Angel Terminators 2 (Tony Lou Chun-ku & Chan Lau, 1993)
The only relation I can see between this and the first Angel Terminators film is that they both exist in a universe that follows all our normal laws of physics except for the fact that objects have a tendency to catch fire and explode whenever they impact other objects despite an apparent lack of incendiary material. Instead of being a sequel or having any of the same stars or creative team (they share a producer, George Lai, who also produced Godfrey Ho’s Princess Madam) it reunites the stars of director Tony Lou Chun-ku’s 1991 film Dreaming the Reality (Moon Lee, Oshima Yukari, and Sibelle Hu) and throws them into a wild collection of action scenes that plays out something like the Girls with Guns A Better Tomorrow with a School on Fire twist.
Oshima gets out of jail and reunites with her best friend Lee and their buddy Mai (who looks a bit like Kara Hui but, as far as I can tell (there’s no credit for the role that I can find), is not) and the three dopey guys who love them. They almost immediately run afoul of an obnoxious Triad named Mad and a couple of cops, one of whom is Oshima’s father, the other is Sibelle Hu. Various fights ensue, Oshima wears pants that have the word “slut” printed all over them, Lo Lieh has a couple of scenes as Lee’s impossibly old Triad uncle (he’s stated to be 51 years old, ugh), and Hu’s supervisor tells her to hand in her badge and gun. All the various threads collapse as Mai is tricked into prostitution. Her friends save her, but the fights lead to a seemingly endless cycle of revenge killings that culminates with Hu and Lee taking on multiple gangs of heavily armed men and women on a beach.
So often in these girls with guns movies, all of which seem to be focused on ensembles rather than individual heroes, one or all of the women seem to get lost in the shuffle. Think of how there’s progressively less and less of Lee in the Iron Angels movies, or how Hu steals the show in Dreaming the Reality, or how all the women kind of fade into the crowd in the Inspector Wears Skirts series (except Sandra Ng). This one may be the most balanced, as all three leads get plenty of opportunity to stand out, each playing to their strengths: Oshima quick and ruthless and anguished; Lee looking and acting like a romcom star, but shockingly tough in her elegant and brutal fight scenes; Hu as the foul-mouthed slob cop who breaks all the rules in the name of justice (and inexplicably wears a Notre Dame cap for the final shootout).