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Phillip J. Roth
Generic HK action film; Sibelle Hu's co-stars steal the show
The recent DVD release of "China Heat" features one of the slickest-looking transfers I've seen so far for a Hong Kong film with a medium budget. But the packaging is kind of misleading: it promotes Sibelle Hu as the female lead, when in fact she largely stays in the background, letting Sherry Han and Cindy Mong handle most of the action. Which is probably not a bad thing, as Sherry and Cindy both outclass Sibelle here and this movie belongs to them (according to IMDb they never made another one, which is a shame). The male lead is Michael Depasquale, playing an American cop helping the three policewomen capture a drug kingpin who escaped while he was being transferred from the US back to China. It's rather awkward to hear ALL the characters, many of whom are American, speaking perfect Chinese, but I guess it's the reverse side of the usual English dubbing of HK movies. Another awkward moment occurs when one of the girls is attacked in her hotel room by one of the villain's thugs....she defends herself and seems to get the upper hand, the action cuts to elsewhere, and when we see her again she has been captured and taken to a warehouse. After a slow middle section, the last part of the movie is pretty much all shooting and fighting, so even though "China Heat" is generic and unmemorable, at least it delivers enough action for fans of the genre. (**)
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