Strangers Meet on the Way

It does make one a little bit sad to see past action stars like Jade Leung and Yu Rong Guang appearing in low budget productions such as this one that have all the characteristics of straight to vcd. It seems so recent that these two were thrilling viewers with such fare as Black Cat and Iron Monkey – but in terms of their career it must feel like a lifetime ago for them. Of course, its not only their careers that have taken a slight detour but Hong Kong action film in general is far from what is was in the early 90’s. Ironically, it is now that Hollywood is discovering it and the Western media is extolling it.
Perhaps it is simply affection for these two stars that lies latent in my heart – especially for Jade – but I found the film more involving than I had anticipated. There really isn’t a lot to recommend this film for – the plot feels weary and the action is sparse and mediocre – but I followed it through to the end and was glad to have done so. The characters slowly grow on you as the film proceeds and so by the end you really do want to know the outcome of their fates.
Jade Leung plays Pin – apparently a shoe shine woman in Guangzou  - who catches the attention of Wayne Lai. He is a photographer who attempts to hustle tourists into allowing him to take their pictures for exorbitant amounts. He works the same patch of ground as Jade and after some initial enmity between them they become friends. Needless to say, Jade is no ordinary shoe shine person – and it turns out that Yu Rong Guang and his gang of ruffians are searching the earth for her and some missing money. Throw into this mix the fact that the cops are looking for Yu and one old beat cop is looking for one big bust before he retires. As the facts leading up to this all begin to emerge it does take on a certain small time intrigue.
Jade is still looking good – and has a couple of action scenes that consist primarily of a number of leg kicks to the heads of her opponents. Jade always tended to look better with a gun in hand and shooting someone than she did in her martial arts scenes. Regretfully, she has no opportunity to shoot anyone in this film! Yu Rong Guang on the other hand always has looked better doing physical martial arts than he does with a gun in hand – and yet here he does more shooting than kicking – though he gives Wayne quite a beating. In general, this is nothing to go out of the way to see unless you are a Jade fan and want to keep up with her career. Some loyalties die hard.

My rating for this film: 5.5