Time to look at some old skool Martial Arts ass kickery by two of the most respected women in the martial arts movie industry – Yes, Madam! – the first movie in the ‘In the Line of Duty’ series.
It’s all about firsts, not only is this the first ‘In the Line of Duty’ movie, but it’s Cynthia Rothrocks film debut and Michelle Yeoh’s first leading role in a film. So they kicked a few goals when they released this film!
It’s your typical, yet awesome, 80’s Kung Fu / cops vs bad guys movie. Michelle Yeoh’s character Inspector Ng is after a group of criminals who are apparently involved in the killing of one of her friends. Because this murdered friend of the Inspector is a foreigner, another police woman is sent over to help, Carrie Morris – played by Cynthia Rothrock.
What they don’t initially understand is that their friend, Richard Nornen, was killed by an assassin trying to retrieve some incriminating microfilm yet a couple of pick pockets got their hands on it before the assassin could. So these bumbly guys, named after drugs for some reason – Panadol, Aspirin and Strepsil, are being chased by both the crims and the police.
So as usual, things go a little crazy as paths cross and inevitably our two ass kicking female coppers are fighting off bad guys. It’s a simple good vs bad plot with some victim’s thrown into the mix…. who also happen to be criminals, but good criminals…. (?).
Fans of the 70’s / 80’s Hong Kong scene may notice James Tien (The Big Boss, Fist of Fury – alongside Bruce Lee) as the head crime boss, with his assassin being played by Dick Wei. Dick Wei does an excellent job of portraying a mean looking bad guy, he’s got the look and the physical skill to back it up while James Tien makes for a good, cocky and rich crime boss with a corny laugh.
As I expected, this film had some tremendously fast action delivered by some excellent performers. Being the first big roles for both Yeoh and Rothrock, I can see why they started to gain popularity. They did a great job delivering some exciting fights.
This film parallels many of the other high paced Kung Fu cop films of the 80’s, packed with drama and of course martial arts action that has been sped up to increase the intensity of the actors performance. This intensity combined with Yeoh’s and Cynthia Rothrock’s performance does work to enhance the final product and create some cool fight scenes.
The power of this female duo is pretty strong and Rothrock’s abilities were so impressive before filming, that her character was supposed to be a strong male to take on a role that world be very “Bruce Lee-esque”, but instead the filmmakers switched to Cynthia Rothrock after seeing just how impressive her abilities were.
If you want to know how popular this film was, it can be recognized by the fact that it helped to kick start a new wave of female action movies with strong women in the lead, kicking ass and showing they can be as bad ass as any man! That’s a good enough mark of quality in my book 🙂
Overall I can’t recommend this movie enough, it kickstarted careers a film franchise and a string of female lead action films so check it out if you get the chance!
On Blu Ray –
Region A (US & Canada)
Yes Madam (Region A) (English Subtitled)
On DVD –
Region 1 (US & Canada)
Region 2 (UK, Europe, etc)
Police Assassins [DVD]
Region Free (All Countries)
Yes, Madam!(All Region)(NTSC)