The Heroic Trio (1993)
Directed by Johnnie To
Before founding his lucrative film production company, Milkyway Image, and before receiving critical praise for his crime films, musicals, and romantic comedies in the 2000s and 2010s, Johnnie To was a journeyman director deep in the trenches of the Hong Kong film industry. The Heroic Trio sees To in the second decade of his career.
A commercial hit in Hong Kong and a cult movie in the US, The Heroic Trio is a whacky pastiche of superheroes, comic book violence, and martial arts (directed by Ching Siu-Tung of A Chinese Ghost Story). Three superheroes (the powerhouse team of Maggie Cheung, Michelle Yeoh, and Anita Mui) unite to fight a Chinese eunuch hellbent on snatching babies in the hopes that one of them will be the future king of China. The Heroic Trio has more verve, invention, and fun than the dour, bloated, and straining seriousness of the Marvel Craptastic Universe. Tanner Tafelski (December 15, 2:45pm, 7:15pm at Metrograph’s Maggie Cheung series)