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Chinese language cinema

Film review: Special Female Force – scantily clad girls with guns in Hong Kong action thriller

Wilson Chin desperately needs a scriptwriter worthy of his populist films. The director has wasted another great idea here – get ready for the inevitable sequels

PUBLISHED : Wednesday, 12 October, 2016, 1:02pm
UPDATED : Wednesday, 12 October, 2016, 1:01pm

2/5 stars

Will someone please find Wilson Chin Kwok-wai a screenwriter worthy of his unabashedly populist sensibilities? After the softcore rom-com Lan Kwai Fong trilogy (2011-13) fizzled out, the director has wasted another great idea in the mediocre franchise starter Special Female Force, an unofficial reboot of The Inspectors Wear Skirts series (1988-1992) which also replicates the sexed-up appeal of such local Charlie’s Angels wannabes as So Close and Naked Weapon (both 2002).

Twenty years after her mother was brutally killed during a mission in Thailand, Fa (Eliza Sam Lai-heung) is ready to succeed her in the same fabled squad of elite policewomen. In training camp scenes that play like excerpts from contests on TVB variety shows (of which Chin was a prominent producer), the headstrong rookie befriends five other trainees (including Jeana Ho Pui-yu and Anita Chui Bik-ka). Then, through reckless courage, Fa gets the chance to avenge her mother in a mission in Malaysia.

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The cast of emerging actresses is suitably fierce, there is action aplenty, and the onscreen violence, while mostly decorous, leaves a nasty taste that isn’t always found in such frivolous fare. Too bad the action thriller – very loosely based on The Inspectors Wear Skirts – is so lazily scripted that you never believe for a second that this is anything more than luxurious play-acting, albeit with hot young women invariably clad in bra tops, wet T-shirts and low-cut dresses. Chin knows his audiences.

Special Female Force opens on October 13

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