皇家師姐IV直擊證人
In the Line of Duty 4 (1989)


Reviewed by: Beat TG
Date: 11/06/2008
Summary: Donnie Yen's show

It's quite dated now but most stuff still works very well. The story and characters have their share of averageness thanks to the direction, writing, pacing and the acting (especially from the foreigners who overact alot in their scenes) but they are enough to get you straight to the point of realizing that there's actually something to the movie (a very simple message though). But that's easily forgotten in favor to the non-stop action (Yuen Woo Ping, Yuen Shun Yi, Cho Wing Paul Wong and DY working out the brilliance) that is the main attraction here: well choreographed, well paced, well thought, powerful and featuring many capable fighters such as Donnie Yen (this movie belongs to him), Yuen Yat Chor, Michael Woods, John Salvitti, Stephan Berwick, Cho Wing, Yuen Shun Yi, Paul Wong and so on, this should, more than, satisfy anyone into Hong Kong action movies.

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: Chungking_Cash
Date: 07/29/2008

Though hardly anemic "In the Line of Duty 4" is only a marginally engaging B-rate action picture and should probably be left to the collective cults of stars Cynthia Khan and Donnie Yen and action choreographer Yuen Wo-ping.

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: j.crawford
Date: 12/05/2006
Summary: over-the-top action film

In the Line of Duty 4 is an exciting, over-the-top action film directed by the now internationally acclaimed master filmmaker, Yuen Wo-Ping. Producer Stephen Shin Gei-Yin used Yuen to give an energy infusion to the 3rd sequel to the 1985 box office hit Yes, Madam. Ultra-cool Donnie Yen Ji-Dan joins series mainstay Cynthia Khan, who reprises her role as Madam Rachel Yeung of the RHKP.

The film features some absolutely death-defying car stunts, with Khan hanging off the side of an ambulance, as well as some extraordinary martial arts sequences that are remarkable to behold. This feature marks the debut of the talented Cho Wing as an Action Director. Look for a young Liu Kai-Chi, a talented character actor in an early feature role.



Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: dandan
Date: 03/08/2006
Summary: classic stuff...

well, it's pretty much hailed as the classic in the series and even the terrible subs on the hk disc couldn't ruin the fun that this film was.

it's another, pretty much, all action installment, with cynthia khan being joined by donnie yen. good stuff!


Reviewed by: ewaffle
Date: 09/16/2005
Summary: A kickfest. Warning--contains several spoilers.

“We only sell drugs to make money”.

“No wonder there is so much crime here.”

Those two lines from “In the Line of Duty 4” sum up much of the non-fighting aspects of this movie. The first was uttered by Michael Wong who is an employee of the CIA tasked with raising money fund covert operations to overthrow governments in (one assumes) Central America. As events unfold his job involves protecting the identity of a higher ranking CIA officer who has killed a Seattle police officer and a number of drug dealers during a botched exchange of money for drugs. His current cover is as a captain with the Hong Kong police force, which is a natural since he is of Chinese ancestry and speaks flawless Cantonese—and probably Mandarin as well, depending on which track one selects while watching this movie.

He comes to a bad end, of course—although like all of the main characters he is almost impossible to kill and very difficult even to injure. After absorbing enough kicks, punches and beatings with furniture to fell ten lesser men (and this in the final battle only) he is kicked from a balcony. During his death dive he pulls down with him a huge American flag. I have no idea if this is the case, but I imagined that this scene would have been wildly popular when the movie was shown in Hong Kong cinemas. The residents of the still Crown Colony weren’t happy about becoming part of the PRC but that didn’t make them fans of the United States and its intelligence agencies.

Wong’s secret identity (secret only to the Hong Kong police) serves to wrap up several loose ends and explains a number of otherwise inexplicable actions by the thugs in his employ. The U.S. may also be a symbol on some level for the PRC—another huge country with a foreign ideology that will never understand Hong Kong. Since Wong is Chinese, as are all but a few of his goons, this may not be as far fetched as it seems at first glance.

