aka: China O’Brian, China O’Brian: A Kung Fu Lady
Director: Robert Clouse
Starring: Cynthia Rothrock, Richard Norton, Keith Cooke, Doug Wright, Nijel
She is the Ultimate Weapon
China O’Brien has worked herself up from being in a small little town to now working as a police officer in the big city. She is also a martial arts teacher when she is off duty and needless to say, her biggest assets are her fighting skills. One day a shooting goes wrong which makes her want to quit the force and move back to her home town.
Things have changed back at home though. Her father is still the sheriff, but he is unable to get control over the corruption that is going on and has even infested the sheriff department. Her father ends up being killed and that brings out the cop in China and she candidates herself as the new sheriff, which also puts her in danger and she now has to clean up the streets before it destroys her and the rest of her loved ones.
China O’Brien has a simple premise and stars Cynthia Rothrock and has Richard Norton in a supporting role. That in itself and the time period it was made should be enough to make this a fun film, but it doesn’t quite reach my expectations. There is just not enough great fighting scenes to make this stand out from all the other action films of the era.
It’s not only the fighting choreography that are weak, but also the main direction of the film. Robert Clouse were both the writer and director of this film and perhaps he was just too old at the time considering he was 62 at the time and might not have been a good choice for an action film in 1990. I also didn’t like his Jackie Chan film Battle Creek Brawl ten years earlier, but I should also mentioned that he is the guy behind Enter the Dragon and The Game of Death so he did know something about action, just probably a little outdated by the time this project came along.
Cynthia Rothrock is the main reason why anyone would get this film and she is very pretty and does her stuff well. Her chemistry with Richard Norton is always great, but both of them are just not used to their fullest in this film. There are a few fight scenes where we get to see a little of what both of them have in them, but if you are familiar with other films with Norton or Rothrock, then you have seen their skills being displayed much better.
If you are hungry for some good action with Cynthia Rothrock or Richard Norton, then find some of their other movies cause China O’Brien is not one of the best out of either of their filmography. This is for die-hard fans of them only.