rSu (2002)
Naked Weapon

Reviewed by: Hyomil
Date: 04/07/2011

Reviewer Score: 2

Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 07/12/2006

“Naked Weapon”, which could be subtitled “Let One Thousand Nikitas Bloom”, seems to be all over the place but, as other reviewers have pointed out, it never really strays far from the formula of beautiful women doing evil things. Daniel Wu’s character is so underwritten that he could have made it up as on the way to the set each morning and just about everyone else is a caricature. Almen Wong’s Madame M could be the Dragon Lady from the old “Terry and the Pirates” comic strip—not sure if anyone other than myself is old enough to remember that one, while Maggie Q is unable to impersonate an action heroine—she looks like a model trying her best but with inadequate coaching and rehearsal time which is most likely the case. Both are drop dead gorgeous, of course, as are Anya and Li Fei. The estrogen level really pins the needle during the scenes on the island which is a combination prison, assassin school and survival training camp. It is full of young women, generally dressed in clingy gym attire and doing lots of vigorous exercise. Since they are confined on an island there are also plenty of chances for them to get wet, which they do.

In keeping with every other part of the movie the economics of the criminal enterprise depicted make no sense whatsoever. Young women who have shown some type of potential lethal precocity disappear and are never seen again by their families. Stuck on a rock in the ocean administered by the insane Madame M and guarded by bloodthirsty soldiers of fortune, they don’t do anything but train and occasionally kill one of their numbers for about 15 years. And the graduation ceremony is really a killer—literally. It is a cage match that pits teams of girls against each other in a fight to the death using whatever weapons they can grab. Since only three fledgling murderers survive (only to be drugged and raped at their celebration dinner) unless Madame M and the organization she serves is able to collect tens of millions of dollars (U.S.) for every hit they would never see a dime of profit. This is especially a problem since after years of torture, killing, inhuman indoctrination and brainwashing the few girls left still are a bit unsure of the career that has been thrust upon them.

The action scenes are wretched—after one hit using the patented spine crusher method Katherine, who has been very credibly disguised as a call girl, is on her way out when a wayward cell phone rings. She is able to shoot her way out of the palatial albeit well guarded gang headquarters, but only with the cooperation of the thugs whose job it is to protect the kingpin she just killed. They pull their guns and stand around waiting for her to shoot them, dawdling with firearms in hand while Katherine does the “kick the shotgun into the air, spin around and grab it on the way down” move. It is the kind of thing the Michelle Yeoh, Cynthia Khan, Jade Leung or Yukari Oshima could have made look easy. But since none of them were in this movie, it just looked dumb. The climax of this much too long sequence occurs on the street while the assassin is making good her escape when a thug steps onto the balcony with a shoulder mounted anti-tank weapon—he shoots (from quite a distance and at an impossible angle) and her car is destroyed. In front of bumbling CIA agent Jack Chen, who has been having coffee a couple of tables away from Madame M, who is there to keep an eye on her investment. And who, after the get away car blows up...well, there isn’t much point in continuing since it isn’t supposed to make sense anyway.

Luc Besson started a trend with the rocket propelled grenade that was fired at Anne Parillaud as she jumped into the garbage chute in “Nikita”. It worked quite well then, ending the gunfight in the kitchen with a big bang, giving Nikita a way to escape and allowing Besson to play around a bit with an early version of “bullet time”. It put a satisfying exclamation point at the end of the sequence that began in the restaurant when Tcheky Karyo gave Parillaud her pistols. Unfortunately he spawned and arms race in offensive weaponry among incompetent bodyguards. The next step up from the shoulder cannon used in “Naked Weapon” might be a tactical nuke.

Some say there are movies so bad that they are good—or at least good in parts. I haven’t found this to be the case and “Naked Weapon” is yet another dreary confirmation. It is so bad that it is bad—it has nothing cute, campy or captivating, other than the undeniable physical charms of its female stars.

Not recommended.

