Raid On Royal Casino Marine

霸王花之皇家賭船 | The Inspector Wears Skirts III | Inspector Wears Skirts 3
 •  ,  •   • Dir.

Reviewed by   |  May 15, 2024

After the success of the first two ‘Inspector Wears Skirts’ films in 1988 and 1989 respectively, director Wellson Chin started a new decade with the third part in the series, ‘Raid On Royal Casino Marine’. Exciting title…cast of familiar franchise figures…what could go wrong?

Officer Kan (Fung) is now enjoying marital bliss with feisty Madam Wu (Hu) and the special team they formed has been disbanded. Yet the mundane life suits neither of them and when Kan is tasked with reforming the team to go undercover on a floating casino, he is nudged into the task with little persuasion. Returning to the fold are lecherous Nam (Lau), loudmouth Amy (Ng), buxom Susanna (Yip) and top fighter May (Hui), and, after a refresher course, they are soon ready for the mission.

One thing occurred to me when I was re-watching this to review – I was probably a bit harsh in my old review of the original (which, in fairness, I wrote nearly two decades ago!). ‘The Inspector Wears Skirts’ was amusing and had some cracking action set-pieces and though it meandered in the way that action-comedies of the era often did, it delivered something memorable. Part three has none of the charm of the original and doesn’t even stack up well against the second part; this is a lazy, charmless affair that had me looking at the clock every couple of minutes. So much time is focused on unfunny comedy routines and low-brow humour that makes Seth Rogen look like Neil Simon. Hong Kong action-comedies can be an acquired taste but at their best they are lively and packed with fisticuffs even if the levity doesn’t deliver. ‘Raid On Royal Casino Marine’ is a chore.

Another thing to mention is the dwindling budget. The first two ‘Inspectors’ films had the backing of Jackie Chan and used that weight accordingly. ‘Raid On Royal Casino Marine’ is a grimly low-budget effort, and never is this more obvious than the eponymous ‘Royal Casino Marine’. The name implies a posh gambling den, but the venue reminded me more of the Dover to Boulogne ferry that I took during a school trip around the same time. That I would rather repeat that experience, complete with trying to avoid being drowned by the school psychopaths, says much about how poor this is.

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