Follow TV Tropes


Film / Beauty Investigator

Go To
Sadly, despite what the cover implies, at NO point did Oshima get to kick ass with a machine gun.

Beauty Investigators is a 1992 Action movie, another installment in a long line of Hong Kong Action Girl-slash-Girls with Guns crime thrillers, starring Moon Lee, Yukari Oshima, and Sophia Crawford.

When a number of nightclub hostesses turns up dead in the red-light districts of Hong Kong, police detectives Min-feng (Moon) and Grace are assigned to investigate, but they end up unveiling a far bigger conspiracy involving the local Hong Kong triads making a deal with the Japanese Yakuza which has infiltrated Hong Kong. And with the deadly Japanese assassin and hitwoman Tanaka (Oshima) stalking her every move, soon Min-feng will have to fight and shoot her way out.


Tropes associated with this movie:

  • Action Girl: Min-feng, Lisa, Tanaka, and Grace (who, when not partaking of the action is a Girly Girl).
  • Badass Biker: Tanaka's personal mode of transport is her motorcycle, which she uses to sneak up and kill a mob boss in his own vehicle, and then get involved in a high-speed car chase while being pursued by Min-feng.
  • Bait-and-Switch: In the aftermath of the final shootout, with every enemy dead and the police led by Superintendent Wong in time to see Min-feng - who had resigned from the police force to take on the mob as a vigilante - standing in the middle of all the chaos, having killed nearly twenty people in an extended rampage, guess what is Wong's reaction towards her?
    Wong: " I expect you to be back in the force tomorrow, first thing in the morning."
  • Advertisement:
  • Belated Love Epiphany: One example involving friends; Min-feng suddenly realize how important her friendship with Grace is after Grace’s death. Resulting in the climatic Roaring Rampage of Revenge.
  • Blow Gun: Tanaka’s preferred Weapon of Choice during her assassinations, for stealth reasons. Most of her victims end up dead with a feathered dart protruding between their eyes.
  • Bound and Gagged: Grace ends up getting all tied up like this while investigating local nightclub owner David Chun, before he drugs her and abducts her, revealing him to be the real serial killer all along.
  • Cowboy Cop: Min-feng and Grace, especially the former.
  • Designated Girl Fight:
    • Played with; the movie spends much of its time setting up Lisa as Min-feng’s opponent, but in the final showdown Lisa ends up fighting Tanaka instead.
    • Played straight when Min-feng and Tanaka ends up fighting each other, despite being on the same side.
  • Disc-One Final Boss: The serial killer and rapist who’s been murdering hookers throughout the red-light districts of Hong Kong, and have been evading the police for months, turns out to be David Chun, a nightclub owner with a fetish. And he ends up getting strangled by Tanaka halfway through the film, while trying to rape the tied-up Grace, before the movie quickly shifts attention to Hung and his mobsters, the replacement Big Bad.
  • Doesn't Like Guns: Downplayed with Tanaka; she spends most of her action scenes using her blow-dart or garotte in taking names while everybody else uses guns, but in the final shootout she does pick up a discarded pistol and shoots two mooks with it. Before discarding it immediately.
  • Dynamic Entry: Tanaka ambushed one of her targets by landing a mid-air split-kick, taking out two surprised bodyguards before they even realize she’s here.
  • Enemy Mine: Initially audiences are quick to assume this trope is in play when Min-feng and Tanaka, on opposing sides for most of the movie, actually works together in the final shootout. But later it turns out Tanaka is a Japanese Interpol agent investigating the triads, and is on the same side as Min-feng.
  • Facial Horror: The Designated Girl Fight between Tanaka and Lisa ends with Tanaka smashing Lisa’s face into a thick metal I-beam, causing half of her face to cave in.
  • Girls with Guns: Min-feng, being classic Moon Lee. Subverted with Yukari Oshima’s Tanaka, who kicks ass but prefers doing so mostly without firearms.
  • Gender-Blender Name: Tanaka is typically more of a male name in its native Japan. But in this film it’s the name of Yukari Oshima’s character.
  • Guns Akimbo: In the climatic final shootout, Min-feng gets to wield double Uzis against hordes and hordes of mooks. She managed to kill around ten before a stray gunshot into her shoulder forces her to drop one of her guns.