Reviewer Score: 1

Reviewed by: mrblue
Date: 11/01/2005

I'm sure long-time readers of this site know of my love for Naked Killer, and so when this "update" (yet another Wong Jing term for "recycling") was announced, I was pretty hyped. I will admit I was a bit skeptical when Ching Siu-Tung was announced as the director; I am a huge fan of Ching's work, but, quite honestly, it didn't seem like his kind of movie. Thankfully (or through Wong Jing's long-known laziness), Ching let Naked Weapon become his own movie.

Sure, it has Wong Jing's touches all over it -- most notably the lebsbian love triangle subplot -- but, at its' heart, Naked Weapon is a kick-ass femme fatale action movie, something which has been sorely missing over the last few years from both Hong Kong and the US. Even though many filmmakers have crapped out a copious amount of half-ass attempts at the genre, it took Wong Jing to get off his duff and actually work on a movie to breathe some life back into it. Compared to recent attempts like Ballistic: Ecks vs Sever (featuring the highly over-rated Lucy Liu), Naked Weapon is a nice callback to the "golden age" of Hong Kong movies (or even just action movies in general), where ass-kicking females were the norm, not some cheesy gimmick..

Don't get me wrong -- the hook of seeing babes like Maggie Q and Anya in skimpy outfits and beating ass is definitely a major attraction for this movie. But, unlike most female-oriented action movies nowadays, Naked Weapon takes itself seriously (even though some of the circumstances in the plot are, quite frankly, absurd to say the least), and the end result is a much tighter movie. Unlike junk such as Charlie's Angels which get lost in dopey comedy or lame attempts to be cool, Naked Weapon takes a simplistic approach -- show hot women kicking ass and throw a bit of sex into the mix -- that works very well.

Sure, not everything's perfect. The acting (which is all in English) isn't the greatest, the script is laughable in points, and some of the special effects aren't that great. But, I will say this (and I'm sure some people will question my santity or sobriety): Naked Weapon is the best movie of 2002. I went in expecting a somewhat "dumb" action movie with some T&A thrown in, and it delivered. In this day and age of films that try to be Citizen Kane while looking like Kangaroo Jack, it is really refreshing to see a movie that fully delivers the goods that action fans want without the pretentious BS clouding far too many productions nowadays. Even though a lot of HK fanboys will snub this movie as too "low-class", Naked Weapon comes highly recommended if all you're looking for an action movie that actually has some, instead of a bunch of tossers wanking off in front of a blue screen.

[review from]

Reviewed by: Gaijin84
Date: 07/12/2005
Summary: Horrendous movie, good looking women

I have to say that this may be the worst movie I have ever reviewed for this site. Attempting to take elements from Naked Killer, Battle Royale, The Professional and Prison on Fire, the film fails in every aspect. The combination of a horrendous plot, abysmal acting and poorly choreographed fight scenes make it a complete waste of an hour and a half. If not for the presence of Maggie Q and Anya, who posses a fair amount of charisma, this film would get 0 stars.
The biggest offender in this movie has to be the script, which seems to have been written by an 8 year old. There are parts where Daniel Wu's character, supposedly torn between his duty and his love for Charlene (Maggie Q), covers his face and screams into the air, "What the hell am I talking about???" I found myself asking the same thing at least 10 times during the movie, namely "WHAT THE HELL IS GOING ON HERE?!?!?" The simplistic plot and bottom-of-the-barrel screenplay probably made it nearly impossible for any of the actors to have any feeling for the characters, but it doesn't make up for some truly horrific performances, namely from Maggie Q and Daniel Wu. There was not a shred of believability to either of their characters or their love affair. Even though they are former real-life boyfriend and girlfriend, they have absolutely no screen chemistry, which might explain somewhat why they aren't together anymore.
However, to be fair, most people would not rent this movie for the plot, acting or the writing. Judging from the cover, director and writer, you would expect action, sex and beautiful naked women. Unfortunately, you only get about 1/2 of one of these points: the beautiful women. Most disappointingly, the action and martial arts are very poorly executed. The fight choreography is so disjointed that the combat is impossible to follow and enjoy. Most of the time you see the actors making completely useless, flourishy moves in the opposite direction of their opponent! A flying kick will get cut mid-frame and suddenly the actors are back on the ground and punching air! Who edited this movie?? Not what you expect from the fight choregrapher that did such a great job with Hero.
There are positives in this train wreck of a movie, but they are few and far between. Jewel Lee, who plays the 3rd of the three female assassins looks to be quite well trained in martial arts, and if allowed to, it looks like she could have shined in well done fight scenes. She's in fantastic shape and looks great performing complicated moves and sequences. Lastly, save for the bad acting, Maggie Q and Anya are both achingly beautiful. Not surprisingly, both are former top models in Hong Kong and they are allowed to strut their stuff in miniscule shorts and tight-fitting tops during the training scenes. If this is a reason for you to rent this movie, go for it. Otherwise, look at the cover and move on... quickly.

