Sister Street Fighter is a movie I took a while to warm to. I love the Shaw Brothers costume martial arts epics from Hong Kong but martial arts movies in contemporary setting I’m not quite so sure about.
This one is a Japanese rather than a Hong Kong production, and it’s the first Sonny Chiba movie I’ve seen. In fact he plays more of a supporting role with Etsuko Shihomi taking centre stage.
The plot is a standard martial arts revenge plot. An undercover cop has disappeared and the police ask his sister for help. Luckily the sister is a karate expert and she’s keen to assist. You don’t really need to know much more about the plot. What matters in this kind of movie are the action sequences, the style, and (for bonus points) the weirdness factor.
The movie scores pretty well on action. There’s certainly plenty of it.
As for the other key factors, it took a while but this film eventually delivered the goods. As it progresses it gets more and more over-the-top and more and more goofy. And I started to like it more and more. By the time the leopard-print-wearing Thai kickboxing amazon warriors arrived on the scene I was pretty much won over.
The acting is, well it’s pretty basic, but it’s not a movie that makes great demands on actors aside from the ability to do action scenes and stunts.
The Region 4 DVD is fairly rough. Picture quality is OK but definitely on the grainy and muddy side.
I you love martial arts movies you’ve already seen this movie. If you don’t then it’s probably not the ideal introduction to the genre, especially given the indifferent quality of the DVD release.