In the Line of Duty III:”I’ll redeem it with my life.”

Year: 1988
Directed by Arthur Wong and Brandy Yuen
Produced by Stephen Shin
Written by Kwong Kim Yip,Chan Kiu-Ying, and Law Tai-Man
Cast: Cynthia Khan, Hiroshi Fujioka, Eric Tsang, Richard Ng, Stanley Fung, Stuart Ong, Michiko Nishiwaki, Elliot Ngok, Dick Wei, Paul Chun Pui, Melvin Wong, and Law Ching-Ho

A pair of two deadly thieves that have ties to the Japanese terrorist group, Red Army, go on a heist that ends up killing the partner of a Japanese cop. That same Japanese cop heads to Hong Kong to avenge his fallen comrade. A Hong Kong cop is given the task of keeping him distracted because no one believes in his story about the thieves having connections to a certain famous public figure in Hong Kong. When the thieves finally make their move, a deadly clash ensues for all parties involved.

The 3rd entry of the In the Line of Duty franchise finally actually makes use of the franchise title. In the Line of Duty 3 shares much in common with its predecessors. It is largely a retread of similar tropes and conventions. Cynthia Khan takes the reign from Michelle Yeoh and Cynthia herself doesn’t fall short in terms of her martial art prowess. Hiroshi Fujioka playing oddly a character with the same name as himself also takes Hiroyuki Sanada’s spot from Royal Warriors. Fans of tokusatsu could be interested in seeing him in a more dramatic role that’s unrelated to tokusatsu. Though, his role is the usual charade of a hardened cop trying to avenge his lost partner. Hiroshi Fujioka does bring his usual commanding presence. The personalities of the villains this time around is slightly more engaging. They’re lovers that have aspiration beyond simple greed.

It follows the structure of its predecessors almost to a fault. But, most sequels to action flicks are guilty of the same. In the Line of Duty 3 does have a clearer sense of the theme of vengeance. There is much less of a tonal whiplash since the slapstick is cut back heavily. Or that could be the result of Corey Yuen not directing. The action is in good order. If the action is superior or worse compared to the previous installments is a matter of taste. What’s matters are that it reaches the same benchmark as seen as in the explosive finale.

In the Line of Duty 3 is a respectable retread that offers its fans the same positives of its predecessors. Those who liked the previous entries will be pleased but I can’t say the same for those who didn’t.

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