Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Misses the Bullseye: "Fatal Target" (1994)

Trying to ride the Hong Kong action film bandwagon, this fun little picture holds its own in the action department, but fails in the editing and writing.

Traveling to the Philippines on vacation, Interpol agents Anna and Cynthia visit Cynthia's cousin Ken, who happens to be a major arms dealer. Renegade cop Eddie meets up with the pair, and they try to find Wong, a man trying to make a gun deal. His gun sellers keep getting killed, until he makes a deal with Ken. Eddie gets all of his information from a mysterious informant, a man dressed (badly) as a woman. The final showdown pits Anna, Cynthia, and Eddie against Ken, Wong, and their various henchmen.

Plot and story are not really the main thrust of this film, the action is. I am unfamiliar with the actors, and the film does not mention who played who, but the stunts by Phillip Ko are incredible. The film makers stage a fight or gun battle at the drop of a hat. One scene even has Anna and Cynthia teaming to battle on the beach against a dozen guys WHO WANT THEIR VOLLEYBALL BACK. That is the only reason for the carnage! Most of the time, the camera lovingly strays on the cute duo as they stretch by putting their feet well above their heads. Eddie, the stereotypical renegade cop, gets in a giant explosive fight just so he can make it to his daughter's birthday party on time.

The action is fantastic, but the choppy editing really hurts. There is a subplot where Eddie's mother-in-law blames him for his wife's death, but that situation is never elaborated on. Some scenes end with a character talking in mid-sentence. The dubbing is atrocious, from giving most of the cast Americanized names, to lots of "hey"s and throat clearing dialogue just to have noise when the cast are moving their lips. The attempts at comedy are pretty disastrous, with one scene involving the transvestite, and some men who are attracted to him, that is down right unbearable.

This is nothing earth shattering in the Asian film genre, but this is worth the rental price alone for some very well done action. (* * *) out of five stars.