New Restoration

Its design and mise-en-scene are expansive and occasionally exhilarating … [with] moments of genuine horror-comic poetry.”

Tony Rayns, Sight and Sound

The genius of the Hong Kong filmmaking industry is on full, limit-defying display in The Heroic Trio, an early international success for director Johnnie To and a showcase for three soon-to-be household names: Anita Mui, Maggie Cheung, and Michelle Yeoh. Wonder Woman (Mui) rules the night, Thief Catcher (Cheung) takes mercenary missions by day, and the Invisible Woman (Yeoh) does a eunuch master’s bidding from a lurid underworld realm. While this hybrid of urban comic noir and violent wuxia villainy is atypical for the talents that intersect here, the impact of The Heroic Trio was immediately felt. Cheung’s motorcycle-riding theatrics are a playful reference point within Olivier Assayas’s Irma Vep (1996), and that same year To founded Milkyway Image, an independent studio that would redefine Hong Kong cinema. Trios fight choreographer Dion Lam later worked under Yuen Woo-ping on the Wachowskis’ Matrix trilogy.

A heady mix of aerobatic martial arts and superheroine fantasy.”

David Bordwell, Artforum

Possibly To’s most kinetic and purely enjoyable action film … One of the most memorable and influential action movies in the Hong Kong cinema.”

Stephen Teo, Director in Action: Johnnie To and the Hong Kong Action Film
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