Issue #283         HOME          E-mail:        BACK ISSUES           October 3rd, 2005

In the Line of Duty III
(1988; D & B Films Co.)

Cantonese: Wong ga si je ji III chi hung daai do
Mandarin: Huang jia shi jie zhi III ci xiong da dao
English: Royal Hong Kong Policewoman III: A Couple of Big Thieves
Alternate English Title: Force of the Dragon, In the Line of Duty 3

  RATING: 5/10


Taiwanese actress Cynthia Yang Li-ching's first outing in the popular D & B series, this is a lesser entry that still shows her to be a worthy replacement for Michelle Yeoh Chu-kheng. In Japan, Red Army terrorists Nakamura (Stuart Ong/Yung Sai-kit) and Michiko Nishiwaki (played by the actress of that name) pull off a major robbery that appears to be part of an insurance fraud scheme cooked up by a renowned fashion designer (Yueh Hua). Having lost his partner (Chris Lee Kin-sang, also one of the film’s action choreographers) while trying to apprehend the criminals, local cop Hiroshi Fujioka (played by the like-named actor) follows the two to HK, eager to get revenge. HK policewoman Yeung Lai-ching (Yang) is ordered to simply shadow Fujioka and keep him out of trouble but, when the latter stumbles upon his targets, he loses control and a number of innocent people die. The HK police allow Fujioka to stay in the country (one of several implausibilities in the storyline) and he continues to track the two killers. When Lai-ching kills Nakamura, Nishiwaki swears vengeance.

Cynthia Yang Li-ching Michiko Nishiwaki (left), Yung Sai-kit

D & B Films seemed uneasy about the commercial prospects of YES, MADAM (reviewed in issue #281), so they played it safe by adding a multitude of humor to the movie, along with the (then) novelty of gwai mui Cynthia Rothrock fighting along side Michelle Yeoh. The company followed a similar pattern here, relying on Paul Chun Pui, Sandra Ng Kwan-yu, Richard Ng Yiu-hon, and Eric Tsang Chi-wai for comedy relief, while also partnering Yang with a Japanese star, echoing the Michelle Yeoh/Hiroyuki Sanada combo from the series’ second installment, ROYAL WARRIORS. The resulting film (co-directed by Arthur Wong Ngok-tai and Brandy Yuen Chun-yeung) is a step down from both of its predecessors, though not without some pleasures. The plotting is simplistic even for these films, but the action is entertaining if one can overlook the often obvious undercranking. The final showdown between Nishiwaki and Yang (best known to English speaking audiences as Cynthia Khan) is also disappointingly short. An alternate version of the film exists, which is missing some of the violence and Michiko Nishiwaki's nude scene; Universe’s DVD presentation is thankfully intact. Dick Wei, Melvin Wong Kam-sun, Stanley Fung Shui-fan, Robin Shou Wan-bo, and Season Ma Si-san also appear.

Hiroshi Fujioka Paul Chun Pui


Aside from some occasional mild smearing, a somewhat thin 5.1 re-mix, and dodgy English subtitles (a Japanese character actually refers to his fellow countrymen as "Japs" at one point), the presentation here is quite good. The film’s trailer is included, along with a Star’s File for Yang, and trailers for YES, MADAM and IN THE LINE OF DUTY IV & V. This DVD is apparently no longer being manufactured, but can still be acquired without much difficulty as of this writing.

Cynthia Yang Li-ching Robin Shou Wan-bo (center)

This DVD is available at:

Images in this review courtesy of Universe Laser & Video Co. Ltd. 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. Ltd #DVD 5182

Dolby Digital 5.1

Post-synced Cantonese and Dubbed Mandarin Language

Subtitles (Optional): English, Traditional & Simplified Chinese

8 Chapters

4:3 Letterbox (1.85:1)

83 Minutes


- Australia: R 18+

Great Britain: 18

Norway: 15

Ontario: R (cut)

Quebec: 13+

Singapore: M18

Contains brutal violence, nudity, and sexual content

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