Fatal Termination (1990)

Directed by
Basically forgettable
Reviewed by Simon on 2007-04-24

An evil weapons and drugs dealer contrives a plan to hijack some weapons bought by a terrorist group as they pass through Hong Kong, then sell them to their rivals. He enlists a corrupt and ambitious customs cop to assist. An honest customs cop becomes a suspect, and finds out a bit too much of the truth, with predictable consequences. His family, also cops and also suspects, decide to find out what happened - action movie style.

FATAL TERMINATION has one of those disposable plots that fuelled many an action film in the 80's and 90's - the script evidently being rated so low in priority that they couldn't even bother thinking of names for most of the characters, using some variant of the actors names instead (and at the end of the film I still didn't know Ray Lui's character's name at all, despite being the main character in the film!). Most of what happens doesn't make a lot of sense if you try to think of it in terms of motive or logic, but as long as you view it as a reason to have all the interested parties go bat shit crazy with a cache of weapons in the finale, you shouldn't have too much trouble following it.

The film isn't as action packed as I'd hoped, though there's a reasonable smattering throughout and the final scene is pretty entertainingly over the top. The quality of the action is only so-so for me, but I'm not a big fan of gun action by and large - big explosions and loud gunfire don't do much for me, unless they're an excuse for showing us what the well trained and clinically insane stuntmen of Hong Kong can do with their bodies. There's some of that here, but it's more about explosions and bullet holes. One particular stunt with a little girl does rank as one of the most stupid and irresponsible things a Hong Kong stunt crew have ever done though, so the film definitely wins points for that!

For the most part the film is basically forgettable though, for me. The shoddy full-frame looks-like-a-VHS Wing Artist DVD with barely intelligible subtitles probably didn't do it any favours, but it's not a film I'm in a great hurry to see remastered (not before Tiger Cage anyway!).