No, this isn’t some weird Asian femdom porn movie but a bizarre and quite entertaining Hong Kong action movie. Yes, Madam is one of the first “Girls with Guns” martial arts movies starring Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock. It’s part of the In the Line of Duty franchise consisting of seven official sequels and two unofficial ones. The template is the same, we have loveable low-level criminals, regular bad guys, and police investigators trying to catch them all. The movies blend the familiar Hong Kong aesthetic with intense fighting scenes and weird humor. You might not understand what’s going on exactly in some of the scenes but that won’t really matter.
The only goal this movie has is to entertain you. And since it’s been almost forty years since it was released, it also has that vintage value. It will take you back in time not just to the eighties but Hong Kong eighties. I think that the hairstyles were the most hilarious part of this journey. When it comes to the story, it’s quite similar to Wheels on Meals with a dash of Tiger Cage. It is fascinating to watch how they went about scripting and executing these familiar Hollywood action movie scenes. The quick editing and close-ups similar to the French comedies of the nineties, generate a lot of weird energy.
The action is almost cartoonish with bad guys shooting at thin air, supposedly not seeing the cops, only for them to appear seemingly out of nowhere and kill them. So, yeah, there will be a lot of these strange shootouts and chase scenes. They’re followed by even weirder interrogations and attempts at humor. However, the thing that sets Yes, Madam from all the other Hong Kong action movies is that it has female leads. It’s funny to think that this was one of the first Michelle Yeoh’s roles and the very first one for Cynthia Rothrock. Michelle went on to be one of the most recognizable faces in the world of cinema. And Cynthia became one of the first female action stars.
Asprin and Strepsil are friends and petty thieves. They work the hotels, trying to steal small items they could sell to the third member of this tight-knit gang. One night, they accidentally steal a very important microfilm, sought by both the cops and criminals. So, our three friends find themselves in a desperate situation. They decide to seek out help from the police and this is how they come to work with two tough lady cops, Inspector Ng, and Inspector Carrie Morris.
Yeah, I know, the names of the protagonists in the movie Yes, Madam are Aspirin and Strepsil. So, can you guess the name of the third friend? It’s Panadol, his name is Panadol. Just another weird thing about this very weird movie. Pacey, short and action-packed, you can watch Yes, Madam any day of the week and love it. Moreover, it’s just going to put you in a good mood with its frenetic action, clumsy humor, and eighties aesthetic. I also want you to know that all the technical aspects were really good. Actually, we will get some pretty creative and effective camera angles. And the production values are solid.
Although, most of the moviegoers back then went to see this movie because it features two girls beating up a lot of guys. One of them went on to win an Academy Award and the other is a top martial artist. And both of them are smoking hot. Additionally, Cynthia showed a surprising amount of skin, especially during the airport sequence. I guess that thick thighs really do save lives.
Director: Corey Yuen
Writers: James Clouse, Barry Wong
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Cynthia Rothrock, John Sham, Hoi Mang, Hark Tsui, Dick Wei, Fat Chung
Fun Facts: Michelle Yeoh did most of the stunts herself except for the most dangerous ones. She dedicated herself to this role, spending more the eight hours exercising and learning the moves every day.