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Cecilia Cheung's fierce comeback

Hong Kong's Cecilia Cheung is now telling the world, through her new role as a woman who leads others into battle, that she's fierce and powerful. -myp
Joy Fang

Tue, Nov 15, 2011
my paper

SHE'S made the news for being embroiled in a sex scandal, and for a high- profile divorce.

But Hong Kong's Cecilia Cheung is now telling the world, through her new role as a woman who leads others into battle, that she's fierce and powerful.

Subtext: Do not mess with her.

Cheung, 31, who had photos of her in the nude leaked on the Internet in 2008 (yes, in the Edison Chen scandal), split from husband Nicholas Tse earlier this year.

Her new film, Legendary Amazons - a period movie produced by Jackie Chan under his production company, Jackie & JJ Productions, and directed by Frankie Chan - is being heralded as her comeback movie.

The movie, which opens in Singapore on Thursday, sees Cheung in her biggest role since the epic fantasy film, The Promise (2005).

While the actress starred in Chinese New Year film All's Well Ends Well, which was released in February this year, she had to jostle for space with the ensemble cast, which included Carina Lau and Lynn Hung.

Her recent comedy, Treasure Hunt - in which her elder son with Tse, Lucas, four, had a small role - was critically panned when it was released in August.

However, Legendary has the makings of a blockbuster.

Based on a famous Chinese tale set in the Song dynasty, it is a remake of the Shaw Brothers' 1972 classic, The 14 Amazons. It also cost a staggering US$16 million (S$20.5 million) to make.

The 108-minute action thriller focuses on the heroic efforts of the widows and daughters of the Yang family, who fight off invaders after all their male kin are massacred. Talk about girl power.

It stars Richie Ren as General Yang Zongbao, who is (spoiler alert!) killed, leaving his widow, Mu Guiying (Cheung), to lead other women in the family to rise up against their enemies.

At a press conference in Shanghai, Cheung said that she hopes she was able to portray the spirit of female strength accurately, "so that when my son sees it, he knows even women have a brave side", she said.

She was reportedly paid NT$30 million (S$1.28 million), and had signed on on one condition - that she not suffer any pelvic injuries during filming, as she wished to have a third child, according to the production company.

So, how did she fare as a gung-ho female warrior?

Reviews for the movie have been mixed, with some saying the women are too pretty to be convincing warriors.

Others praised Cheung for holding her own during the fierce, and violent, battle scenes. One thing's for sure, this movie's one to watch.

joyfang@sph.com.sg


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