Johnnie To: Expect the Unexpected

The Heroic Trio

Dung fong saam hap

Johnnie ToHong Kong88 minutes199314AColourCantonese English

Nov 23
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A classic of HK cinema's high-postmodern period, this dystopian-fantasy-action saga bombed in its initial domestic release, but became a gateway film for many Westerners to discover the outrageous artistry of the region's popular cinema. Impish Maggie Cheung, elegantly domineering Anita Mui, and athletic Michelle Yeoh form the title trio, female superheroes who band together to rescue newborn babies destined to become emperors from the clutches of an underground-dwelling Evil Master (a ghoulish vision of Hong Kong's self-devouring future). Before he decisively took on the stressed and battered male body as his primary thematic object, To here celebrates (not without a little fetishization) the kinetic appeal of the outrageously powerful female physique, working with gifted martial-arts director Ching Siu-tung to concoct a mad ballet of airborne camp heroics.