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Review Black Cat a.k.a. Hak mau (1991): Failed remake of La Femme Nikita!

genre: girls with guns, action, crime, drama

When you are looking for films within the girls with guns genre, surely this title will pop up. While Black Cat, certainly features the same elements of film in the genre, I don't think it's as much fun as the others. 

For the most part, this is a straight remake of La Femme Nikita, with important plot elements removed. Especially character wise. We are supposed to feel empathy for Erica (Jade Leung) and yes we do because of Jade. She manages to evoke sympathy. We do feel sorry for some of the events she has to go through. But overall, in this version, she is a pretty horrible person and certainly not deserving of the love she is getting from the few who have fallen for her. No background is given on her. I mean, I know because I have seen the original and the remake. I think it would have helped for this film to explain why Erica is the way she is. Especially in the third part when she herself falls in love.

The above wouldn't have bothered me so much, had this Hong Kong remake at least stand out in the action department. The choreography and gun are decent enough. But they aren't really plentiful. Once they start, they have you desiring for more and longer sequences. Unfortunately, for whatever reason, director Stephen Chis is more interested in the drama side of the film. Only without the substance to back that up. So you are left with a bad romance /  drama film with some action in it that never truly delivers.

At times, this film is very exploitative of actress Jade Leung. Many scenes, still today, are pretty sadistic and no fun. I am not going to be hypocritical and say I don't like violent films. But those films do have to offer something of value. Pure sadism and nothing else is not something I enjoy. And especially the first part of this film delves into this. I am sure there is an audience for that, but this one definitely is not for me. I think for a debut, Jade Leung is stellar. For everything else, the film is painfully mediocre! If like me, you are craving proper girls with guns action, then tune into Special Female Force and The Fatal Raid. Jade Leung fares a lot better in these films.

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