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Film / She Shoots Straight

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Because She Shoots Straight, Kicks Ass, Punches Hard and Take Names would be too much on-the-nose, wouldn't it?

She Shoots Straight is a 1990 Hong Kong Martial Arts Movie directed by Corey Yuen, starring Joyce Godenzi (of Eastern Condors fame), Carina Lau and Sammo Hung in a supporting role. It's one of the many Girls with Guns films spawned in Hong Kong at the start of the early 90s, although unlike the Iron Angels movies its somewhat more grounded in reality.

Inspector Mina (Joyce Godenzi) is the Eurasian wife of Inspector Huang (Tony Leung Ka-fai), a decorated member of the Hong Kong police and recently promoted to Lieutenant. For Officer Ling (Carina Lau), Huang's sister, Mina's promotion only fuels the fire of dissatisfaction between Mina and Huang's several sisters, considering their presence in the force being longer than hers. What's NOT helping is the arrival of a Vietnamese crime ring in Hong Kong, who have a personal vendetta against Inspector Huang and his family over the death of one of their members.

Sammo Hung would later marry Joyce Godenzi in real life, five years after this movie was made. Good call, Sammo!

This film provides examples of:

  • All Part of the Show: The arm dealers decide to ambush the police undercover in the fashion show scene by setting off gas grenades. But the audience thinks the gas is part of the show and applauses... until someone fires a gun.
  • Booby Trap: The Vietnamese gang specializes in these, using Molotov Cocktails, spiked traps, razor nets and triggered crossbows to ambush their victims.
  • Breast Attack: In the climactic fight, Mina kicks Yuan Ying in her groin to gain the upper hand and then finishes her off by kicking her squarely in the breasts.
  • But Not Too Foreign: Mina's European heritage is often mentioned throughout the film. Her actress, Joyce Godenzi, is Chinese-Eurasian from her mother's side.
  • But We Used a Condom!: Defied in a ridiculous manner. Inspector Huang, under the urging of his mother, is desperate to have an heir, despite Mina's insistence that her dedication is to her job, since she was recently promoted, and they could plan on having a family maybe in a few years. Rather than discussing with his wife and mother like a rational person, instead Huang proceeds to secretly stab holes in the condom he's using while bedding with his wife and makes her pregnant without her consent.
  • Darkened Building Shootout: A shootout occurs between the Vietnamese gangsters and the police in a nightclub, whose powers are cut off. Unfortunately for the police, the gangsters come prepared with Night-Vision Goggles.
  • Deadly Dodging: In the final battle, Mina fights a few gangsters, one which swings a sledgehammer at her. She jumps, causing him to smash another gangster's gut and pulverizing his partner's innards.
  • Designated Girl Fight: The fight between Mina and The Dragon. She's the main character, and The Dragon is the only member of the Vietnamese gang who is a female, so...
  • Excessive Mourning: The night after Inspector Huang's demise, we are treated to a mourning scene of his funeral that lasts for 20 minutes onscreen. It gets boring and outlasts its welcome soon enough, and really slows down what would be an otherwise decent action movie.
  • Fashion Show: The infiltrations in the Action Prologue involves this, where Huang's sisters, Mina and Ling had to catwalk on stage while trying to spot the arms dealers' operations from the crowd.
  • Four Eyes, Zero Soul: The Big Bad of the movie, leader of the Vietnamese gangsters who wears glasses throughout.
  • Guns Akimbo: The Big Bad dual wields pistols in several shootout scenes, including the nightclub shootout where the police are fighting in the dark and he guns down targets like fish in a barrel.
  • Handy Cuffs: Right in the end of the movie, the Big Bad suddenly grabs Superintendent Lau hostage by choking him with his handcuffs and leaps behind onto his henchwoman's motorcycle while dragging Lau behind presumably to death.
