Yes, Madam:”Let’s see, how magnificent are the policewomen.”

Year: 1985
Directed by Corey Yuen
Produced by Raymond Chow
Written by Barry Wong
Cast: Michelle Yeoh, Cynthia Rothrock, Sammo Hung, Richard Ng, Mang Hoi, John Shum, Tsui Hark, Chung Fat, Dick Wei, Melvin Wong, Dennis Chan and Wu Ma

A microfilm that could spell the doom for an entire criminal franchise falls into the hands of a group of foolish thieves. Two detectives work tirelessly to solve the case.

Supposedly, it is the first installment of the very loosely connected and vaguely defined, In the Line of Duty franchise. Yes, Madam is steep in genre conventions of its era. It is an action comedy under the thin veil of a crime thriller. Yes, Madam’s posters and marketing could lead one to believe that its two action heroines are its principal focus, but their screentime is actually divided up with a larger cast of personalities. In actuality, it’s an ensemble picture. That whole matter is probably is Yes, Madam’s largest sticking point. The foolish thieves do act and look like they belong more to the set of My Lucky Star or Aces Go Place. Tsui Hark’s rare acting appearance is an amusing sight. Whatever you make of their odd high jinks will depend on your patience and taste for slapstick.

The wild chase for the MacGuffin that ensues takes up most of the plot does intensify the pacing since the plot never really slows down. The endless barrage of jokes and the thrilling hunt for the microfilm never gives way to boredom. Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia Rothrock are worthy action stars that deserve all of the praise given to them over the years. The pair’s action sequences stand up to the quality and even surpass the fight sequences of more modern cinema. The final brawl is very indicative of such a thing. The way that Yes, Madam decides to send off its story is rather subversive. It does give a rather nihilistic reading to everything that has transpired. But, it is very undoubtedly very jarring.

Corey Yuen’s very tonally disjointed action romp that lacks substance but counters that flaw with its great action and decent comedy.

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