Hong Kong Cinema

She Shoots Straight

She Shoots Straight
  • Made: 1990
  • Box Office: HK $9.96m (#31 in 1990))
  • Format: DVD
  • Region: PAL Reg 2
  • Release Date: May 15 2006
  • Company: Hong Kong Legends
  • Length: 88 mins
  • Picture: 16:9 Widescreen anamorphic
  • Sound: DD5.1 / DTS
  • Language: English dubbed, Cantonses with English subtitles
  • Extras: Joyce Godenzi biography, HK Heroines gallery, trailers, Sammo sound bite and Battling Babes featurette
  • Classification: 15


Corey Yuen


Joyce Godenzi, Agnes Aurelio, Tony Leung Ka-fai, Yuen Wah, Carina Lau, Teddy Yip, Helen Law Lan

Action Choreographer:

Corey Yuen, Yuen Tak, Mang Hoi

She Shoots Straight - Many Hong Kong action fans will know of the familiar story, where a successful director moves to make movies the West and suffers a drop in the quality of their output, and it would seem that Corey Yuen is treading the same path if the trailer for this year's Dead Or Alive video game adaptation is anything to go by. Highlights of his career include everything from kung fu instructor on Drunken Master to action choreographer on X-men, co-director of Dragons Forever and director of Jet Li's early 90's output as well as taking charge of action choreography on nearly all of Jet's Western features. As the director of The Transporter, Corey doesn't seem to suffer from the Western Curse as badly as some other directors, but it is unlikely that any future US pictures will live up to the heights of his previous Hong Kong output, including the gem that is She Shoots Straight.


The Wongs are a police family, the late father being a successful cop and his son and daughters all following in his footsteps. Only son Bo has married the beautiful and ambitious cop Mina, and despite the Wong Matriarch's hopes of grandchildren Bo's sisters are less than happy with the new addition to the family, especially the eldest daughter Ling.

A Vietnamese gang escape from their refugee centre to buy guns, but when the sale goes badly the cops get wind of the gang's plans to raid a nightclub. The Wongs set themselves up undercover at the club, but after an infrared clash some of the gang members escape the cops and their leader vows revenge for the death of his friend. Various fights and chases ensue as the gang seeks revenge and the cops try and track them down before they flee the country.


She Shoots Straight was a big surprise for me, having never heard of it before this release from Hong Kong Legends. It follows the formula of many Hong Kong flicks of the time, a cops vs. robbers tale involving gunfights, fistfights, machete fights, car chases, motorbike chases and the obligatory showdown in a building site. The action staples are all present and correct, as are the glimpses of aspirational wealth in the settings are common in the flicks coming out of Hong Kong either side of 1990.

What surprised me was how good the film is, with fantastic and often brutal action and a well acted and relevant dramatic side, as the introduction of Mina brings conflict within the Wong family with Ling in particular feeling that Mina's ambition is sidelining her brother's career. Joyce Godenzi as Mina is great, managing to balance a character who is at once a pretty and adoring wife and a hard-bitten cop who's not afraid to get her hands dirty. With so many decent female roles available for once the men have little to do, though Tony Leung Ka-fai plays Bo well, and Yuen Wah, more recently seen playing the landlord in Kung Fu hustle, is excellent as the ruthless gang leader giving a chilling air of malevolence to the part despite his short, wiry frame and NHS specs. For the Sammo fans out there, the producer of this picture also plays a small part and even a bit of action, but mostly stands back to let the rest of the cast breathe.

All the action scenes are exciting and many of the stunts are as good as those found in the better known Hong Kong classics, with Joyce Godenzi getting stuck in true to her character, pulling off a number of choice moves in many of the battles, especially the one-on-one with Agnes Aurelio, the ex-bodybuilder who plays the Vietnamese gang's inside girl at the club.


The choice of Sub or Dub is usually taken for granted from Hong Kong Legends, but it was a shame to find the Bey Logan commentary missing. The dub is okay as dubs go, but the script changes it makes do result in changes for the worse, for instance in one scene of domestic bliss with Mina and Bo a joke that was in the original is completely missed in the English version, so be warned.

Whilst HKLegends usually put on a good spread for their discs, She Shoots Straight isn't as tightly packed as other releases. Along with the international trailer and (better) original, the 'Heroine's Gallery' consists of clips from other HKLegends' releases which feature female stars getting into a bit of action, and serve as a decent showcase for these films. The 'sound bite' of Sammo Hung talking about working with Joyce (they married in '95 after making this, Eastern Condors and Spooky, Spooky, Spooky together) is literally a minute long, but the scrolling text-based biography for Joyce is packed with a lot of interesting info. Lastly there is the 'Battling Babes' featurette, consisting of 8 minutes of interviews with a number of women (including Cynthia Rothrock) working in Hong Kong action pics in what looks like the early 90s.


Without the high profile of many of the more famous Hong Kong Legends releases, She Shoots Straight may fall by the wayside, but it deserves to be seen by every fan of the Hong Kong crime films of the 80s and 90s. Offering a little more to the story than the standard plot-by-numbers and backing it up with bone-crunching action, She Shoots Straight would be a fine addition to your collection.