The Inspector Wears Skirts II [Blu-ray]
Blu-ray B - United Kingdom - 88 Films
Review written by and copyright: Eric Cotenas (25th April 2024).
The Film

Madame Wu (The Seventh Curse's Sibelle Hu) and the entirely female police commando unit of SKIRTS are back… that is, they are back in training despite their impromptu "graduation" rescuing their male Tiger Squad counterpart and foiling a jewel heist by international terrorists. There are four new recruits – Phoebe (She Shoot Straight's Anglie Leung), Ping (Vampire vs Vampire's Tiffany Lau Yuk-Ting), Jo (Happy Ghost II's May Lo Mei-Mei), and Susanna (Robotrix's Amy Yip) – and attention-seeking Amy (Peking Opera Blues' Sandra Ng) has become the class ringleader in giving them a not-so-warm welcome. Mounted quickly after the success of the first film to be ready in time for Chinese New Year exhibition, The Inspector Wears Skirts II is otherwise a rehash of the first film including pranks that backfire, rivalry and flirtation with the Tiger Squad, dance sequences that devolves into brawling, and Police Commissioner Tung (Rumble in the Bronx's Bill Tung) being embarrassed during a training exercise when the squabbling spills over into a training exercise before the squads have to band together to take down real criminals.

"Fat" Amy being the butt of jokes by the mess hall cook (Mr. Vampire's Ricky Hui). With Ellen Chan (The Eternal Evil of Asia) and singer Alex To not returning – although, to be fair, the film does little with the other supporting characters who do return – it is May (My Young Auntie's Kara Hui) and (Police Story 2's Anthony Carpio) who are forced to pummel each other in a competition between the squads. Lovesick Inspector Kan (The Iceman Cometh's Stanley Fung) has a rival for Madame Wu's affections in Inspector Lo (Righting Wrongs' Melvin Wong) who has come to observe the training for unclear reasons. Amy's nerdy Tiger Squad love interest (Eastern Condors' Billy Lau) gets caught spying on the SKIRTS in the shower and gets ironic punishment by Madame Wu. While the first film waited until the last twenty minutes for the big action set-piece – and admittedly crammed a lot into it – The Inspector Wears Skirts II barely wastes less than fifteen minutes on a less elaborate series of scattered scuffles with a gang of terrorists whose numbers consist of all the usual Hong Kong-based Western martial arts performers like Jeff Falcon (Six String Samurai) from the first film – possibly as a different character – John Ladalski (Armour of God), Dan Mintz (Operation Condor), and Bruce Fontaine (Casino Raiders) filled out by members of producer Jackie Chan's stunt team (who also fill out the numbers of the Tiger Squad). The Inspector Wears Skirts II is certainly not without entertainment, but it probably played better theatrically as a Chinese New Year follow-up to the first film than watched on home video right after the first film.


Although the film was dubbed into English for export, The Inspector Wears Skirts II was unreleased in the United States and otherwise only available as Hong Kong import DVDs – a Mega Star non-anamorphic DVD and a Fortune Star anamorphic upgrade from Joy Sales, both with optional English subtitles – so 88 Films' 1080p24 MPEG-4 AVC 1.85:1 widescreen Blu-ray from a new 2K restoration of the original 35mm camera negatives marks the film's wide availability in the U.S. and the U.K. The image looks quite good for the most part, with vibrant daylight exteriors scenes – including grading that accentuates the golden magic hour lighting of some scenes that probably would have been timed more neutrally in older transfers – while night-for-night scenes fare best in close-ups.


Cantonese and English LPCM 2.0 mono tracks are included and the former is the way to go as it just sounds better overall. The English dub – which more chauvinistically refers to the SKIRTS as "Banshee Squad" – sounds flatter but this does not seem to be a case of deriving the English dub from a tape source as it is just the dialogue and effects that are compromised while the music sounds fine (unless the disc producers created a composite track using the Cantonese source for non-dialogue bits). Optional English subtitles are without any obvious errors.


The disc's extras start with an audio commentary by Asian film expert Frank Djeng who notes that Cynthia Rothrock was in the United States shooting China O'Brien and its sequel back-to-back for Golden Harvest and points out who else did not return as well as the newcomers – literally so as Yip had not yet achieved Category III notoriety with Sex and Zen, and in spite of the quick turnaround on the film that it was more successful that the first ranking third below John Woo's The Killer and Jackie Chan's Miracles. Djeng also notes that Chan does not appear in the film despite an image of him being used to promote the film and a tagline suggesting that he would be leading the SKIRTS in a mission. He also reveals that the film was intended as a vehicle for comic actress Ng, which was why the film placed more emphasis on comedy over action.

The disc also includes "Leading the Top Squad" (12:33), an interview with director Wellson Chin which might not have been shot specifically for this release since it features general remarks about all four entries of the film. Instead of feeling pressured by the rushed schedule to have the sequel ready for Chinese New Year, he recalls being excited because of how difficult it was to get films released during that time amidst heavy competition (see above for the film's box office competitors). He also reveals that the third film was not produced by Chan because it was funded by the owner of a floating casino which was where the film was set, and that fewer cast members returned to each sequel because of shrinking budgets.

There is also an interview with stuntman Go Shut Fung (28:06) aka Anthony Carpio who is still a member of the Jackie Chant Stunt Team and recalls meeting Chin on Naughty Boys, and that screenwriter Edward Tang picked him out from the stunt team to be an actor, and refutes the idea that the film was inspired by Yes Madam and instead cites Police Academy. He recalls training the actresses in stunts as well as British-style marching (which is no longer used by the Hong Kong police force after the handover). He also recalls the dance sequence, working with Ng and Falcon, as well as Fung who subsequently directed him in a film.

There is also an interview with stuntman Mars (6:45) who recalls meeting Chin who started out as an assistant director to Sammo Hung before being offered a directing job by Jackie Chan – who visited the set for the first film but not the sequel – and having to match members of the stunt team to the actresses in order to double them.

The disc closes with the Hong Kong theatrical trailer (3:38) and a stills gallery (3:39).


The standard edition comes with a reversible cover with new artwork by Sean Longmore and original HK poster art while the first pressing includes a double-walled O-ring slipcover featuring new artwork by Sean Longmore and a double-sided foldout poster featuring new and classic poster art.


The Inspector Wears Skirts II is certainly not without entertainment, but it probably played better theatrically as a Chinese New Year follow-up to the first film than watched on home video right after the first film.


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