For six long years, CIA agent Jack Chen (Daniel Wu) has been investigating the disappearance of teenage girls from around the world. These girls are being abducted by the evil Madame M (Almen Wong), who is training them on a remote tropical island to become ruthless assassins. Charlene (Maggie Q), Katherine (Anya) and Jing (Jewel Lee) are the latest girls to ‘graduate’ in early adulthood as Madame M’s killers-for-hire; but agent Chen is hot on their trail.
Wong Jing is the Roger Corman – or maybe Lloyd Kaufman – of the Hong Kong film industry, writing, producing and directing a prolific stream of B-movie thrillers. Some of his films hit the right exploitation buttons – Naked Killer, The Last Blood, Sex & Zen 2 & 3 – but Naked Weapon ain’t one of them. For a film about a trio of sexy assassins who use their bodies to seduce men shortly before killing them, it’s curiously tame on the flesh-front. The camera can’t get enough of model-turned-actress Maggie Q, but there’s little actual sex or nudity.
Jing’s script is functional at best, and the decision to shoot in English hardly helps matters. Maggie Q, Anya (another ex-model) and Wu may be fluent in the language, but they give wooden performances, while late-in-the-day bad guy Andrew Lin (Madame M is forgotten by the end) might be a decent actor, but is clearly uncomfortable acting in English, leaving much of his dialogue incomprehensible.
What Naked Weapon needed was a fast-moving, tongue-in-the-cheek approach, but Jing and director Ching Siu-Tung take their film way too seriously. There’s no end of cheesy scenes, as Charlene reconnects with her mother (bleughh) and Chen realises that he’s fallen in love with this foxy murderess (huh?). The film’s sole saving grace is the action – Siu-Tung choreographed the spectacular fight scenes in Zhang Yimou’s superb Hero, and here he combines gunplay and martial arts with skill, even if some of it is in that flashy post-Matrix style that’s rapidly becoming old hat. But in any case, skip this one.
Hong Kong director and skilled action choreographer. Started working as a fight arranger on films including Tsui Hark's Peking Opera Blues and directed influential kung fu flicks Duel to the Death and The Nepal Affair. 1987's A Chinese Ghost Story was a masterful slice of supernatural lunacy, and Siu-Tung went on to helm two sequels, all for producer Hark. Siu-Tung's other key films include Swordsman 1 & 2 and the stylish New Dragon Gate Inn, and as an action choreographer has worked on modern classics such as The Heroic Trio, A Better Tomorrow II, Shaolin Soccer, Hero and House of Flying Daggers. Recently directed sexploiter Naked Weapon for prolific producer Wong Jing.