  • Imagine Spot:
    • Min-feng and Grace, thinking of what they will do after solving the serial rapist case and getting promoted, ends up daydreaming about becoming Superintendent Wong’s superiors, where they will get back at him for bossing them around by ordering him to go undercover in nightclubs as a gigolo.
    • At the end of the movie, since The Cavalry Arrives Late, with Superintendent Wong and the police arriving after all the mobsters have been dealt with by Min-feng and Tanaka, Min-feng immediately performs a pissed-off diving kick at Wong’s face… except she didn’t. She only imagines it.
  • Karmic Death: The serial killer and rapist who abducts, ties up and rapes women ends up having his own rope tied around his neck until getting strangled alive.
  • Knows the Ropes: During Tanaka’s fight with David, Tanaka managed to get her hands on a coil of rope – leftover from David, who uses it to tie up hookers before raping them – using it to instead tie him up, and strangle him to death.
  • Low Clearance: During the car vs motorcycle chase scene where Min-feng (in a car) pursues Tanaka (on motorcycle) on the streets, Tanaka deliberately skids her cycle below a parked 14-wheeler heavy truck. Min-feng, unable to stop in time, ends up having the top half of her vehicle sheared off.
  • Peekaboo Corpse: The hooker’s body in the first scene, from beneath a dumpster.
  • Plucky Comic Relief: Grace, Min-feng's ditzy, clumsy, accident-prone partner who provides some of the laughs and Lighter and Softer moments of the movie. Her death is unquestionably a Shoo Out the Clowns moment for the final act to get more serious.
  • Razor Floss: Tanaka uses a wire garrote for assassinations performed up-close.
  • Rule of Sexy: Why else would Lisa (played by the gorgeous Sophia Crawford) have a Shower Scene that lasts for two minutes onscreen, with plenty of close-ups on her thighs and butt? And yes, there are nipples too...
  • Sacrificial Lion: Grace, before the climax of the movie. To motivate Min-feng for seeking to avenge her and taking on Hung and the mobsters.
  • Shower Scene: One extended shower scene featuring Lisa, the Caucasian henchwoman and girlfriend of Big Bad Hung, before she makes out with him. Complete with plenty of close-ups.
  • Third-Act Misunderstanding: Between Min-feng and Grace halfway through the film, after Grace accidentally reveals to Superintendent Wong on how Min-feng lose her pistol in a failed hostage exchange causing both of them to be demoted. Both of them equally angry at each other ends up dividing their shared apartment room into half using a makeshift rope fence which each other are forbidden to cross. While they do eventually make up, it turns out to be a little too late.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: Between the two protagonists, Min-feng being the tomboy to Grace’s girly girl. After Grace dies, Tanaka is the next Tomboy while Min-feng took over Grace’s position.
  • Tricked-Out Gloves: In the final shootout, Min-feng uses a weaponized gauntlet that shoots explosive darts which seemingly came out of nowhere (seriously, in the midst of a heated shootout, she just whips it out, as if she had this weapon all along). With great effect too, since the fired darts are apparently loaded with C4, which came in handy when she needs to blow up vehicles full of mooks.
  • Turn in Your Badge: Min-feng ends up resigning her position after her Superintendent, Wong refuse to allow her to seek revenge for the murdered Grace.
  • Vasquez Always Dies: Inverted, the feminine Grace is the only main character who dies, while both the more tomboyish Min-feng and Tanaka outlives the credits.
  • Vigilante Execution: The reason why Tanaka went after mobsters, arms dealers and the serial rapist David Chun.
  • Vomit Indiscretion Shot: Used in the early scene when Grace throws up on the hooker’s corpse in the dumpster. Later on her vomit was accidentally retrieved by one of the investigating officers, who thought it was evidence from the scene of murder.
    Forensics Officer: (holding a bag of vomit) "We retrieved some vomit from the scene of crime. It could be from the killer."
    Grace: (Embarrassed) "Actually… that’s my vomit."
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Between Min-feng and Grace, who spends as much time arguing as they do looking out for each other. And then Min-feng finally realizes how important Grace is after Grace's death.