User Reviews (5)

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  • This movie is almost all Michelle Yeoh, whom I--and, I imagine, most males--enjoy seeing in almost anything. Here for once she is playing a character devoid of glamour and fantasy, and presumably not far different from herself, except in being unlucky, unhappy, unknown, and unappreciated.

    It is difficult for me to imagine Ms. Yeoh, even at her youngest and most inexperienced, as having been shy and skittish around a man she liked, or easily led. Otherwise she is convincing and, as always, attractive and likable. But there is one thing I find missing from her performance, as from all her performances, which is made all the clearer in this down-to-earth milieu: her character is never knowable. You don't get to see far down into her, to find out who she is and how she got that way. True, the lack is as much in the script as in the performance, but most actors are able to fill in the spaces in the scripts. Why is the character in this film a stunt woman? Why does she stay a stunt woman? How does she feel about the other characters--her roommate, her director, or the director's son? Her attitude toward life is that of most of Ms. Yeoh's characters: glum resignation, and with good reason; her attitude toward people is one of detached tolerance, generally benevolent but impatient, as if she were an aunt who happened also to be a queen or some supernatural entity (this works best in martial-arts fantasies where the character IS a supernatural entity).

    Ms. Yeoh aside, I thought the film a rather interesting treatment of a rather uninteresting story, and was particularly interested that it acknowledged the criminal aspect of the film industry in Hong Kong. But I wished the processes of movie-making and the on-set relationships had been shown in more detail, and that the melodramatics near the end had been avoided, being out of key in a relatively realistic story.
  • The film tries too hard. It tries to be a behind the scenes look at Hong Kong action film making. And a thriller. And a love story. It also intends to give Michelle Yeoh a chance to play three very different aspects of the same woman. The film spends not enough time on the first theme and too much on the others.

    That said, it is an extremely effective little film And more important: it gives Michelle Yeoh the chance to do some of the best acting of her career. She creates a wonderfully complete and charming character as a stunt double getting her big break.

    The woman she plays is, especially in the first third, different from anything you have seen her do before. It proves that she is one of the greatest living actresses -- and not just in action films.
  • "The Stunt Woman" is far from a perfect film - it is quite slow and meandering - but it gives Michelle Yeoh the chance to show her stuff in an atypical dramatic role: instead of playing an aggressive, super-confident superwoman, she is just a simple, easygoing, unassuming, brave woman trying to earn her living by doing what she's best at, doubling actors for dangerous movie stunts. Her mature, restrained performance is pretty much the whole show here - and she looks great, too. The film is absorbing most of the way, but I have to be honest here: when Sammo Hung's character (an action director) advises an aspiring screenwriter to "liven up" his romantic tragedy with a few fight scenes, I thought that this film itself might have benefited from a similar approach. OK, it was obviously designed as a change-of-pace for its stars, but it still seems kind of wasteful to have Michelle, Sammo and Ken Lo in your movie and have a total of about 3 short fight scenes in it. (**1/2)
  • 1st watched 1/1/2010 – 3 out of 10 (Dir-Ann Hui): Mixed-up mess of a movie about a stuntwoman and her experiences on and off the set. Michelle Yeah plays the woman who gets work with a crew making what appears to be a low budget kung fu movie in a very un-Hollywood- like set. She is really well liked by the director(Aka. The Boss) and everyone else and then gets more and more responsibilities. A gang randomly attacks the crew every once in awhile and causes havoc(this creates kind of a sub-plot). She has a brief romance with a restaurant owner, goes away from the business, but eventually comes back when this doesn't work out. The gang eventually kills the boss and then she's left to take care of the son, since she feels responsible as part of the crews family. This is basically the whole movie. Every incident seems to happen very quickly without much lead or development done for the characters. The movie comes across like it was chopped to pieces and was intended to be much longer. Characters come in and out of the story, things happen to them, and then we go onto the next scene. There is a central core of characters but in my opinion, this movie shows us a very shoddy bit of directing by an acclaimed Ann Hui. This could have been a good expose on this type of work but instead we get kind of a messed-up soap opera of a movie. If there is a longer director's cut that would be interesting to see but I don't know if it would improve the movie. The makers really come across like they really didn't know what kind of movie they wanted to make and it shows. Avoid this one.
  • Before the film I was watching the actors list. It seemed impressive with the names Michelle Yeoh and the legendary Sammo Hung. I immediately thought of kung fu fights and action. This is not what the film delivered even if the title suggests it. It's mostly a drama revolving around Yeoh's character Ah Kam. Ah Kam is an ordinary woman trying to get by, having success at some things and bad luck with others, just your typical basic drama plot with some twists thrown in. It starts nicely with scenes on an action movie set where they are shooting the stunts. After that it's downhill and towards the end it gets very jumpy, with weird scenes out of nowhere. I found it very difficult to follow the plot because the scenes felt somehow out of place and inconsistent. So what to expect of this film is Michelle Yeoh and Sammo Hung without the great action sequences you are used to seeing when associated with these names. The film delivers only a couple of average action scenes, but not enough to satisfy the people watching this for the action. Plus the end is totally mixed up and unsatisfactory. Even if I watched this without my "action glasses" as a drama, which it is, I wouldn't find it very good and I like a good drama film every now and then.