“When Sibelle Hu asks ‘Mind if I smoke?’ she may not mean what you think…”
Bonus half-star for the final scene, which has the three leads leap out a window, as a giant explosion goes off behind them. Rather too giant, as a mistake in the amount of gunpowder used, apparently led to both Hu and Lee suffering third-degree burns. You can see it below: the part of the roman candle in the middle, is played by the former. :( Which may explain why the film abruptly ends there, over a montage of apparent newspaper clippings, and the heartfelt well-wishes of the director to his injured stars. Such sacrifice can only be admired.
Though, as with Michelle Yeoh’s accident on The Stunt Woman, you can’t help wishing it had been made in the service of a better movie. Particularly early on, this seems nothing more than a set of random action scenes spliced together, without rhyme, reason or a plot to connect them. Eventually, it turns out that there is virtually a queue of people, all with reasons for a grudge against gangster boss Hon San (Wong Wai), who appears to be the “devil” of the title. Among these are cop Inspector Tong (Hu); Hon San’s underling, Chiu Shing (Francis Ng); Chai Sun (Lui), who seeks vengeance for the death of his father; and finally, an enigmatic young woman Abby (Lee). By the time of the fiery finale, alliances are formed, the true villain revealed, and a great deal of butt kicked, but you’ll be hard-pushed to retain significant interest through the plethora of subplots as they unfold.
Perhaps the main problem is that, between getting these and the action in, there’s very little time for anything else, such as making us give a damn about any of the characters. Without exception, they appear to be out of the box of Hong Kong stock clichés: deceitful gangster, stoic cop, etc. and none of the plot twists will provoke much more than an “Eh.” Overall, you’re better off taking this as the “random action scenes spliced together” mentioned earlier, and having it on in the background while you do something more productive.
Dir: Chin-Ku Lu
Star: Sibelle Hu, Alex Man, Moon Lee, Raymond Lu
a.k.a. Megaforce 2, Red Force 3, Ultra Force 2