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O (1993)
Lethal Panther 2

Reviewed by: CaptainAmerica
Date: 06/06/2002
Summary: A wasted opportunity.

Let me get the story synopsis out of the way: an international criminal syndicate (two of whom are Phillip Ko and Ronnie Ricketts) is executing a vendetta against a Phillipines NBI officer who proves to be a thorn in their side. A Japanese Interpol officer (Yukari Oshima) and two HK detectives (one of them Sharon Kwok) join the Filipino officer to stop the bad guys. Along the way, a local lady becomes a witness to (and nearly gets killed by) the bad guys. Oh, by the way: one of the HK cops is a criminal plant. (Hint: it ain't Sharon!) Things eventually explode as the villains track down the good guys...and then the cops counterattack. Pretty much paint-by-numbers storytelling.

Unfortunately, it sounds better than it actually is. It's an all-around wasted opportunity by some genuine talent. The editing is for crap (I'd use a few expletives to better describe the editing, but I'll offend someone) and the music is pure second-hand (some of it you'll remember from a few other HK films and even THE TERMINATOR!). The action scenes aren't very well done; there's actual wirework involved in more than a few scenes. That's right: wirework. Now if it had a fraction of the quality SFX you'd see in a Yuen Woo Ping movie, that could be forgiven...but it gets so atrocious I actually winced at the execution. Bad movie! BAD MOVIE!

On the plus side: you have Yukari Oshima, Sharon Kwok, and I wish I knew the name of the actress who played the witness. They display their natural charisma (and they have a ton of it!), but their characters are so underdeveloped you can tell they had no choice but to go through the motions just to get paid. (You've guessed correctly if this is one of those films where Yukari is relegated to a one-dimensional avenger.) Ronnie Ricketts (bad guy number one in the movie) does the appropriate scenery-chewing, but that's all that can be said; Phillip Ko isn't around long enough to do anything but look menacing! Yukari has a few fights and gunbattles (especially at the end) but this is where some of that damn wirework comes into play. Someone -- ANYONE -- should have told the director that none of that crap was necessary! Sharon, unfortunately, doesn't get to do much except look gorgeous and tough (each when appropriate) and shoot a lot.

For Yukari Oshima fans and Sharon Kwok fans only. (It isn't a total waste of 90 minutes...)