Issue #278          HOME          E-mail:        BACK ISSUES          August 29th, 2005

She Shoots Straight
(1990; Golden Harvest/Bo Ho Films/Paragon Films)

Cantonese: Wong ga lui cheung
Mandarin: Huang jia nu jiang
English: Wong Family Female Soldiers or Huang Family Female Soldiers
Alternate English Title: Lethal Lady


  RATING: 7/10


Terrific action punctuates this stirring HK police actioner, which also benefits significantly from the talent and intensity of its beautiful star, Eurasian actress Joyce Godenzi. She plays decorated police officer Mina, who marries Huang Tsung-pao (Tony Leung Kar-fai), another in a long-line of law enforcers, which also include his mother (Tang Pik-wan) and four sisters. The eldest sister, Chia-ling (Carina Lau Kar-ling), takes an immediate dislike to Mina and is angered by the way she is close to out-ranking both her and Tsung-pao in the department. When a raid by a Vietnamese gang on a ritzy club results in several casualities, Chia-ling is saddled with the blame for exposing her identity as an undercover operative. Mina is forced by her arrogant superior (Lau Chi-wing) to sign a report recommending that Chia-ling be suspended, which simply makes matters worse. Having had one of his men killed by Mina, the leader of the Vietnamese (Yuen Wah) targets her for revenge, but the trap results in the death of Tsung-pao. This tragedy prompts Mina and Chia-ling to put their personal differences aside and avenge his death.

Joyce Godenzi Tony Leung Kar-fai

Some sequences are rather melodramatic (though not without purpose – see the next paragraph for information on the origins of the storyline here) and Lau Chi-wing's character is excessively banal, even for the action genre. Fortunately, Godenzi has a compelling presence and performs with tremendous vigour, adding a sense of realism to the action, even when she is clearly being aided by wirework. The film's director, Corey Yuen Kwai, has an eye-blink cameo as a boatman and co-producer Sammo Hung Kam-po has a supporting role as a friend of the family. In real life, Hung and Godenzi tied the knot in 1995. The supporting players include Angile Leung Wan-yui, Sandra Ng Kwan-yu, and Sarah Lee Lai-yui as the other three Huang daughters, Agnes Aurelio (who would battle Godenzi again in LICENCE TO STEAL), Michael Dinga, Chung Fat, Helena Law Lan, Yip Wing-cho, and Amy Yip Chi-mei.

Yuen Wah (right) Tang Pik-wan

Footnote: SHE SHOOTS STRAIGHT is a modern re-telling of The Sung Dynasty story about The Yeung Family Female Soldiers. The Yeung clan lost their patriarch and six sons while defending against the Turkish tribes in the north. One grandson was left to carry on the family name. The lad in question, Yeung Chong-bo (see the name of Tony Leung Kar-fai's character above for a partial Mandarin equivalent), married a woman that only the Yeung matriarch would accept and treat as one of their own. Eventually, Chong-bo would also die in battle, but not before fathering a son to carry on the family name. Chong-bo's wife, Mok Gwi-ying, became renowned as the Yeung clan's fiercest fighter. As the story goes, the remaining Yeung women formed a female army to fight the Turkish tribes, with Gwi-ying as their leader. The banquet scene in the film (where the women learn about Tsung-pao's death) is identical to the manner in which the Yeung women are told of Chong-bo's passing.

Carina Lau Kar-ling Joyce Godenzi


Aside from some mild smearing caused by the PAL conversion and some variable authoring, the presentation looks quite nice. There are occasional bits of wear on the source material, but colors and detail are good. The 5.1 re-mix leaves the audio sounding a bit thin and hollowed out, but is far from the worst of these early re-mixes; the Mandarin track is much flatter than the Cantonese. Supplements consist of the HK theatrical trailer, plus trailers for THE INSPECTOR WEAR SKIRTS, TO BE NUMBER ONE, and TIGER ON THE BEAT II, and bilingual Stars’ Files on Tony Leung Kar-fai, Carina Lau and Corey Yuen. This DVD is apparently now out-of-print, but still easy to find.

L to R: Joyce Godenzi, Tony Leung Kar-fai, Carina Lau Kar-ling Agnes Aurellio

This DVD is available at:

Images in this review courtesy of Universe Laser and Video Co. To read captions, hover mouse over image.

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Copyright © John Charles 2000 - 2005. All Rights Reserved.


- Hong Kong Release

NTSC – Region 0

Universe Laser & Video Co. #DVD 5136

Dolby Digital 5.1

Post-synced Cantonese and Mandarin Language

Subtitles (Optional): English, Traditional or Simplified Chinese, and Indonesian

8 Chapters

4:3 Letterbox (1.83:1)

87 Minutes (at 25 frames-per-second)


- Hong Kong: II

Manitoba: 18A

Nova Scotia: 14

Ontario: R

Singapore: PG

Contains brutal violence

10 A Masterpiece
9 Excellent
8 Highly Recommended
7 Very Good
6 Recommended
5 Marginal Recommendation
4 Not Recommended
3 Poor
2 Definitely Not Recommended
1 Dreadful