If you're looking for mindless action, you've come to the right place. If on the other hand you're looking for coherence, cohesiveness, continuity...then steer clear.
Philippino cop Albert Moran (Jess Babida), obsessed with the gang of criminals who killed his wife, is constantly getting reprimanded for using excessive force. When he and his partner Peter join up with Japanese Interpol agent Miss Shoko (Yukari Oshima) and her partner, Sue (Sharon Kwok), Peter
is killed by a vicious member of the gang. To protect the sole witness to Peter's murder, everybody packs up and moves to the country home where Albert's mom and son Brian live. Unfortunately, Sue brings along her brother Alan, a spy for the gang who rats out his sister and her friends. Peter's
killer soon shows up with his henchmen, killing Albert's mom and wounding Brian. Afterward, Albert and the women attack the bad guys' lair, wiping out everyone except Peter's killer. He escapes in a car, only to be chased down and killed by Albert.
Released overseas as LETHAL PANTHER, the film stumbles right out of the starting gate, opening with Yukari Oshima in a large-scale nine-minute shootout in a nicely derelict location with some exciting action--but since we don't know who anybody except Oshima is, it's a little hard to care what
happens. Oshima is an eminently watchable, limber, acrobatic fighter, and when the sequence winds down to her one-on-one against another foe, it's entertaining; sadly the action is far too often enhanced by wildly unrealistic wirework, lending a cartoonish aura to almost every sequence, with
characters constantly leaping 15 feet into the air and somersaulting over everything in sight. Oshima's co-star, Jess Babida, ostensibly a brooding hunk of machismo, is about as appealing as a week-old burrito.
The sound vacilates throughout, as conversations mute to inaudibility behind library music, but frankly it doesn't much matter--the cloddish plot would play almost as well without any dialogue. Numerous car chases inevitably wind up with vehicles exploding; a chase on foot toward the end steals
blatantly from JACKIE CHAN'S POLICE FORCE (1985), with characters leaping off balconies and sliding down banners that are several stories high, all repeated from multiple angles; the climactic assault on the bad guys' stronghold is John Woo redux, followed by a pyrotechnic car chase straight out
of Woo's A BULLET IN THE HEAD (1990). LETHAL PANTHER 2 truly is Hong Kong by the numbers. (Violence, extreme profanity.)
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- Released: 1992
- Rating: NR
- Review: If you're looking for mindless action, you've come to the right place. If on the other hand you're looking for coherence, cohesiveness, continuity...then steer clear. Philippino cop Albert Moran (Jess Babida), obsessed with the gang of criminals who kille… (more)