From the March 1, 2002 Chicago Reader. — J.R.
Leaner and meaner than usual, Maggie Cheung plays the dominatrixlike manager of an inn that caters to rowdy thieves during the Ming dynasty. The action editing in this 1992 Hong Kong comedy adventure can be as pleasurably incoherent as the subtitles (Don’t you scare of death? . . . I don’t give it a damn! . . . I can tell you are bad eggs from the first sight). Apart from the hyperbolic bloodletting in the final explosion of violence, in which one character is partially reduced to a skeleton, discontinuity reigns supreme as far as character, plot, and sometimes even gesture are concerned. (The stunt doubles probably deserve to share billing with the stars.) Cheung’s romantic rival for Tony Leung (the tall Tony Leung, not the one who costarred with her in In the Mood for Love) is her frequent cohort Lin Hsing-hsia. Raymond Lee directed this remake of a film by King Hu, and Tsui Hark produced. 90 min. (JR)