Plot: What’s it about?
A pattern of murdered women has the police baffled, as no one seems to have any evidence or leads of any kind. All that is known is that a band of masked rapists are behind the death spree, but little else is out in the open. An agent named Ling (Angie Cheung) has been looking into the case, but it soon gets too close for her, when she is confronted by the masked criminals. The mysterious rapists have their way with Ling and then murder her husband, all on her own wedding night. As you can imagine, Ling’s life has been shattered and as a result, she wants revenge in serious fashion and as soon as possible. She could return to the case as normal and work like a traditional officer of the law, but Ling now takes the case personally, which means drastic measures are called for, at least she thinks so. Although she could enlist the aid of fellow agent Kwan (Chiu Man Cheuk), she chooses to use herself as a weapon, to lure in the rapists and earn some payback. But will Ling’s plan work as she expects, or will she find herself in even more pain afterwards?
I’ve waited for this U.S. release of Body Weapon for some time, as I think it is a terrific, but somewhat disturbing motion picture. Those who expect a martial arts film (due to the presence of Chiu Man Cheuk) will be let down, as this more of a thriller, with some combat elements. In truth, this is pretty much a modern exploitation movie and if you ask me, there’s nothing wrong with that, not by any means. As expected, Body Weapon has some memorable scenes of both sexual & violent nature, sometimes even a mixture of the two. I feel Chiu Man Cheuk and Angie Cheung provide solid lead roles, while the supporting cast is decent enough, at least most of the time. So the acting is good enough and the storyline is cool, but does Body Weapon deliver? I think so, but only if you wanted a thriller with some exploitation elements, to be sure. If you’re looking for martial arts or some other genre, this isn’t the flick to choose. This domestic release from Tai Seng offers up a solid package, so this edition is more than recommended.
He is better known for work in more action drive films, but Chiu Man Cheuk is still able to come through in Body Weapon, with minimal problems. His career has been a short one, but his name is well known with genre fans, thanks to his intense martial arts skills. He is a master of Wu Shu arts and often displays them in his pictures, though not to much of an extent here. He is able to handle the lines and more dramatic moments well enough, even the unusual scenes and that’s impressive, I think. I would love to see him in more films of this kind, but also, I’d love to see more of his immense martial arts skills on showcase, to be sure. You can also see him in such films as The Blacksheep Affair, Once Upon a Time in China IV, The Chinese Feast, Green Snake, and Fong Sai Yuk. The cast also includes Angie Cheung (The Conman), Stephen Au (Hong Kong Night Club), and Elvis Tsui (The Seventh Curse, Dragon Inn).
Video: How does it look?
Body Weapon is presented in a 1.85:1 widescreen transfer, which is not enhanced for widescreen televisions. As you might expect, this movie looks more worn than it should, but this is often the case with Hong Kong films. The print used is very clean however, which only some darker scenes causing the complaints, though for good reason. Some of the darker sequences lose contrast starkness and show more grain than the rest of the movie, which is a let down. The contrast is stable the rest of the time however, while colors look a tad faded, but still more than solid. I do wish this was anamorphic and cleaned up a little more, but I think fans will be pleased with this visual effort, as I know I am.
Audio: How does it sound?
This disc includes Dolby Digital 5.1 surround options in Cantonese, Mandarin, and English, all of which seem like solid choices. I prefer the Cantonese track of course, as I am sure most fans will also, but in case those others are needed, it’s nice to have them included here. This track is not as dynamic as domestic blockbusters, but it sounds very good and when compared the 2.0 mix used on other editions of this movie, this track sounds even better. You’ll hear some good use of the surrounds, as well as proper balance in the front channel based elements. A natural, pleasant overall mix here and one that should please fans, without a doubt. This disc also includes optional English subtitles, in case you’ll need those.
Supplements: What are the extras?
This disc includes some talent files, as well as two of the film’s theatrical trailers. You can also spin an audio commentary with Hong Expert Stefan Hammond, who has a lot to say in his session here. I prefer the tracks of Ric Myers, but Hammond also seems to know his stuff, though he often rambles off the path. Hammond is also not as humorous as Myers, as hard as he tries to be witty and informative. Still, a most welcome inclusion to be sure and while I like Myers’ tracks better, this was a solid overall session, I think.