Reviewer Score: 1

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 07/12/2005

There is a scene that sums up the movie for me: a taoist attempts to enlighten Daniel Wu, but Wu cannot understand Chinese, so he demands English be spoken. Daniel Wu looks pretty pathetic in that scene, but it's almost like the director's self criticism for making a HK movie, with Chinese characters, entirely in English. This move certainly didn't make the director look brilliant, and the shockingly pathetic box office indicates something definitely went wrong with the movie (with inflation in regard, this movie grossed less than an average HK movie from 40 years ago).

I did watch Naped Weapon again recently, and I must say, the acting will always stink, but the action will always please to some extent. Ching Siu Tung is still Ching Siu Tung, and his choreography still has his trademark.


Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 05/07/2005
Summary: Hong Kong movie shot in English

This Hong Kong movie shot in English is very enjoyable. Wong Jing's screenplay under Ching Siu Tung's direction keeps the viewer on the edge of the proverbial seat. Daniel Wu is one of the best actor's working these days. Kudos to director Ching who manages to turn the usually wooden Almen Wong into a cunning villian. An awesome soundtrack is on the American DVD which has some cool extras.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: Jackal
Date: 01/13/2005
Summary: Tempting and Deadly China Girls

I like on this film. Sexual and Dangerous china pretty girls strikes in the face mighty guys. Anya is so sexual. Martial arts episodes makes charm beautifully. Chin Siu Tung is great master. It is good "bad taste" by Wong Jing.

Reviewed by: balstino
Date: 05/06/2003
Summary: No Redeeming Qualities.....

I can't find anything good about this film to say. The girls don't even seem sexy because of the nasty and unforgiving storyline. I cannot believe some of the girls signed up for this as the did not look happy at all in the making of, filming one of the scenes. Glamourous being an actress, not in this rubbish.

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 03/02/2003
Summary: Bad but enjoyably so

Hong Kong Movie In English... Hong Kong Movie In English. Danger! Danger! Danger!

Mmmm... hot chicks in action movie...

Yes, all the warning signs in the world could hardly have stopped me picking up a movie that promised cute babes in Ching Siu-Tung choreographed action sequences, but at least I knew pretty well what to expect. Actually filming NAKED WEAPON in English may not have been a misguided commercial ploy, but a virtual necessity given that most of the cast are "overseas Chinese". This way it's only Cheng Pei Pei that gets dubbed, as opposed to everybody else

NAKED WEAPON continues the pattern, however, of HK movies with English dialogue having ludicrous Hollywood b-movie style plots and dreadful acting. Within these limits, it manages to produce a fairly entertaining movie though.

None of it makes much sense, but there's cute chicks and plenty of violence, so a certain minimal level of satisfaction is at least guaranteed.

Really the action is the main reason to watch the movie - if you want sex go rent some porn because there's not much beyond a little posing and teasing here. If you want action though, NAKED WEAPON and SO CLOSE seem to be the best Hong Kong offerings of the past year. SO CLOSE was better and more innovative in the action scenes, but NW shows a little of Ching Siu Tung's inimitable style of wirework and camerawork. More posing than actual fighting, but his movies have always been that way. Maggie Q and Anya aren't terribly believable as action stars (where are the muscles?) but do try hard... they are absolutely no match for Jewel Lee though, who I have never heard of but appears to have some pretty genuine moves and power. A shame her character gets so little screen time (perhaps because her English isn't good enough?)... lets see more of her in future please.

