but then Hasan appears out of nowhere in a civilian helicopter that is somehow causing explosions all around the general. This is weird because the helicopter is not armed at all, and if these explosions had hit the jeep, Harrison would be dead and thus the entire mission failed. Hasan lands and then gets shot, so Kun Tza escapes in the helicopter, but Benny jumps onto it as it flees. He opens the door, tosses in a grenade, and lets go as the helicopter explodes.
Luckily, Benny falls into a lake. Wait a minute, two extra guys from the team aren’t dead and help drive the jeep away! Where were you two when the final battle was happening???
Back home, the team talks with Peter in the hospital and they realize there is a snitch. May and Benny track down the guy who sold them weapons, and see him talking to their Chief Long – he’s the snitch! Chief Long then hires the gangster from the beginning to try to kill the heroes. He manages to get Benny and chases after May and Peter
The gangster chases May up and down buildings and into the docks, where she smacks him many times with a shovel! Can you dig it? Sorry, I am required to make that joke. The fight continues with knives, guns, ropes, pipes, fridges. Can you fridge it?
Things revolve themself thanks to the power of buzzsaw blades. But who won? And will the corrupt Chief Long get away? You’ll have to watch to find out…
As a bonus, saxophone music plays over the closing credits highlight reel. So now you have to see it, because where else will you hear saxophone music?
Rated 7/10 (assassin, turtle, Lee Chun-Wa!, Not Harrison Ford, night clubbin’, the son who knows about sex, fashion don’ts!)
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