Project S (1993)
Directed by: Stanley Tong
Tagline: "Michelle Yeoh is an action queen!"
When Officer Hua (Michelle Yeoh) manages to beat up the terrorists and save the hostages by the time the opening credits finish, you know you are in for a good film.
She receives a commendation from the Public Security Officer for her efforts, but not a pay rise, something that her friend Feung Cheung says she deserves. Hua says she is happy just serving the public. Cheung tells her he is thinking of going to Hong Kong from China to work. When a business associate of his shows up to give him his visa, Hua is annoyed as he had already made up his mind and he didn't need to discuss it with her.
Some time later in Hong Kong, while May is celebrating her birthday with her brother (who is a HK Police Officer) and Bill (yes, the one from the Police Story (1985) movies), there is a robbery of a security company across the road and a shootout takes place with the police.
As a Chinese gang is suspected of the robbery, Officer Hua is called in to help with the investigation. She is also supposed to be only an observer.
Down at the harbour, they spot the crook getting off a boat with a man carrying a suspicious-looking golf bag, so they decide to follow them.
Back at the gang's hideout, we learn that Feung Cheung is the leader and that they are planning something big with the aid of a foreign big-wig.
The three police officers decide not to wait for backup and raid the place, not knowing the gang has machine guns and explosives. During the course of their escape, Feung sees Officer Hua and tries not to shoot her while he is escaping, which he does by jumping from the roof onto a passing bus. Officer Hua just jumps from the roof and only just misses catching him (she doesn't know who he is though).
The result of the raid is that one of the gang is killed and the explosives expert (who is needed for their upcoming job) is captured.
One of the police officers in charge of the investigation questions the explosives expert, but the only answer he gets is a head butt, so of course he beats him up. All of this is leading to a big raid on the fortress known as the HSBC headquarters. Will the gang succeed or not? Will Officer Hua get her man or will her old loyalties prevail?
This movie is billed as a follow up to Police Story 3, but the links are tenuous at best (Jackie Chan in drag!) I have seen it called Police Story IV in places, but there are several other movies that claim the same title.
It is best to approach this movie as a straight action film and will have better expectations. The stunts are really great and the line between the criminals and police is clearly defined.
I also liked how Michelle Yeoh got to show a range of emotions in her character, apart from just doing stunts, which is rare for this kind of movie.
I would recommend this movie to action fans and those of you who liked the premise of the Charlies Angels movies, but would like to see a film with a decent script with a director whose name doesn't sound like a hamburger.