Director: Yuen Woo-Ping
Stars: Michelle Yeoh, Donnie Yen, Waise Lee
In Yuen Woo Ping's first movie with a female lead character, Yeoh plays the folk hero Yip Wing-Chun, a female kung fu expert who must help to defend her village from a group of bandits. Along the way, she meets up with a childhood friend (Yen) who supposedly loves Wing Chun, but doesn't recognize her due to her adopting of male clothes and mannerisms. Waise Lee plays the local scholar who schemes to marry Chun to insure prosperity for his business.
A fast-paced, enjoyable kung fu/comedy that nicely showcases Yeoh's talents. She's sexy, smart and funny... not to mention being able to kick some serious ass when the need arises. As might be expected from Yuen Woo-Ping, the kung fu is of the exaggerated wire-fu variety -- so if you're looking for realistic action, look elsewhere. But Yeoh's scenes are quite exciting and unique; the "tofu showdown" where she must keep one of the bandits from chopping a piece of tofu is a masterpiece and literally something you won't see anywhere else.
Wing Chun is not without its faults, though. The romantic subplot (actually, there are several of them) really add nothing to the film. They're dealt with in such a heavy-handed and hammy way (the scene where Yen finally recognizes Wing Chun is cheesy beyond belief) that they just seem tacked on and unnecessary -- even the more so because there is little resolution to the various romances at the end of the film. The movie also has a lot of slapstick and sophomoric sex jokes, which makes the film seem like a HK version of "Benny Hill" at some points. Still, Wing Chun still comes highly recommended, especially for those who want to see a softer side of Michelle Yeoh.
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This DVD is available for purchase at www.hkflix.com