Friday, October 04, 2013

THE HEROIC TRIO (1993) - Johnnie To

Three lady superheroes embroiled in a supernatural kidnapping plot. Laboratory lilies repurposed into invisible cloaks. A flying guillotine blown up by dynamite. A climactic fight scene with a Harryhausen-esque stop motion skeleton. More infants put in harm's way than Raising Arizona and Hardboiled combined.

This early Johnnie To effort may not be on par with his later, more coolly stylized crime thrillers, but, boy, is it a mess of fun. He embraces the ludicrousness of the screenplay with a brazen Raimi-like approach fusing the usual martial arts, superhero and cop movie tropes into something more Evil Dead than Election or Exiled. The camera swooshes and swirls. Severed heads roll into the lens. Swaddled babies fly through the air, barely escaping impalement. If I were the type of filmgoer who gave two shits about the inevitable Wonder Woman movie, I'd probably be in some Comi-Con sponsored comment section right now feverishly championing Johnnie To for the potential directors short list.

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