Three fighting females take on a high level crime lord in the Hong Kong crime thriller HARD TO DIE, which offers plenty of exciting shootouts, kickfighting, and chases amidst extremely convoluted plotting.
Hong Kong businessman David Leung (Eddy Ko) is involved in international drug sales which attract the unwanted attentions of three separate female crimefighters: Sergeant Julia Ho (Sibelle Hu) of the Hong Kong Police Department; undercover FBI agent Jessica (Carrie Ng); and a mysterious Japanese
woman (Michiko Nishiwaki) whose father was killed by Leung's men. Jessica romances Leung's right hand man Bill (Francis Ng). She in turn is romanced by Fong (Alex Fong), a freelance hit man eager to make one last contract and leave Hong Kong with his longtime buddy, petty thief Andy (Alex Man).
Jessica breaks into Leung's offices and steals incriminating information. Leung has Jessica's FBI contact murdered. Jessica hides out and sends her information to an HKPD inspector who is then also murdered. Only Sgt. Ho is in a position to help Jessica and, at this point, the various parties
opposing Leung--Ho, Jessica, Fong, Andy and the Japanese woman--come together and join forces. After a major shootout and kung fu fight, only Ho, Fong and Andy are left alive. The next day, the three follow Leung to an abandoned industrial site where he's about to make his biggest drug deal. Ho
and her party attack with high-powered weapons and manage to kill all the criminals.
Produced in 1990 and released in the U.S. for the first time as one of Tai Seng Video Marketing's budget line of Hong Kong fighting femme releases, HARD TO DIE, aka DRAGON FIGHTER, has a large number of characters and takes its sweet time tying them together for any reasonable dramatic purpose.
The two male heroic leads seem to have little purpose in the story other than to pop up periodically to help the females.
Meaningless plot twists and sloppy editing aside, the film does offer lots of high-speed gunfights, high-kicking kung fu bouts and assorted chases, largely shot on the streets of Hong Kong (with movie-struck crowds on camera to watch the filming). The femme leads are fun to watch, despite their
ranking behind the supreme queens of Hong Kong action--Michelle Yeoh, Cynthia Khan, Yukari Oshima and Moon Lee. Sibelle Hu boasts a Brigitte Lin-style butch haircut and is suitably no-nonsense here. Michiko Nishiwaki kicks with the best of them. Carrie Ng needs stunt players to do the hard stuff,
but she's absolutely gorgeous in the closeups. (Violence, profanity.)
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- Released: 1990
- Review: Three fighting females take on a high level crime lord in the Hong Kong crime thriller HARD TO DIE, which offers plenty of exciting shootouts, kickfighting, and chases amidst extremely convoluted plotting. Hong Kong businessman David Leung (Eddy Ko) is in… (more)