My Cultural Diet

427 reviews of movies, TV shows, books, restaurants, etc. My own private Goodreads, Letterboxd, and Yelp all rolled into one (more info). Star ratings are 100% subjective, non-scientific, and subject to change. May contain affiliate links, which support Opus.
Royal Warriors

When two Hong Kong cops (Michelle Yeoh, Michael Wong) and a Japanese detective (Hiroyuki Sanada) kill a couple of terrorists trying to a hijack an airliner, they land in the crosshairs of the terrorists’ comrades — with predictably dire and action-filled results. Given that premise, 1986’s Royal Warriors — the first of the In the Line of Duty films that popularized the “girls with guns” genre in the ’80s and ’90s — is a surprisingly grim movie. I say “surprisingly” because you’d never guess that from the film’s flashy style, ’80s fashion, and jazz-funk soundtrack, as well as Wong’s constant attempts to woo Yeoh even after a terrorist tries to gun them down in the most ’80s nightclub of all time. Royal Warriors is a bit of mess, tone-wise, but the action’s phenomenal. This being a “girls with guns” movie, Yeoh gets top billing, but Sanada — who, for the record, is currently killing it on Shōgun — steals every scene he’s in, playing a haunted family man pushed to the brink of revenge. I’d watch a whole ‘nother movie that was just about his character.


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