So, nice cinematography, decent action, cute chicks... worth a watch if you like those sorts of things I guess I thought it had a very good soundtrack too, if that helps

If you get the DVD, be sure to watch the 3 minute "Teaser", which is made almost entirely of footage that is nowhere to be found in the movie - mostly action. I wonder why they cut it out?

Reviewer Score: 5

Reviewed by: eson
Date: 02/16/2003
Summary: What were they thinking!

Why in the world would anyone make a Hong Kong movie all in English? How did Daniel Wu ever get a career in Hong Kong movies! Who ever gave them so much money to make such a craptastic movie!

This movie did very poorly at the HK box office, despite the high production values. Now you can throw in all the homoerotic Wong Jing-esque female relationships you want, that won't save a movie. Some of the fight scenes were pretty stylish, but some scenes in the movies make no sense or are utterly ridiculous in a non-intentional way. A friend of mine believes this movie was targetted for an American release, but with the awful dialogue, subpar acting, over-the-top HK plot and action, no American moviegoer would ever take this movie seriously. Plus, Americans aren't into Wong's penchant for rape scenes in actionplotation movies.

Some of the action was well choreographed, but some of the computer added effects were just laughable. This movie doesn't know if it wasn't to be a Hong Kong movie or a direct to video American movie.

Maggie Q tries desperately though to deliver her lines seriously, but the writing is just so awful. All her skin-tilating moments and erotic dancing just doesn't go well with her action. Are you trying to be an action star or a Category III starlet? Make up your mind!

Anya Wu actually gave one of the better peformances in the movie, all around and looked good doing it. Jewel Lee did the best she could with her meager role as well.

Daniel Wu manages to be the worst CIA agent ever portrayed EVER! How did this guy ever get his way into so many big HK movies without speaking Cantonese? You KNOW he has a relative in the industry.

Rating 2/4

Reviewed by: xiaoka
Date: 02/13/2003
Summary: a stinker...

I'm sorry, i tried really hard to like it... but it ain't going to happen. The action isn't bad (Jewel Lee all the way baby), the effects are decent, but the writing is just SO, SO bad. at least they could have just remade Naked Killer, it had a decent script... but this one is by FAR inferior in ever aspect... (less nudity even!) I try to like all HK movies, but this one really left me disappointed. The writing is so bad. The male cop character was just... stupid. Daniel Wu was trapped in a stinkbomb... :-P

Reviewer Score: 3

Reviewed by: magic-8
Date: 01/23/2003
Summary: ABCs of the Wannabe East

As Hong Kong cinema talent travels westward to Hollywood, the vacuum is being filled by American Born Chinese actors or ABCs (as described by Anya Wu, from the making of "Naked Weapon") and others from North America. The lines of East/West cinema are blurring noticeably, too. Hong Kong movies are losing their Asian influences to cater to international audiences. Hong Kong filmmakers are no longer just interested in Asia, but irritatingly imitating Hollywood. Movies like "Black Mask 2" and "Naked Weapon" reflect this latest trend in Hong Kong cinema. The movie is from a screenplay by Wong Jing that looks and feels as if it could have been made in the United States, since the film uses English as the main language, with little Chinese dialogue

From the very start of the film, we are given a cliche-ridden plot with martial arts action, and some gratuitous sex and violence. Things we've come to expect from a Wong Jing script. Surprisingly, the film has Western sensibilities in that it doesn't linger on any sex or violence. Almost as if Good Housekeeping gave "Naked Weapon" its seal of approval. The plot is basically a rehash of tender young girls being trained and hardened into professional assassins, as portrayed by Maggie Q and Anya Wu in "Naked Weapon." Dan Wu is on board as a CIA agent investigating the kidnaping of little girls from around the globe. Wu focuses on Cheng Pei Pei and her missing daughter, played by Maggie Q.

