Naked Weapon (2002)

Country: Hong Kong
Director: Siu Tung Ching
Starring: Maggie Q, Anya, Daniel Wu, Jewel Lee, Almen Wong
Music: Ken Chan, Kwong Wing Chan

With a title like Naked Weapon and dubious packaging which depicts knife wielding lesbian soldiers, I wasn’t expecting much from this Hong Kong Production. But much to my surprise (or should that be embarrassment) this film turned out to be a compact little thriller with some well choreographed set pieces. Sure, it does have some sleazy moments, like an unnecessary triple rape sequence, but for a film featuring dozens of scantily clad female bodies; it doesn’t leer at its subject matter.

On to the story. The film opens with a CIA stakeout going horribly wrong when a female assassin (pretending to be a hooker, of course) kills the suspect and most of the guards surrounding him in spectacular fashion. However, before she can make her escape she meets her own demise courtesy of a bazooka (yep, that’d do it!) The ex-assassin’s controller, Madame M (Almen Wong) then has the task of replacing her dearly departed protégé. She does so by kidnapping forty young teenage girls who are gifted in athletics and martial arts. The girls are spirited away to a secret island where they spend the next six years being brutalized and trained to be the world’s most deadly assassins.

At the end of the training, the remaining girls enter a ‘cage of death’ where the usual type of violent, choreographed mayhem takes place. At the end of the bloodfest, three girls are left standing. These three become the ‘China Dolls’ – a team of attractive, but lethal assassins under the control of Madame M.

Meanwhile a young, determined CIA Agent, Jack Chen (Daniel Wu) who was working on the disappearance of the young girls all those years ago has discovered a link between one of the China Dolls, Charlene (Maggie Q) and a girl taken from Hong Kong. (DNA testing has obviously come a long way, fast!) Agent Chan watches Charlene’s mother and eventually catches up with Charlene and the China Dolls.

Considering the circumstances and the short time frame, a contrived romance blossoms between Agent Chen and Maggie. Chen is then drawn into a revenge plot against the girls, but as a garden variety CIA agent, rather than a trained killer, he doesn’t have the skills to assist in the final showdown.

The final scene is a glorious confrontation on the Hong Kong docks where Charlene faces her nemesis (The other two China Dolls have been knocked off by this stage).

Throughout the film are the usual Hong Kong stylings; such as plenty of hand to hand combat, hand to machete combat, and wire work.

Okay, Naked Weapon won’t replace The Bourne Identity in your DVD collection but if you are looking for 93 minutes of mindless action, you could do a lot worse. Oh, and the dialogue was filmed in English so the lip movements match the words.

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