Wonderful Killer – Less Than Wonderful

Country: Hong Kong
Genre: Action/ Martial Arts
Director: Cheung Yan-Git
Year: 1993

Rating: ★★☆☆☆

NOT WORTH YOUR TIME

With a title like Wonderful Killer, you would expect that the killer in question would either be really innovative or especially competent. Alas, throughout most of the movie, there is no indication that is the case. Only in the third act does the title character break out the jungle traps and demonstrate some skill. That sequence is kind of fun, not least because of who is playing the killer.

I can’t reveal who the actor is because Wonderful Killer is a mystery.

Someone has killed a model who owed the triads money. Some triad collectors threatened her a few days prior to her death, but they don’t seem to be involved in her murder. Instead, a masked men strangled her and afterwards, a woman stabbed her twice.

As the cops try to figure out what’s going on, the victims pile up.

Because of lame ass scriptwriting and direction (Cheung Yan-Git), most of Wonderful Killer is excruciatingly boring. Fortunately, every once in a while, we get some martial arts action which, while rather sloppy in terms of choreography, is at least performed by such capable folks as Dick Wei, Takajo Fujimi, and Lam Wai.

I’m sorry to say that the filmmakers waste a good cast, which includes, other than the folks I’ve already mentioned, Karel Wong and Shing Fui-on. Karel Wong doesn’t even get to fight.

And the filmmakers have Shing Fui-on play a character who is developmentally retarded, which is a mistake. At that time, Hong Kong and Taiwanese filmmakers apparently had no clue about retarded people, so those characters are almost always an embarrassment. And Shing Fui-on simply isn’t a sophisticated enough actor to handle the role, although he gives it his all. Fortunately, Shing gets to strut his stuff in the third act.

Worst of all, one of the stars, Maria Tung Ling, can’t act at all. And she’s ugly on top of it, so she’s not even decorative.

Sadly, sporadic martial arts sequences and a fun third act with a good ending can’t redeem the tedium of the rest of the picture. If you’re not expecting a good movie, but just want to catch the fights and the third act, expect about 20 minutes of decent entertainment.

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