"I can't even recommend Baroness to an Anthony Wong fan, because... well... I am one, and I feel ripped off even when I paid a measly five bucks for it."

- TheFrankEinstein's

Baroness (2000)

Director: Anthony Lau

Producer: Lau Kei

Cast: Chin Kar Lok, Anthony Wong Chau-Sang, Cheung Nga Yan, Lau Wing, Chan Ying Lai, Lee Nga, Tsui Ching Man, Chiu Hoi Mu, Lau Yuet Hiu

Running Time: 89 min.

Plot: A team of mercenary soldiers, hired by a mystical person nicknamed "Baroness", steal a priceless piece of jewel from the Philippine Museum. Two Philippines cops, Pat and Ray, are ordered to recover the jewel. They have no concrete evidence against the suspected targets and soldiers are planning to steal yet another valuable stone-- "The Blue Sun". In hope of unveiling the identity of "Baroness", Pat and Ray have to work jointly with the Chinese security police and trigger a tense struggle with the soldiers...


TheFrankEinstein's REVIEW: According to the DVD case, Baroness has three selling points: Anthony Wong, exploding cars, and a naked woman. Well, it delivers on the exploding cars. But why did I buy this movie? Because I assumed that if Anthony Wong was in it, it must have its merits. NO. NO NO NO. WRONG. I learned my lesson well.

I'm not going to engage in the behind-the-scenes crap, I won't speculate as to which star was the director, I'm just going to share with you how this movie sucked beyond suck. I want to tell you that the movie inexplicably halts in what SHOULD be the third act, so that the up-to-this-point heartless villain can have his car EXPLODE while he's in it, then, apparently just mildly singed, break into a nurse's apartment, ask her to help him, then promptly pass out on the floor. For the next ten minutes or so, this ruthless killer that you despise becomes a charming, gentlemanlike guest for this nurse, making small talk with her crippled mother (even telling her that she has a "filial daughter." Wow. Thanks.) helping out around the house, then leaving a huge wad of cash when he leaves to go back on his killing spree. Let's just say that this confusing little detour would have ruined this movie... if it hadn't already sucked so inconceivably to begin with.

The "action" that in some Hong Kong movies can redeem a subpar story is here with all the storm and fury of an episode of The Beverly Hillbillies. The setups here are composed of whoever the "hero" of the scene may be firing into a crowd of incompetent enemies, with them countering the attack by falling down dead, not having ever fired a shot. One time is a surprise attack, but by the fourth "gunfight" you'd think this shipyard full of goons would have been alerted to the gunman's presence. Pathetic by even American standards. But was it stylish? Well, look at it this way. If you consider "Walker: Texas Ranger" stylish, then no. Still no. Never.

Anthony Wong, one of the cover's promises, shows up about every twenty minutes to supply a little bit of comic relief (!?), torturing interrogates by mouth-breathing into their faces, to which they reply "stinky" while waving their hand in front of their face. Haha! Classic! And if he's not doing that, then he pops up for two seconds to watch something explode, then berate his assistant with such gems as "You are shit. Let's go." Whoa! R. Lee Ermey eat your heart out!

So in closing, I can't even recommend Baroness to an Anthony Wong fan, because... well... I am one, and I feel ripped off even when I paid a measly five bucks for it.

TheFrankEinstein's RATING: 2/10