REVIEW: Underground Judgement (1994)

undergroundjudgement

Hong-kong-icon

1994, Success Film (H.K.) Co. Ltd.

Director:
Raymond Lui
Producer:
Raymond Lui
Writer:
Raymond Lui
Cinematography:
Manny Ho
Editing:
Poon Hung

Cast:
Sharla Cheung (Senny/Lisa Ho)
Tong Chun-Chung (Gold Eagle)
Waise Lee (Chau Shun-Fu)
Alan Chan (Lau)
Charlie Ng (Brother Chu)
Cecilia Yiu (Rosa)
Amy Yip (Ling)
Richard Foo (Uncle Wu)
Mark Cheng (Yi)
Lee Chung-Ling (Prince Satar)
Paul Wong (Fatty)

This action thriller is at first slow but after the first one-third, things start to pick up some speed, but ultimately is a typical 90’s modern action film from Hong Kong.

One year ago, police captain Gold Eagle was one of the best in his field. When he intended to take down Chau Shun-Fu, an unscrupulous businessman with Triad ties, he never imagined that this confrontation would shatter his life forever. After surviving a hit on his life, his bride-to-be Ling and her family were massacred on their wedding day with Gold Eagle becoming the prime suspect due to Chau’s influence with politics. In an effort to hide, Eagle heads to the fishing village of Cheung Chau, where he has become a drunken recluse.

Eagle’s one-time girlfriend and secret agent Senny intends to find Gold Eagle while disguising herself as the daughter of a deceased businesssman to trap Chau, who is after a rare diamond. When Gold Eagle’s cover is blown when Senny goes to Cheung Chau to find him, he finds himself targeted by Chau’s men in the village. After the death of Rosa, an illegal immigrant he helped out in Cheung Chau, Gold Eagle now intends to make things right once and for all and finally put an end to the unscrupulous Chau.

Filmmaker Raymond Lui started his career in the classic kung fu genre, with Crane Fighters being one of his most well-known film of that genre. For this 1994 film, he intended to add a well thought out storyline to add to the mix of action. While the story is pretty interesting, one involving redemption for a former Hong Kong police captain, the action is well, a combination of what to expect in a Triad movie and what to expect in a modern day police action film for 1990’s Hong Kong.

While Sharla Cheung is given top billing, the film’s real star is Tong Chun-Chung, who plays the revenge and redemption seeking Gold Eagle. Tong handles himself well in terms of both acting, playing the drunken recluse quite well, and in action as well. Cheung, who normally can be seen kicking major butt in these type of films, takes a backseat to play a more intellectual role and not a damsel in distress type. Waise Lee, known for usually playing villains in modern day Hong Kong films, sticks to his guns to play a typical businessman villain type. Amy Yip, at one time, the most downloaded Chinese female celebrity on the Internet, make the most of her cameo appearance as the doomed wife of Gold Eagle with Mark Cheng only appearing to get killed in the wedding flashback scene.

As mentioned, the action consists of the type of Triad style knife action with a dose of kickboxing style action. The fights are ultimately a hit and miss kind of deal with Tong dealing with some goons in a flashback sequence which looks a bit lackluster. The fights do improve a bit as the film goes on. However, the climactic sequence between Tong and Lee, set on a mountain road, features a 90’s style kickboxing match that could be great had it not for the mere fact you can easily Lee doubled with someone who had an entire head of hair compared to his balding in front actual look.

Underground Judgement is a pretty run of the mill Hong Kong action film that does is good on story but could have improvements in action. It’s pretty much your call at this rate.

WFG RATING: C

This title is currently out of print and is no longer available. However, the Wu Tang Collection YouTube channel has the film available under the title Drunken Eagle. Click HERE for the film

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