Royal Warriors (1986)

Directed by
One of the best action movies ever made
Reviewed by Simon on 2002-04-25

After the success of Yes, Madam!, Royal Warriors was the next movie to feature Michelle Yeoh as a Girl With Gun (TM). When I first saw this movie it really blew me away... I'd seen pretty much all the decent wuxia/wirefu stuff from the 90's, and the best of the heroic bloodshed. Royal Warriors introduced me to the grittier, more brutal action choreography that Hong Kong perfected in the 80's. Watching it again at the 4 Star Theatre in San Francisco I was amazed by how well the movie still holds up after I've seen so many more movies in between. Amazingly well crafted action scenes, complex choreography that is a lot more realistic than the more stylised action of the 70's or the 90's. But the movie also features well developed characters, which in turn makes the story gripping and the action scenes that much more powerful.

Michelle Yeoh and Hiroyuki Sanada both give their all to the action sequences, as do the stuntmen that must have taken quite a pummeling. More often than not there's no question that it's the leads doing the stunts & fighting though. These scenes are brilliantly choreographed and filmed too.

I'd say that Royal Warriors is one of the best action movies ever produced, simply. Hell, even Michael Wong is good in it!