Naked Soldier opens in 1980 where hotshot Interpol agent Lung Chi-Keung has successfully infiltrated a massive drug bust and manages to confiscate all the goods worth $25 million. The owner is very upset over the matter and hires Madame Rose and her assassins to kill Lung and his entire family over Christmas dinner at their home in Florida. Lung is lucky enough to escape death, but his beloved five-year-old daughter is kidnapped by Madame Rose and brainwashed her to make her believe she’s her mother. The girl is given the name Phoenix and subsequently trained, along with other kidnapped children, to become a professional assassin when they are grown up. Fifteen years later in 1995, Madame Rose sends out her three best squad, Phoenix (Jennifer Tse), Selina and Ivy, to wipe out a number of high-ranking international drug leaders. Enter Sam Wong, who works for the Beijing police force, is assigned to the Hong Kong office of Interpol, to investigate the murder case.
Some of the casts here are playful enough to make them worthwhile. Model-turned-actress Jennifer Tse (sister of Nicholas Tse) made her first leading role with mild success. She is convincing when comes in the action sequences, particularly in her final showdown against Ankie Beilke. However, it’s a shame that Wong Jing and director Marco Mak doesn’t gives her opportunity to showcase some sexual tease as she spends most of her time fully clothed. Other than that, Tse’s acting skill is exceptionally wooden. The rest of the female casts — Ellen Chan, Ankie Beilke and Lena Lin — have their fair share of over-the-top trashy performances. Veterans Sammo Hung and Anthony Wong show up and let loose with their playful charms. Action-wise, Corey Yuen’s martial-art choreography relies heavily on wirework as usual and he does them with some entertaining results. Coupled with fluid editing by Lee Kar-Wing and Marco Mak, the action are fun to watch for and I’m glad the filmmakers doesn’t follow the annoying trend of tight close-ups often plagued in this department.
The visual story telling was that good. Every nuance, every detail were all intricately woven into actors movement and expressions. I should give credit to director Marco Mak for his superb directing. One thing that can be said about movies produced or directed by Wong Jin is that it’s very high quality, and some has expensive look and feel about them as well. This is true for this movie as well. And the women in this movie blows away any actresses in Hollywood produced movies. They are absolutely off the charts.
The martial arts policeman, played by Sammo Hung, loses his daughter to ‘mum’. Twelve years later, we see him with an adopted, tomboyish daughter. In a weird way, this flick is about a lost kid reuniting with her family, even though the film goes to hell and back to show us that. I know, I’m as surprised as you, as I fully expected to hate this film but came out very entertained! There’s been a lot of talk recently about the impact of movie violence on society, especially in light of the cinema shooting in the U.S., but audiences are in for a bigger shock if they see Naked Soldier. Lighting, camera work and scenery are all well thought out, and intersperse seamlessly into the production of Naked Soldier. Many shot angles are used, above, below, and around the fights, offering a cool perspective on them. Overall I really like Naked Soldier, and recommend it as a must buy for martial arts film fans.