Reviewed by

Christopher Armstead

I’m sitting around minding my own business looking for cover art for some obscure movie I’d just seen, when I stumble across the poster for today’s movie ‘Cleopatra Wong’. My knees get weak, my palms start to sweat, and I ask the Movie Gods why I haven’t ever heard of this movie, which I know has to be awesome, much less not even seen it. The Movie Gods, blessing me as they usually do, made it possible for me to view Ms. Marrie Lee and her signature character Cleopatra Wong… and to the surprise of no one, it was awesome. But of course, a lot of that depends on your definition of awesome.

It doesn’t take long to see that the long legged Ms. Wong is one girl not to be messed with as she kicks ass, and shoots, and shows mad archery skills through the films opening credits. But what Ms. Wong really likes to do is go on holiday, hang out at dance clubs, pick up strange dudes and have sex with them. When your primary occupation is saving all of Asia all the damn time, a girl needs a break. Sadly, criminals never take a holiday and in mid-stroke Cleo is interrupted by her boss who needs her to break her plans and head down to the Singapore Interpol office for her next assignment. Immediately. Right Now. At four in the morning. Asshole.

This brings us to the best part about ‘Cleopatra Wong’… the plot. The plot itself is simple enough, counterfeiters attempting to ruin the Asian economy by flooding the region with fake bills. But it is the method to their madness which makes their plan golden. While the plot is the best part of this film, ‘Cleopatra Wong’ is an action movie. Dear Lord is it an action movie, and the first thing Cleo has to do is infiltrate the lair of the Manila counterfeit distributor and handle her business. In gogo boots. The main perp here thought he had Cleopatra handled with his three overweight wrestlers. She decimates those clowns. Then he thought he had her cornered with his legion of Gi wearing blackbelts. She was wearing them out too, but tiring of kicking their asses, she jumps over a fifteen wall, Crouching Tiger style, and the chase is on. After a

motorcycle chase, an airtram chase, and more kung fu fighting, Cleo faces off against the main bad guy. To let you know how concerned Cleo was about this sucker, when he went into his martial arts gyrations, she laughed in his face. Then beat his ass. Then went home to sex up her man some more.

Now it’s off to Hong Kong, I think, to get to the bottom of this mess. Or maybe off to Hong Kong then back to Manila. Regardless, It looks like the nuns at the monastery on the hill are responsible for this influx of fake bills, but that’s crazy, right? No it is not! You see, these aren’t your average nuns, these are automatic weapon sporting nuns, some of them in drag, led by the world’s most evil friar. Now it’s up to Cleopatra and her freshly assembled team of badass cops to raid this monastery, kill up roughly 600 fake nuns and about a dozen fake priests… at least we hope they’re fake, save the Asian economy and make it home in time to finish up what her boss keeps interrupting.

I gotta give it up to director Bobby Suarez, who also co-wrote this masterpiece, and his movie ‘Cleopatra Wong’. Watching the crew of badass cops mow down nun after nun after nun after nun was truly inspirational. Watching Marrie Lee’s interpretation of the martial arts was also a life reaffirming experience. While there were times were Ms. Lee’s Kung Fu didn’t seem all that crisp, the woman was certainly an athlete considering all the running and rolling and dodging and high kicking she was forced to do in this film. And she did almost all of it in gogo boots. That’s awesome. And we can’t forget the tricks of Cleo’s trade. The rotating quad-barrel shotgun? Please. The rear gun-turrets on her motorbike? Come on now. The missile tipped, triple arrow archery technique? Amazing.

Then there’s the narrative supporting this insanity. Often time we chastise these mindless action movies for having narratives that don’t make any sense, but this one made total sense. Hijacking a monastery, turning it into a jam processing plant and sticking your fake bills inside the jam… man, that’s pure genius. Messy, but genius. That’s exactly what I would do! Who would think to investigate a monastery, other than Cleopatra Wong? Huh? They were this close. This close.

The only tragedy in this is that Cleopatra Wong never had the chance to team up with her African American counterpart Cleopatra Jones. Both women are abnormally tall, both are handy with the steel, they both ride a mean motorbike, neither likes to wear underwear, and after a hard days work of secret angenting, neither are too tired to please their men. I’m told that there are two more Cleopatra Wong mysteries floating around out there. Let’s hope the Movie Gods continue to smile on us and make the rest of the Cleopatra Wong movies available so that the adventure can continue.

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