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Film / Bury Me High

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Bury Me High is a 1991 action movie directed by Tsui Siu-ming, and is one of the many spin-off action movies involving Hong Kong pulp novel character, Wisely Wei after The Seventh Curse made the character famous. Starring Chin Kar-lok as Wisely, alongside Sibelle Hu making a comeback with Moon Lee added to the cast, the movie continues the adventure of Wisely where Seventh Curse left off previously.

Wisely is now in America, where he's hired by a rich traveler to investigate the sepulchral veneration of his home's Feng Shui center in the South-East Asian country of Carrinan, in order to secure the continuous wealth and fortune for his family's future generations. Accepting the assignment due to his interest in Feng Shui, Wisely travels to Carrinan with his partner, Professor Chang (Tsui Siu-ming, also director) and a reporter, Anna Wong (Moon). But upon arrival in Carrinan, Wisely and gang discovers the Feng Shui cardinal point of the country has been hijacked by the dictator and warlord General Ngyuen, who is using the local Feng Shui to ensure he maintains an iron grip on the nation.

In case you're confused by all that Feng Shui mumbo-jumbo stuff, let's just say that's just the movie's attempt to use a complicated theme as backdrop for its plot, when in actuality the entire movie is pretty much like every action film about a Badass Crew of heroes assisting an oppressed nation overthrow a dictator's military regime, not unlike The Dogs of War or The Wild Geese, but with more kung fu, feng shui, and supernatural elements thrown in. It's... actually more fun than it sounds. note 

Moon and Sibelle will collaborate once again in their next film, Dreaming the Reality.

Bury Me High, but Shallow enough to Trope...