The second line is said by the Hong Kong police commander to whom Captain Donny and Madam Yeung report. Every police officer in Hong Kong is looking for the two of them and are literally within a few steps of catching them when the commander realizes they are hiding in the trunk of a BMW. He covers for them, slamming the trunk and telling the cops around him that the trunk of the car had been left unlocked, one reason why crime was so rampant.

From the evidence of this movie and many others set in HK, though, the real reason for the crime wave that has apparently swept the city for about 25 years is that the police force there couldn’t catch a cold. Criminals have the run of the place since the cops are forever being made to look like fools. They arrest innocent people and let hard cases go free. Single officers attempt to arrest a heavily armed gang while reinforcements are sent to the wrong location. Their guns may as well be loaded with blanks since they never hit the bad guys they aim for—but they are mowed down like blades of wheat before a scythe when they are fired upon. So it isn’t very surprising that a CIA agent who has to cover the world can also hold down a job as a captain.

With one exception all the characters in “In the Line of Duty 4” are as unchanging as cardboard cut-outs. Yuen Yat Chow as Luk is the only sympathetic character and one that the audience might actually care about. He is a hard working longshoreman on the Seattle docks who, after seven years, has gotten a residence permit—a “green card”. Life might not be that great for him—he lives alone in a very odd house, apparently right on the docks, and has a deadbeat friend who gets him attacked by gangs who collect for the local loan shark. He is as about as unlucky as a man can be—after trying to help a dying policeman who is being pursued by vengeful CIA drug pushers, he is arrested while leaning over the his body holding the cop’s gun, something which he can’t explain away. Since everyone thinks he has an incriminating negative that the dead cop had, everyone is after him and no one hesitates for a moment when given a chance to kick the hell out of him. Even Luk’s mother in Hong Kong, who he sees for a moment after escaping across the Pacific in a freighter, thinks he is a criminal. In addition to being a whiz at repairing small motors, rewiring smashed police radios and making bombs from everyday objects Luk is also, of course, an expert at hand to hand combat.

The rest of the cast don’t have much to do other than kick and punch their way from the beginning of the movie to the end. Which is not a criticism—this is an action movie and there is plenty of action. Donnie Yen, not the most popular Hong Kong leading man, was a terrific kicker at this point of his career. He is an exciting fighter who you always hope will do something even more spectacular in this battle than in the last—generally your hopes are fulfilled. While not in the league of Kim Won Jin (“Women on the Run”) the Korean kicking machine, he get tremendous elevation and power into his kicks.

One way that Yeun Wo Ping tries to show that Donnie is not just a one-dimensional fighter is when he faces off with John Salvitti and then Michael Woods. Salvitti looks and acts crazy—his antics could be seen as satirizing some of the more outlandish kung-fu face-pulling and gesturing—but is a worth opponent. He is definitely ahead on points for the first part of the bout but then Donnie shows that he has learned what to expect and begins to land all he punches and kicks. The same thing occurs in the rooftop brawl with the fearsome Michael Woods. After being beaten to a pulp, Donnie starts making Woods miss and then lands some crunching blows of his own. Unfortunately Woods seems to be just as skilled as Donnie, just a fast and about twice as big. He is, however, unable to survive being thrown off a roof.

Cynthia Khan is fit, charismatic and beautiful. She can kick as well as almost any man and dispatches a number of them. Her best work, though, takes place on the roof of a speeding ambulance, where she kicks a ninja type on top of the head a few times. This movie being what it is, with people able to absorb enough punishment to drop a rhinoceros, the ninja guy is able to not only withstand these blows but also throw her off the top of the vehicle—she fights on and escapes with her life, although he does not. While her kicking is all but impeccable, Khan’s punches are often wide and looping, the kind of punch that leaves one open to be hit. She is so fast and fierce, though, and her opponents are skillful enough that they look good at normal speed. Her fight with a tall blonde caucasian woman, up and down some metal stairways and into an elevator shaft, is excellent.