  • Hate Sink: Superintendent Lau is the lieutenant and supervisor overseeing the Huang sisters in the police precinct and is a sexist bigot who refuse to promote Huang's sisters or commend them for their efforts because of believing in gender rules. Whenever the Huang sisters are assigned on missions, he repeatedly puts them through embarrassing duties such as going undercover as call girls and prostitutes, just for the sake of being a dick. He's repeatedly rude to the Huang matriarch, herself a retired police lieutenant and his superior, and also borderline racist to Mina because of her Eurasian heritage. After Huang, his best officer, dies horribly partway through the film, Lau actually tries to cover up Huang's demise as his own fault, and threatens to have Mina and Ling suspended for trying to avenge their husband/brother. When Mina and Ling finally had the Big Bad arrested by way of vigilante, his nature as a Glory Hound quickly kicks in as he tries to get himself credit for the operation.
  • He-Man Woman Hater: Superintendent Lau, already elaborated above.
  • Hiding in a Hijab: Part of the Mina's getup in her first action scene, where she busts an American crime ring making a deal in a nightclub while dressed in veils and hijabs. One of the gangsters in that scene tries to grab her as a hostage, only to have her utterly kick his ass.
  • Human Pincushion: Part of Huang's ridiculously over-the-top Rasputinian Death, after being hanged, hit by a log, set on fire, and finally skewered by half a dozen punji sticks.
  • Ironic Birthday: Halfway into the film the scene cuts to the 80th Birthday Celebration of the Huang family matriarch, which occurs the night hours after Huang's horrifying death. Mina and Ling had to try their best to hide the truth from Huang's sisters and mother, pretending to enjoy celebrating the birthday party while holding back their tears, until a news report spills the truth.
  • Leap and Fire: Mina does this all the time, although at one point she accidentally knocks over Ling while doing so, causing both of them to crash into a glass window and their suspect to escape.
  • Laser-Guided Karma:
    • Inspector Huang, for impregnating his wife without her permission, ends up dying horribly less than a week later. His demise, and subsequent scenes of his mother, wife and sisters crying over him (for 20 minutes of actual screentime) is supposed to be sad but considering this man pokes holes in a condom without his wife knowing and slapped his own sister, it's hard to feel sorry for him.
    • Superintendant Lau spends much of the movie being an asshole and seems like he'll finish the movie without any comeuppance, but ten minutes away from the credits he ends up being used as hostage by the arrested Big Bad and quickly strangled to death.
  • Machete Mayhem: Ling gets to kick ass using a machete against the gangsters, including slicing one of their throats from up close.
  • Men Are the Expendable Gender: Out of the Huang family, the brother is the only character who dies in the movie. (Not that the audience would feel too sorry for him though) And among the Vietnamese gang, while the whole gang gets killed in the movie, The Dragon who is the sole female simply gets arrested.
  • Resentful Outnumbered Sibling: Inspector Huang, Mina's husband, who is the only male in the family. He had at least four sisters, and the fact that he is the only man makes him such a big deal to his mother (since his children could carry the Huang surname).
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: A minor slip-up between Mina and Ling halfway in the film because of an undercover sting gone wrong results in Ling insulting Mina and tension to occur between the two. The fact that Superintendent Lau decide demote Ling just for the sake of being an asshole and pin all the blame of the failure on her despite him being the supervisor responsible for the operation doesn't help. Although Mina and Ling do patch up after Huang's death.
  • Pregnant Badass: Mina discovers that she is pregnant a few days after her husband's death. She then tracks down the gangsters responsible for his demise and beats the crap out of every single one of them, including killing the Big Bad.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: The final battle between Mina and Ling against the Vietnamese gangsters, to avenge Inspector Huang's death.
  • What a Drag: Superintendent Lau dies in this way when the Big Bad chokes him with handcuffs and drags him behind a motorcycle. Considering what a massive douchebag he is, though, absolutely nobody would bat an eye at his demise.
  • World of Action Girls: Mina, Ling, and all the Huang sisters kicks all kinds of ass and beats the snot repeatedly out of the gangsters. Mina can even beat up the Big Bad while pregnant!