ChrisHicks's Review of The Black Cat

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Jade Leung makes an impressive stateside debut in the Hong Kong action picture "Black Cat," an uncredited remake of the French thriller "La Femme Nikita," and it's American remake "Point of No Return." And there are is some stunning stunt work, though the action sequences make no sense whatsoever. But then, not much about this picture does make sense. If Leung and the stunts are enough for you, there is some amusement to be had here but "Black Cat" is pretty amateurish — even by Hong Kong standards. In fact, the film is loaded with unintentional laughs from its incompetent acting, dialogue and subtitles. We first meet the harmonica-playing Leung at a New York truck stop, where she has just been hired as a waitress. When a trucker comes on to her, it leads to a violent extended brawl, climaxing with Leung stabbing and then shooting the guy. Ultimately, the police arrive — and she shoots a cop as well. Leung is taken to prison, where she endures all kinds of torture. She manages to escape a couple of times but is always recaptured. Later, she's taken into a secret CIA program, where she is brainwashed — literally, as a microchip called "Black Cat" is surgically implanted in her brain. The chip is meant to help control and direct Leung as a CIA assassin, and she is eventually given assignments to bump off people in China and Japan. The best stunt has Leung climbing a skyscraper and dropping a steel beam onto a speeding car below. And the wildest — and weirdest — action sequence has her interrupting a Jewish wedding reception to kill the bride, as Orthodox Jews pull automatic weapons out from under their cloaks. Of course, such scenes are not given any context, so we never know who the villains are or why they deserve to die. And the film occasionally takes on a "Naked Gun" movie spoof air, however unintentional — especially in that wedding scene. Much of the film is in halting English — these folks look American, but English is clearly not their first language — and some of it is surprisingly inept, as when an on-camera TV reporter in front of a courthouse fumbles her lines. Even the subtitles are poorly done, with incorrect grammar displayed throughout the film. People repeatedly tell others to get "on" instead of "in" the car. Still, Leung, a former model, makes an interesting action star, and the film is entertaining, in its own loopy way. "Black Cat" is not rated but would easily get an R for violence, along with some nudity, sex and profanity.
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Okfor ages12+