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Review Terminator Woman a.k.a. Eliminator Woman a.k.a. Backlash (1993): Tong Po directs an average B actioner.

genre: action, martial arts

Michel Qissi (Mohammed Quissi) who also plays the main villain Alex Gatelee directs this action flick. He is best known for his role as Tong Po in Kickboxer (with Jean-Claude van Damme). He was phenomenal in that one.

Here not so much. At least in Kickboxer they were wise enough to not let him speak. He was far more menacing that way. Alex Gatelee who supposedly is the most vicious crime lord in some unknown and unnamed African country hardly makes an impression. Seemed like Qissi was more focused on directing than acting. But forgot to bring the plot to life. Not that there is much of a plot to begin with still it's nice that they had made the effort to write one. We get introduced to two detectives Julie A. Parish (Karen Sheperd) and Jay Handlin (Jerry Trimble) who are there to escort a prisoner and deliver them to the proper authorities so that he can testify in court against Alex Gatelee. Naturally Gatelee tries to prevent this which should have been the showcase for some marvelous action. Both Trimble and Sheperd obviously are very skilled martial artists but unfortunately they aren't really given the opportunity to shine that way. That perplexes me. What is the point of having two great fighters in a film and then not let them show what they do best. Instead we get poorly choreographed action scenes that hardly stand out. Qissi was the fight choreographer in Wrong Bet (with Jean-Claude Van Damme) which is among my favourites of Van Damme flicks since the martial arts is top notch in that one. So why has he failed to make the fights interesting only three years after that?

What is even more mind boggling is the fact that no explanation is given for the title Terminator Woman. Karen Sheperd defeats her opponents alright but is not as deadly as one would expect. And she certainly is no cyborg or something that resembles it. I know that they try to capitalize on using suggestive titles but then at least offer what the title is suggesting otherwise people might feel scammed. 

Terminator Woman is not horrendously bad. It's mostly competent enough only it never stands out or is anyway near remarkable. But for me the most important element which is action is lacking. A few kicks and punches and the enemies go down. None of them put up a real fight and it makes everything so boring. So no I can't recommend this. 

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