Recommended for those who like action choreography and plenty of fighting

Reviewer Score: 6

Reviewed by: MrBooth
Date: 07/27/2003
Summary: Action packed

In The Line Of Duty IV sees the illustrious girls-with-guns series take a bit of a detour as Yuen Wo Ping steps into the directors chair, and brings along with him a fair old entourage of mostly male actors/fighters, meaning that leading lady Cynthia Khan's role is a little diminished, with Donnie Yen and Yuen Yat Chor (brother of Wo Ping) having at least as much screen time, lines and fights. Wo Ping's regular cast does represent many of the top fighters of the time from around the world, though, which means that Part IV is possibly the most action-packed entry in the series, with fights almost non-stop from the moment the opening credits finish.

ITLOD4 is one of the perfect examples of a Hong Kong film, in that it's the kind of film that just doesn't get made anywhere else in the world. The multinational cast, the melodrama and high cheese factor and especially the bone crunching action all have that unique "only in Hong Kong" feel, and the use of some great HK locations and motifs really does make this film sum up what made HK cinema in the 80's so great. If I were working on a game for PlayStation 2 influenced by Hong Kong cinema, this film is what I would want to make that game feel like

Surprisingly enough, ITLOD4 even features a good story, with good characters and a relatively high degree of continuity. The idea of CIA operatives selling drugs to fund operations in South America is quite entertaining, and there is an unusual but rather amusing level of anti-Americanism to be found in the film, most blatantly in the final shots. Of all the characters, Yuen Yat Chor's is probably the one with the most depth - an honest guy caught up in a crazy situation where cops and robbers both are on his tail, he's a good everyman sort that the audience can relate to. Cynthia Khan is the hero archetype, a model of virtue and courage out there to protect the innocent - a character to give the audience hope. Donnie's character is the one who goes through the most development - his black and white world-view and hot-headedness are challenged by the events that unfold, and he has to learn and grow. Needless to say, all 3 are in conflict with each other at the start and finally realise they have to work together to win in the end. Somebody will probably read a political message into this, but I think it's just a well-chosen set of old-fashioned character archetypes

Anyway, story - pretty good, acting - pretty good, but this is really just a bonus that adds a little more emotional impact to the many action scenes. This is where the film comes into its own, and it's what makes it truly great. Yuen Wo Ping is of course one of the best action directors of all time, and here he seems to have a big budget and plenty of talent on hand to stage many memorable fights, shoot outs and stunts. Donnie Yen gets the bulk of the action, and he's on great form here. This may be his best role, both as an actor and a fighter. Cynthia Khan gets to kick a fair amount of ass too, and she's also impressive though clearly doubled quite a lot. Their main opponents are Donnie/Wo Ping regulars Michael Woods and John Salvitti but there's dozens of other bit-parts and stuntmen to provide fodder. The choreography is dynamic and varied, with the fighters using a wide range of styles and moves. It's all filmed and edited beautifully, and the result is simply some of the best action you're likely to see. They don't make them like this anymore, as they say (with good reason!).

If you were given the challenge to pick one film that best summed up what makes (made) Hong Kong's film industry so special, well... there are many films you could choose, depending on your own particular views and tastes, but if you ended up choosing In The Line Of Duty IV then I don't think anybody could really say your decision was a bad one

Bottom line: you must see this one at some point!

Reviewer Score: 9

Reviewed by: pjshimmer
Date: 11/14/2002

This is the first movie I have seen with Michael Wong in it. I don't think he is as bad as everyone makes it. Just don't give him an emotional role and he's fine.

Action, action, action. Hardcore action; crazy, unbelievable, life-risking, unethical, out of this world stunts. Truly a jaw-dropping experience. If you had any doubt about Donnie Yen's ability, his incredible agility and dynamics here will assure you.

Veteran actress Chao Chao (from the One Armed Swordsman) also makes a cameo as Yuen Yat Chor's mother.

[8/10]


Reviewed by: balstino
Date: 07/23/2002
Summary: Amazing action, OK film. Buy.

Get this one just for the action. It's so entertaining and possible that you will watch the fights over and over again. Donnie Yen is top notch and the other actors are very good. Sure the story is functional, but it works. The music and choreography is very similar to No Retreat, No Surrender 3.

