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Film / The Avenging Quartet

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The Avenging Quartet is a 1993 action film directed by Stanley Siu, with an Ensemble Cast consisting of 90s Hong Kong cinema's leading Action Girl icons: Moon Lee, Cynthia Khan, Yukari Oshima and Michiko Nishiwaki.

A priceless scroll which holds a list of names from Japanese officials from World War II made it into the hands of art forger Hung (Waise Lee) who is fleeing to Hong Kong to evade the Chinese authorities. His girlfriend, military sergeant Chin (Cynthia) follows him all the way from the rural Chinese countryside to track him down, but ends up lost in the big city and bunking with the lively and happy-go-lucky Feng (Moon) who grew up in the mean streets of Hong Kong's seedy underbelly. And when Chin and Feng decide to work together to track down Hung and the scroll, they inevitably draws the attention of Japanese agents who wants the scroll for their own nefarious purposes, led by Yakuza boss Sen (Michiko), who is also contending with Oshima (Oshima), an assassin who doesn't have allegiances with anyone else.

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This movie contains the following tropes:

  • Action Girl: All four members of the titular quartet, being played by four of 90s Hong Kong cinema's leading Girls with Guns icons.
  • The Alcoholic: Feng, who keeps a cache of wine in her house and is quick to invite Chin for a drinking game after a video game session as part of their character bonding scene.
  • Anyone Can Die: Of the titular quartet, Moon Lee's Feng is the Sole Survivor that outlives the credits.
  • Battle Amongst the Flames: The showdown between Feng and Oshima eventually had both of them duking it out in a storeroom filled with wooden crates and fuel drums, which had caught fire from a stray explosion.
  • Biker Babe: Despite what the front cover implies, the only leading lady who matches this trope is Oshima, who gets to kick some serious ass while pursuing Hung on her motorcycle.
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  • Booby Trap: Hung's shack hideout which he lures the mobsters into is filled with gas canisters and explosives, and as he gets out with Chin through a balcony, he triggers a detonator on his way out killing every mobster inside.
  • Car Fu: In the climatic rescue, Paul drives his car with Feng as passenger into the warehouse where Hung and Chin are being held, crashing through its walls and sending enemy mooks scattering all over the place, before both of them leaps out of the vehicle and start kickng ass.
  • Casanova Wannabe: Paul, who spends every scene flirting with Feng and Chin regardless if the situation is acceptable, and repeatedly tries to goad Feng into liking him. Although he later becomes closer to a Chivalrous Pervert when the situation starts getting serious.
    Paul: "Hey ladies, I know where we can go! How about somewhere safe, cozy, and girls loves to hang out?"
    Feng: "Which is?"
    Paul: "My house, of course!"
  • Death by a Thousand Cuts: The foreign mob leader threatens to do this to Chin in order to force Hung into giving out the location of the pricesless painting, by slashing Chin in her back repeatedly. He stops when Hung finally gives in, but not before landing maybe a dozen (non-fatal) cuts on her.
  • Deadly Doctor: The hitman who tried to assainate Chin and Feng in the hospital is disguised as a doctor, with a surgical mask obscuring his face. He gets interrupted by Paul though, who alerts Feng by leaping into her room and pinning her on her bed, waking up Chin in the process, in time for them to scamble and escape.
  • Debut Queue: The movie's first 40 minutes is dedicated to intyroducing the titular quartet, one at a time, in order: Chin, Feng, Sen, Oshima, one at a time, each with their own debut scene (Chin leading a group of commandoes to arrest some smugglers, Feng turning the tables on a mobster's girlfriend in a movie theater, Sen at a meeting with her mob subordinates, and Oshima beating up a number of trainees in a kimono).
  • Forklift Fu: During the warehouse chase, Chin and Hung had their car being cornered from both directions by two forklifts operated by thugs, resulting in their vehicle being imnpaled from both sides. And since it's apparently a Pinto, it summarily blows up.
  • Furo Scene: Chin's very first scene, where she is lounging in a tub before dressing up in full millitary gear.
  • Impaled with Extreme Prejudice
    • Paul dispose of the foreign mafia leader by shoving him into a long, pointed metal rod. It turns out to be a Mutual Kill, because the mafia leader also shot Paul in the stomach from point-blank range simultaneously.
    • Hung in the finale kills Sen by shoving an iron pipe through her back, coming out from her stomach.
  • MacGuffin Melee: The final battle where Feng and Chin battles Oshima and Sen, in that order, to get the priceless scroll back. Then Chin Accidentally Broke The Macguffin when she drops the scroll into a fire.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: Feng, who drags Chin (a town girl who entered the big city for the first time) in a car chase for giggles, convinces her to chill at a red-light district, and decides to join the hunt for the pricesless scroll just for fun. But she turns out to be mentally depressed and deeply troubled by her brother's death, and her MPDG-attitude is more of a mask disguising her actual self.
  • Non-Indicative Title: While the movie features four of Hong Kong cinema's action lethal ladies, they are NOT on the same side (Quartet? Not even close). Only Chin and Feng are allies, Oshima is a mercenary serving only herself, and her alliance with Sen is only an Enemy Mine situation where they are ready to double-cross each other whenever they retrieve the pricelss scroll. Plus, at NO point are the main characters avenging anyone.
  • Suicide by Cop: Hung in his final scene, driving towards a barricade full of police officers - with the mortally wounded and dying Chin in the seat behind him. He gets shot and ends up crashing, so that they can be Together in Death.
  • Tempting Fate: Shows up in one of the earlier scene between Feng and Chin, when they are in Feng's vehicle and Chin cannot find her passport.
    Feng: "You forgot your passport? Too bad. But no worries, it's not like we'll run into a police roadblock or something..."
    (Turns into a police roadblock)
    Feng: "Oh crap!" (starts accelerating and driving away at full speed)
  • Sai Guy: Sai Girl. Oshima's first scene in Japan features her Dual Wielding sais, where she expertly fights off four trained opponents attacking her at the same time. For some reason though, after that scene she never uses the sais again.
  • Workout Fanservice: The scene where Oshima confronts Sen is in a gym where Sen is working out in tight-fitting yoga vest and pants. Inevitably, their discussion leads to a full-blown fight scene with Sen still in the yoga outfit.

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