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Still from Joe Dante’s Gremlins (1984)

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Magnificent Warriors ★★★★

A self-consciously Hollywood-esque period adventure with Michelle Yeoh as an Indiana Jones-inspired hero who helps a small Inner Mongolian town resist the Japanese with the help of Richard Ng and Derek Yee. Relentlessly-paced, with a series of show-stopping action scenes (including a mid-film highlight where Yeoh takes on seemingly the whole Japanese Army single-handed), a light touch with the comic elements (a well-modulated performance from Richard Ng, which is something I didn't think I'd ever see, much as I love the guy) and maybe the prettiest cinematography I've seen from an 80s Hong Kong action film (director David Chung was a star DP of the Hong Kong New Wave, and that experience is much more in evidence here than his previous collaboration with Yeoh, Royal Warriors). The only real problem is the score, which features a nice martial trumpet fanfare that gets repeated again and again and again. I can still hear it.

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