Sequel to the 2016 film “Special Female Force”, “The Fatal Raid” is another addition to the Girls with Guns subcategory, which seems to ascend the stairs of the most popular action flick quite rapidly.

The Fatal Raid” is screening at New York Asian Film Festival

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The story begins with a rather violent confrontation between Detective Tam, Inspector Madam Fong, Blacky and a team of commandos, and a group of outlaws trying to cross to Macao through Hong Kong. The result was tragic for the law forces, with a number of commandos getting killed and Blackie disappearing. 20 years later, Tam and Madam Fong still feel much regret about the incident, but now have a chance to atone,during a mission of escorting the female deputy commissioner of the Hong Kong Police Force to Macao, along with four female officers:  Alma, Zi Han, Sheila, and Tong Yu. However, this time young members of a gang and group of militants await for them, while Blacky also reappears after 20 years.

Jacky Lee’s effort unfolds in two axes: to shoot a film similar to the hyperbolic, not very logical style of classic HK action films of the 90s, and to depict the, rather popular among men, combination of sexy and violent that has been carrying the girls with guns category to extreme popularity. And while the second part is somewhat successful, particularly due to the casting of actresses like Jade Leung,  Jeana Ho and Chen Min who get to be witnessed fighting with guns and hand-to-hand to sexy attires, the same cannot be said for the first part. In that case, the story is almost non-existent, to the point it does not even serve as a base for the action, there is almost no characterization, while the melodrama that is mostly presented through cheesy music is quite misplaced, with the same applying to the few comedic moments.

On the other hand, the production values, particularly on the action scenes, are quite good, with the job done in the cinematography and the editing resulting in a number of impressive scenes (particularly the car chase ones), maybe minus the overuse of slow motion. Through the combination of mostly rock music, the film functions frequently as an action music video, in another trademark of the category.

However, even these traits cannot raise “The Fatal Raid” above mediocrity, with Jacky Lee’s effort resulting in just an eye candy, music video style spectacle that is only addressed to a very specific audience that has little value for any kind of substance. The kind of film that you watch, maybe have some good time watching sexy girls shooting bad guys, and then forget completely.

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My name is Panos Kotzathanasis and I am Greek. Being a fan of Asian cinema and especially of Chinese kung fu and Japanese samurai movies since I was a little kid, I cultivated that love during my adolescence, to extend to the whole of SE Asia. Starting from my own blog in Greek, I then moved on to write for some of the major publications in Greece, and in a number of websites dealing with (Asian) cinema, such as Taste of Cinema, Hancinema, EasternKicks, Chinese Policy Institute, and of course, Asian Movie Pulse. in which I still continue to contribute. In the beginning of 2017, I launched my own website, Asian Film Vault, which I merged in 2018 with Asian Movie Pulse, creating the most complete website about the Asian movie industry, as it deals with almost every country from East and South Asia, and definitely all genres. You can follow me on Facebook and Twitter.