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In The Line Of Duty - Royal Warriors (1986)

In The Line of Duty - Royal Warriors (1986)

This is the first of seven in an action movie series that you could consider the female counterpart of Police Story, featuring Michelle Yeoh in the first two and as far as I know Cynthia Khan in the rest of them. Though they're all great, the first one is on another level. It's not that I have anything against Cynthia Khan, but in terms of plot and character the remaining six don't really compare, there's a tension to this one that the rest of them fail to replicate.

It starts with the hijacking on a plane, or rather, a jailbreak during a routine prison transport in air. Just so happens Michelle Yeoh is aboard, as well as a retired Japanese police officer, and a flight security officer (err... Sky Security officer). They're one odd mixture of characters, but they fight the good fight and after the flight ends they go their separate ways as friends.

Or at least they would have gone their separate ways if the Japanese officer's wife and daughter didn't get blown up by a car bomb, by a buddy to a dead friend on the plane. Seeking vengeance, this new enemy attempts to kill them all, but when he kills a couple, and then some, the police officers are the ones suddenly out for revenge.

It turns out the enemies are four brother's from a war, and coincidentally... the cops bond through a similar struggle, it's good versus bad in a story where actions of neither side are morally justified. The movie has that gritty action where people get shot up in surplus and it seems lives are harder to take in a fistfight than in a gunfight, the kind you only find in oldskool HK action movies.

It has that, and great fights, a great many fights, great characters (gotta love any Michelle Yeoh action movie) and plenty of variation in violence. Bombs, weapons of all sorts, stunts from a time were the movies were as risky as the occupations the actors played in the movie, car chases and just straight out Honk Kong Action... it's all you could ask for in a movie of this sort.

As it turns out, I've already seen and reviewed 'In the Line of Duty 2', twice!

It goes under the name of 'Yes, Madam!' and is hard to find if you search for the series title (I'm glad they brought the regular title order back with the following four titles... holy shit there's still some watching to be done). The second was IMHO a bit of a deviance in this otherwise awesome action series, it doesn't really match up to this or to the following two. But they're all great, they're all worth a watch, time to move on to the next one...

 rated 4/5: fo shizzle


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