Upon learning about The Heroic Trio, all I needed to see was Anthony Wong’s name in the credits before going, “Yup, gotta watch it.” I didn’t even know what it was about when I put it on my To-Watch list. After reading the synopsis and watching the trailer I just knew I was in for some zany fun.
You ever heard the saying “To assume is to make an ass of you and me”? Well…
The Heroic Trio follows three female superheroes: Shadow Fox (Anita Mui), Mercy (Maggie Cheung) and Invisible Woman (Michelle Yeoh) as they ban together to figure out why newborn boys with the same birthdate are disappearing. Turns out some cult led by Evil Master (Shi-Kwan Yen), that dwells in the sewers, is behind it all. The motive? To find a child who can become the Immortal Emperor! Of course this must be stopped. Oh, and Anthony Wong is Kau, one of Evil Master’s henchmen who sports a bad haircut, worse fashion sense, and a flying guillotine. Will the three ladies be able to stop Evil Master’s sinister plan?
As I mentioned earlier, watching the trailer and reading about this flick filled my head with images of zany fun on the end of a corndog stick. The movie itself, however, is a pretty dull affair. Sure, the production values are good, the acting is fine, it features some impressive wirework and Anthony Wong is in it, but there’s less action than the trailer led me to believe—and what little there is isn’t all that exciting. Sure, it has action on top of some goofy moments (Mercy using dynamite-in-a-barrel to enter a building ranks pretty high on head-slapping What the Fuck!?-ery), but a good portion of the flick is stuffed with dull melodrama. Invisible Woman and Shadow Fox have a past together, Invisible Woman’s husband is dying of some disease, and the three women spend a bulk of the picture arguing with each other before deciding to band together at the zero hour to kick ass. I have no issue with superhero/action flicks trying to flesh out the characters, but when the bulk of the 86-minute* runtime is composed of this sort of drivel—on top of the characters being fairly uninteresting and the bits of action being rather lackluster—what you’re left with is a flick that just isn’t worth the time and is pretty forgettable.
Oh, and Evil Master’s demise is pretty stupid. Let’s just say it has to do with—so far as I can tell anyways—the power of love.
If melodrama and lackluster action float your boat and get your tinglers tinglin’, then by all means give this a shot. Everyone else, avoid.
*This, I recently found out, is the runtime of the edited version--which was the version this review refers to. The full version runs two minutes longer. However, they’d have to be some pretty damn impressive two minutes—like hardcore pornography or shots from a better flick—to save this one from being tossed in the Forget and Discard pile.