In the Line of Duty 4 (1989)
Director - Yuen Wo Ping
DVD Released by : 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment/Fortune Star
Player reviewed with : Malata 520
Receiver reviewed with : Sony 925
Cantonese and English Soundtracks 5.1 Dolby and DTS
Chinese Subtitles
Enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs
New and Original Trailers
Running Time : 95 mins.
Region 1

IN THE LINE OF DUTY IV is widely regarded as the best of the IN THE LINE OF DUTY SERIES as well as a classic Girls With Guns movie. Once again, Cynthia Khan is excellent as the unstoppable cop. This time she needs to team up with Donnie Yen to bust up a CIA drug ring that unbeknownst to him, his partner, Michael Wong is a part of. When a drug deal goes bad, an innocent bystander is the only witness. Wanted by the cops and the CIA, he goes back home to Hong Kong. When he arrives, the police are all over him. Cynthia Khan and Donnie Yen must protect him while they unravel the case. When they find the truth, they too, are sought for arrest. When the bystander's mother is kidnapped, Donnie and Cynthia must rescue her.

IN THE LINE OF DUTY IV is nonstop action from beginning to end. There are fights on rooftops, moving ambulances, and motorcycles. This movie is pure fun to watch as long as you don't get bogged down by little things like everybody in America speaking Cantonese. There are great performances by Cynthia Khan and Donnie Yen in this movie and great directing by Yuen Wo Ping. While this movie might be a little too much for those unfamiliar with Hong Kong movies, fans will eat this movie up.

Fox's IN THE LINE OF DUTY IV doesn't have that many extras but this DVD is a must for those in Region 1 who don't have multi-region players and are fans of this movie. If the you already own the Hong Kong Legends version, you may find a reason to get this one, too.

IN THE LINE OF DUTY IV probably hasn't looked better than this on a home format before. The print used is very good. It's free of damage and is just about free of any specks. The colors look great and the image is much more detailed than the UK's Hong Kong Legends DVD. The 16x9 transfer is very good, also. The only minor annoyance, like the other DVD's in this line is that the Fortune Star title screen isn't anamorphic but that isn't even an issue.

There are English and Cantonese Dolby 5.1 and DTS tracks. I used the 5.1 Cantonese track and found it to be a very good remix. The surround speakers are occasionally used for sound effects but not used that often. This mix is free of those out of place sounds that plague remixes so often. With the absence of the original theatrical mix, this one is an acceptable alternative.

The subtitles are easy to read and are free of misspellings and grammatical errors. These are dubtitles, which is when the subtitles are exactly what is said on the English dub. This presents a small problem in this movie because it simplifies what is being said at times and there is one instance when an upcoming scene appears to come out of nowhere. It makes sense when you watch it but it is slightly disjointing. This may bother first time viewers of this movie.

There are few extras on this DVD. There are two trailers for IN THE LINE OF DUTY IV and trailers for other Fox/Fortune Star releases.

Fox's IN THE LINE OF DUTY IV is definitely worth getting for fans of the movie as well as those interested in Girls With Guns movies. While lacking the extras of the UK's HKL DVD, it looks better and sounds just as good. For those in North America without region free payers, your wait is over for a great version of this movie.

Fox and Fortune Star have done well with this release and could only have done better if the subtitles were closer to what is actually being said in Cantonese. That aside, this is well worth getting for fans of the movie.

Reviewed 12/28/2003