  • Acrofatic: Professor Chang may be played by the tubby Tsui Siu-Ming, but he can execute some impressive moves and kick ass with roughly the same expertise as Wisely, Anna or Ngyuen.
  • Action Girl: Moon Lee's Anna and Sibelle Hu's Ngyuen. Both of them aren't on the same side, until Ngyuen's eventual Heel–Face Turn.
  • Badass Bookworm: Professor Chang may be a Feng Shui philosopher, but he probably had a doctorate in ass-kicking too, given how expertly he take names with an AK in the finale and fights Mook Lieutenant Van in the climax.
  • Banana Republic: Carrinan is an Asian country ruled by a dictator, who resembles Vietnam in every way but name. The scriptwriters are probably inspired by the inclusion of the fictional country of Val Verde that keeps popping out from their Hollywood counterparts the time this film was made.
  • Big Badass Battle Sequence: The climax of the film, between the La Résistance and General Ruan's forces, with Wisely, Anna, Professor Chang and Ngyuen supporting the former side.
  • Big Fancy House: General Ruan's mansion, located right smack in the middle of his base guarded by scores and scores of his soldiers. Wisely fights him one-on-one in the climax, and is later reinforced by Anna, and of course plenty of the building's interior decoration gets wrecked thanks to copious amounts of Kung-Shui.
  • Bolt of Divine Retribution: The ultimate, eventual fate of General Ruan; for screwing with the local Feng Shui trying to make himself a permanent dictator of the Banana Republic, he ends up getting struck by a bolt of lightning through his window thanks to Wisely turning his cardinal points against him killing him on the spot. It Makes Sense in Context, alright?
  • Boom, Headshot!: Wisely suffers this fate when General Ngyuen finally took him down in the climax. But he got better (somehow).
  • Braids of Action: The preferred hairstyle of resident action babe Anna, played by Moon Lee.
  • Climbing Climax: In the climatic final battle, while Anna, Ngyuen and the rebels are making their way towards General Ruan's hideout, Wisely on the other hand is climbing his way upwards towards the caves in the center of a hill to sabotage one of the two key cardinal points. Naturally, he gets interrupted when General Ruan on a helicopter intercepts him.
  • Destination Defenestration: Wisely survives getting flung through a window by General Ruan in the final battle.
  • Deus ex Machina: In the climax, Wisely actually dies when General Ruan puts a bullet into his forehead... but due to Wisely destroying the cardinal points of the General's mansion, causing the Feng Shui to be reset, this somehow renders Ruan's attack useless and for Wisely to come back to life.
  • General Ripper: General Ruan, the Big Bad, who is the dictator ruling Carrinan with an iron fist, and remains in power permanently if his Feng Shui cardinal point remains untouched.
  • Girls with Guns: The movie has Moon Lee and Sibelle Hu in it, and sure enough, both of them get to use heavy machine guns and automatic firearms in the climax. Sibelle Hu's Ngyuen notably gets to use TWO.
  • Guns Akimbo: Overlaps with Small Girl, Big Gun(s) when Ngyuen mows down enemy soldiers using two M16 machine guns at the same time.
  • Hellish Copter: During the battle on the hill shrine sequence, General Ruan personally comandeers a helicopter to attack Wisely, who culminates in Wisely detonating the explosives in the shrine. The helicopter, despite being at least a mile away from the exploding shrine, somehow catches fire and blows up together.
  • Hollywood Hacking: Wisely's hacking attempt in the movie is apparently written by some rookie scriptwriter whose knowledge of hacking comes from watching WarGames.
  • Intrepid Reporter: Anna Wong. If it means travelling to a war-torn South-East Asian country to get the latest scoop, so be it.
  • La Résistance: The Carrinan rebels who opposes General Ruan's army. They serve as the Redshirt Army in the penultimate action sequence
  • Left Stuck After Attack: In the final mansion battle, Wisely misses an attack on General Ruan, just as Ruan activates a closing trapdoor in an attempt to crush Wisely. Wisely managed to evade in time, but gets his jacket's left sleeve stuck in the closing door, where he momentarily ends up being beaten up by Ruan before he removes his jacket.
  • Outrun the Fireball: Both Wisely and Anna does this. Being a 90s Hong Kong film, those are real explosions.
    • In the cliff / shrine battle, Wisely detonates the explosives he set up around the shrine to sabotage General Ruan's cardinal point while simultaneously fighting Ruan. Both of them had to leap off the cliff as a massive explosion consumes the entire place.
    • The final shootout had Anna climbing to the top of a guard tower and taking out soldiers operating heavy machine-guns so that the rebels can cross, but one of the soldiers she beats up drops a grenade. Cue Anna taking a dive off the exploding tower, landing on the straw roof of a hut.
  • Pretty Little Headshots: Wisely in the conclusion of his battle with Ruan. It's notable that Ruan is using an extreme large-bore Elephant Gun in that scene, but somehow all that results to is a trickle of blood down the forehead.
  • Product Placement: The Carrinan rebellion is supported by Pepsi, Coca-cola and MacDonalds! The favourite food of the local La Résistance!
  • The Squadette: Ngyuen spends almost her entire screentime clad in military gear, especially when taking names with dual machine-guns.
  • Stuff Blowing Up: Helicopters, tanks, ammunition piles, bunkers, guard towers... there's plenty of stuff to blow up in the final battle, thanks to the movie's larger-than-usual budget being allocated for the final action scene.
  • Tagalong Reporter: Anna Wong, being a reporter only seeking the news about the going-ons in Carrinan, ends up following Wisely all the way to the country and getting thrown into the coup. Subverted that being Moon Lee, she has no problems fighting off waves and waves of mooks by herself once she's caught in the battle.
  • Tank Goodness: The final battle against General Ruan's forces is made complicated when Ruan unleashes a column of tanks, but luckily the rebels have landmines and anticipates the location where the tanks will pass, allowing them to gain an advantage in ambushing the tank units, although they still suffer heavy casualties.
  • Unkempt Beauty: Anna in the final fight, after getting smashed through furniture, thrown into walls and beaten up badly by General Ruan.
  • Wall of Weapons: In General Ruan's quarters, although the weapons are mostly antiques, such as muskets and flintlock pistols that fires ball rounds. There's also staff, pikes, and a bronze BFS which Anna grabs to attack Ruan when assisting Wisely.