Naked Weapon is an enjoyable, but ultimately, shallow film that doesn't really feel like a Hong Kong movie. Tony Ching's choreography is adequate, although a bit toned down to accommodate the martial arts for the untrained actors. The women are filmed in many different angles and choreographed to perform short sequences of martial arts to hide their lack of expertise in martial arts. Tony also goes through the motions of demonstrating annoying tricks like non-combative spin movements that aren't integral to the fight scenes. The Wong Jing script has also been toned down to fit a wider audience, but all the painful cliches are intact. There are several embarrassing moments between Q and Wu that feel awkward and forced. Ching has trouble making the relationship between Q and Wu believable. The young actors resort to overacting and raising their voices to deliver their lines, which, although do not need translating, are typically arch and not subtle.

"Naked Weapon" may be a sign of things to come, but I will miss hearing Cantonese in Hong Kong films, along with the local color and the cultural differences between East and West. I am afraid that Hong Kong cinema is losing its voice and identity in trying to become more like Hollywood. Production companies like Media Asia may look to Hollywood as a role model, but Hong Kong cinema will be a viable alternative only when it embraces and celebrates its differences with the West.

Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 01/13/2003
Summary: Yikes

A movie with little substance to it.
A basic plot of woman assassins and that is all ic an tell you about it. There isn't much here. It is sensual in some parts and the action is ok, but can they make a more believeable story to this. It feels like it has been donw before............


Reviewed by: danton
Date: 12/28/2002

I was expecting very little from this Wong Jing production - after all, the title suggests a gratuitous exploitation film, the lead is played by a Eurasian pretty face known more for her modelling skills than for her acting or her martial arts prowess, and the Female Assassin genre has been done to death. However, the film is actually quite good, and in some ways fares better than the similarly themed recent Yuen Kwei movie SO CLOSE.

The film is not a sequel to Clarence Ford's camp classic Naked Killer, even though it does explore some similar storyline elements. It features Maggie Q and Anya as two members of a group of female killers known as the "China Dolls" who have been mercilessly trained by and work for the mysterious Madame M (Almen Wong). Following an explosive assassination scene at the beginning, the first third of the story covers their 6 years of training on a remote island. This part of the story features some fairly misogynist story elements (the girls being trained are forced to kill each other, allowing only the strongest to survive), but Ching Siu Tung's action choreography is well staged and manages to mostly hide the fact that the leads have little actual fighting skills. The story moves at a brisk pace, with no comic relief, and some fairly gripping tension, despite the gratuitous elements (including a fairly nasty rape scene - but after all, this is a Wong Jing movie). The survivors are sent off to start carrying out assassinations, which they do with gusto. Soon bullets are flying left and right, lots of male vertebrae get squashed, blood squirts enthusiastically, and the two girls find time to prance around alluringly. All of this is fairly absurd, of course, but staged in an exciting manner, proving that Style over Substance can work if done right. Maggie Q actually shows some acting skills, and Daniel Wu (playing the Cop on the trail of the killers) manages to be not too annoying.

The story is predictable - lots of bad guys get killed, the girls tease the audience by showing some skin (no nudity), the cop falls in love with the killer, one of the main characters dies and everything culminates in a revenge-driven, stylish final showdown.

The script has some fairly ludicrous elements (what's with the dart filled with aphrodisiac???), but unlike SO CLOSE, never allows the non-action elements to slow down the film. And the action scenes are well done, with minimal use of computer effects. A lot of it actual fighting consists of slo-mo depictions of wire-enhanced leaps and jumps that are rarely followed through, but Ching Siu Tung does at least try to create a perception of danger and tries to set up a rhythm and dynamic to the fights with actual MA elements (unlike recent Andrew Lau movies where the fighting consists mainly of computer-enhanced arm-waving). Maggie Q comes across quite well (unlike her previous appearances in films like Gen Y Cops), has great chemistry with Anya, and the storyline is developed enough to ensure that the audience has some emotions invested in what happens to these characters. The dialogue is in English, but aside from a few clunkers ("the age of the girls is 13 years of age") this is not a major drawback - since the 3 leads are all ABCs, they manage their lines believably (unlike other numerous recent examples of HK actors butchering their English lines).

Overall, I'd say some of the action scenes in SO CLOSE were definitely more exciting and innovative than anything in this movie, but the film manages to hold its own and offers 90 minutes of good entertainment value if you're in the mood for a little brainless GwG action.