The Heroic Trio (1993) – Johnnie To


The 101 Action Movies doesn’t usually leave me scratching my head, but this entry definitely got me close to it.

Imagine crossing Charlie’s Angels, with a healthy dose of Kung Fu, mysticism, wrap it up in a less than stellar comic book title and you might have something approaching this.

The sets and costumes (most of them at any rate) seem to be kind of reflective of the 1940s, there are long coats and fedoras, old cars, and a bit of style. Our leads however aren’t quite so fortunate… Michelle Yeoh, Maggie Cheung  and Anita Mui rush about in clingy costumes, as they fight against one another and together to stop an Evil Master (Shi-Kwan Yen) who has had his servants steal newborn babies from all over town in an attempt to find one to be the new immortal emperor, the remaining children will be trained and made to be his servants.


To say that the plot is ludicrous is being generous, this film is simply out there, and it’s not often that you can spot the wires in the wire-work, but this time around, it’s a little easier.

Each of our heroines have their own abilities, Michelle Yeoh as Ching or Number 3, can become invisible. Anita Mui is nimble, acrobatic and has a variety of weapons as Tung or Shadow Fox. Finally there is Maggie Cheung who looks lovely, and heavily armed (with a shotgun that only needs to be reloaded to add dramatic tension) as the bounty hunter Chat or Mercy.

I’m not sure I can say I liked this one, I know I didn’t hate it, but it was just so out there. The climax especially sees the villain striding out of an explosion, rather Terminator-like (though without that level of special effects) and then possessing Ching to take on the other two heroes.



The three leads though do make up for some of the film’s shortcomings as they leap about, fight with lightning speed, and look stunning as they do it. If they had gotten a stronger story and effects budget behind them, then maybe, just maybe, I wouldn’t have been shaking my head and laughing so loud at some of it.

On the flipside it did have a film that featured 3 amazing women as the film’s leads, and let them get out there and kick ass, and personally, I always like that!

Have you seen this one? Odd right?

And did you know they even made a sequel? Anybody seen it?


One Comment Add yours

  1. Frank says:

    I loved this movie unreservedly! Just saw it, more than 20 years after it was made. Interesting is how an action-fantasy film such as Heroic Trio begs a major but willing suspension of disbelief upfront. But to some people, it still somehow has to make cohesive ‘sense’ outside of that initial suspension-of-disbelief. Yeah, sure. Characters can be far afield of the ordinary world, but the plot still has to be within that ordinary world… Those quiet moments in life, where you learn or discover something of interest to you? That’s what this movie pleasantly evoked within me. The don’t-think/just-observe moments.

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