The best film Michelle Yeoh Chu-kheng did for D & B, ROYAL WARRIORS boasts sensational action setpieces which more than compensate for its ordinary storyline. After teaming up to foil a hijacking meant to free criminal Roy Li (Michael Chan Wai-man) before he could be extradited to HK, law enforcement officers Michelle (a HK policewoman), Kenji Yamamoto (a former police officer in his native Japan) and airline security officer Michael (Michael Wong Man-tak) find themselves the targets of Li's old war buddies (Pai Ying and Lam Wai), who swore to live and die together. Yamamoto's wife and baby daughter are (predictably) killed by a car bomb, leading to a shootout in a nightclub that eliminates one of the attackers but also many innocent civilians. Ignoring the suspension issued by her by-the-book superior (Kenneth Tsang Kong), Michelle teams up with Michael and the vengeful Yamamoto (Hiroyuki Sanada) to end the threat to their lives.
Cinematographer-turned-director David Chung Chi-man (MAGNIFICENT WARRIORS, I LOVE MARIA) keeps the proceedings moving at near warp speed throughout and Mang Hoi's action choreography is so back-breakingly spectacular, it induces sympathy pains. Yeoh is charming, graceful and deadly in turns, and Japanese star Sanada is nearly as impressive, hemmed in only by his stereotypical hardboiled character. In fact, the only liability here is Michael Wong, whose character is so obnoxious, you wish that Michelle and Yamamoto would kill him themselves. The climax, in which Pai Ying squares off against the unarmed Yeoh using a chainsaw and a sledge hammer, is so impressively staged, it raises one's admiration for Yeoh's abilities even higher, if that is possible. Known in some markets as IN THE LINE OF DUTY, this should actually be called IN THE LINE OF DUTY 2, as it followed the series' first entry, YES, MADAM (much of the score was previously used in that film). Other players appearing here: Kam Hing-yin, Reiko Niwa, Chen Jing, Paul Chun Pui, Dennis Chan Kwok-san, Lau Siu-ming, Woo Fung, Eddie Maher, Helena Law Lan, Hui Shiu-hung. Look very fast for the late great Blackie Ko Shou-liang as a bus driver whose vehicle ends up being part of a highway pile-up.