Royal Warriors (1986)
Director - David Chung
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
English Subtitles
Enhanced for 16 x 9 TVs
New and Original Trailers
Running Time : 96 mins.
Region 1

Here's some trivia for you. What where the stars of CROUCHING TIGER, HIDDEN DRAGON, and THE LAST SAMURAI doing in 1986? Starring in ROYAL WARRIORS, that's what! Michelle Yeoh stars as a Hong Kong cop who with the aid of Henry Sanada and Michael Wong, thwart a highjacking which makes themselves targets for execution. Unbeknownst to the trio, the highjackers where part of a mercenary unit and when any of them are killed, the rest vow revenge.

**Warning: Spoilers**

Girls with Guns, Kung Fu, and 1980's fashions are all in full effect. Some over the top action may bring some laughs for being too unrealistic but there are moments that are truly brutal. This is not for those who like a lot of reality in their movies but it's a fun ride and considered one of the essential Girls With Guns movies. The movies starts on a light tone but after the highjacking, thing get more serious. Michael Wong brings some levity to the movie as a fairly pushy fellow cop who has a crush on Michelle Yeoh. Henry Sanada is the Japanese ex-cop who is bent on revenge after watching his family perish in a car bomb that was meant to include him. Michelle Yeoh uses everything at her disposal to beat her enemies, including fists, feet ,guns, and fire extinguishers.

ROYAL WARRIORS doesn't have any extras besides some trailers but this DVD is a must for those in Region 1 who don't have multi-region players and are fans of this movie.

ROYAL WARRIORS looks very good. The anamorphic image does show grain in a couple of shots but the film print is in overall great shape. The colors are vibrant and the image makes this movie look as though it was shot a lot more recently than 1986. While not the best looking of the Fox releases, ROYAL WARRIORS is probably the best it has ever looked. All you have to do is compare the new trailer and the old one to see the difference of what it has looked like before.

There are English and Cantonese Dolby 5.1 and DTS tracks. I used the 5.1 Cantonese track and found a lot of use of the rear speakers during car chases and gun fights. It's a pretty busy sound field at times. The remix is well done as far as remixes go, but those who like the original theatrical mix will be disappointed. The effects will stand out if you have seen the movie before.

The subtitles are easy to read and are free of misspellings and grammatical errors. These are the same as the English dub. I've seen this movie in the theater recently and the subtitles were not all that different than the theatrical print.

There are few extras on this DVD. There are two trailers for ROYAL WARRIORS and trailers for other Fox/Fortune Star releases.

ROYAL WARRIORS is definitely worth getting for fans of the film as well as those interested in Girls With Guns movies. If you have a widescreen TV, this is definitely worth the upgrade from the Universe DVD for the picture quality. Once again, Fox has released a winner. Aside from the lack of the original theatrical sound mix, I think most will be happy with this DVD.

Reviewed 5/7/2003 by Matt