Just buy and enjoy.


Reviewed by: Sydneyguy
Date: 03/09/2002
Summary: Good!!

I don't remember much about this movie, but the action was top notch.
Worth seeing!!

7/10


Reviewed by: foleyisgravy
Date: 01/11/2002
Summary: This film isn't duty! Get it? Duty? Poop? Why do I bother?

This flick may well be the definition of wall-to-wall action. There must be at least 8 fights that go over 2 minutes here, with some extra action thrown in for the hell of it. The story is crap, but who wants to watch this masterpiece for the rich plot development and rich characterizations? Shit, with Michael Wong in it you damn well know there ain't gonna be no Oscar winning performances. But the action in this film does excel, making this a must-see for action fans.

Everyone does a great job under Yuen Woo-Ping's action direction and the finale is a humdinger. The stuntwork is A+, particularly Cynthia Khan's wild fight on top of a speeding ambulance. Donnie Yen and Michael Woods have an awesome fight combining kickboxing and wrestling moves and throws. Cynthia Khan and a Russian looking dude who is an awesome kicker have a good bout, as do Cho Wing and Yuen Yat Chor. Also watch out for the comical fighting of John Salvitti, who has probably the wackiest fighting movements I've ever seen.


Reviewed by: Ryoga
Date: 12/24/2001

I have to say this is the best of the series and Yuen Woo Ping directs the chorography. Yuen Yat Chor is accused of murder and escapes to Hong Kong. Donnie Yen and Cynthia Khan follows him all the way there.


Reviewed by: natty
Date: 04/24/2001
Summary: you gonna love it

This one was a nice movie back in the days , and even now it still kicks ass.nice story flow and great action.It's one of my best top ten picks. If you Pick up this movie try getting TIGER CAGE 2 (which is even more tougher)thanks to
{Ash} who recommended this movie.any way nothing else to say Just buy it and enjoy it,


Reviewed by: Ash
Date: 02/04/2001
Summary: Great action movie!

Even though this movie cost me a lot more than I expected, I was wonderfully surprised about this one! The plot is virtually non-existent but the action scenes are plentiful and , most of the time, great! Everybody fights in this movie: Cynthia Khan, Donnie Yen, Yuen Yat Chor, Michael Woods, John Salvitti, David Berwick and even MIchael Wong!!! Yuen Woo-ping proves once again that he is one of the great action movie directors. The fight between Donnie and Michael Woods at the end is pretty good also. If you like this one, see Tiger Cage 2 ,if you can ,it has the same cast and is a bit better .Overall a great action movie that deserves to be discovered!!...8,5/10


Reviewed by: GlennS
Date: 05/29/2000

Cynthia Khan and Donnie Yen star in this fourth installment of the ITLOD series. Cynthia is a HK cop on assignment in Seattle to stop a drug smuggling operation. During a routine sting she meets up with a resident alien (Yuen Yat-chor) who later on is a witness to a drug deal gone bad. The undercover cop on the scene hands Yuen a negative of the snapshots taken during the deal and throughout the rest of the film everyone involved in the film seems to be after poor Yuen Yat-chor!

Donnie plays a hot-headed maverick cop who's partnered with a CIA operative (Michael Wong). These two in turn cooperate with the HK police (i.e. Cynthia) to capture Yuen.

Despite this lengthy plot summary, this film is almost non-stop action with several highlights including Cynthia battling a thug in and out of an ambulance, a motorcycle joust between Donnie Yen and Michael Woods and an impressive rooftop fight between Yen and Woods. A very good modern day actioner directed by Yuen Wo-ping.

8/10

Reviewer Score: 8

Reviewed by: hokazak
Date: 12/09/1999

Along with "Righting Wrongs," this movie has the best fightsI've seen in the "Girls with Guns" genre. This is the first Cynthia Khan movie I saw, and it made an instant believer out of me. Some great fights involving moving vehicles. Donnie Yen is stunning too.