Inspector Wears Skirts 2, The (Blu-ray Review)

  • Reviewed by: Stephen Bjork
  • Review Date: Jun 03, 2024
  • Format: Blu-ray Disc
  • Bookmark and Share
Inspector Wears Skirts 2, The (Blu-ray Review)


Wellson Chin

Release Date(s)

1989 (March 26, 2024)


Golden Harvest/Fortune Star (88 Films)
  • Film/Program Grade: B-
  • Video Grade: A-
  • Audio Grade: B
  • Extras Grade: B

The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 (Blu-ray)

Buy it Here!


Director Wellson Chin’s The Inspector Wears Skirts series is female empowerment done Hong Kong action style, which means that it’s a bit complicated in that regard. Hong Kong cinema has always been unafraid of wild tonal shifts, veering sharply from drama to comedy to tragedy, and even to open farce. The Inspector Wears Skirts films have plenty of action and even some bloody violence, but they lean heavily into the farcical elements. The franchise takes place in the full “girls with guns” crime milieu of the In the Line of Duty series, but mixed with the slapstick comedy of the Lucky Stars series—and it shares a few actors with both. Rather than being a serious examination of female police trainees trying to make their way in a man’s world, The Inspector Wears Skirts franchise offers broad comedy in the vein of the Police Academy series, which means that it’s constantly undercutting any real sense of empowerment that it may offer. In a sense, though, that really is just a part of the women making their way in a man’s world, because The Inspector Wears Skirts is fairly egalitarian in the way that it satirizes pretty much everyone and everything, including its own nominal heroines. No one is off the hook when the farce is this broad.

The first film tried to balance the comedy with the action, opening by presenting the threat posed by a terrorist group, then using that as an explanation for the creation of the SKIRTS squad, and finally punctuating the extended training sequences by showing the new squad members quashing that threat. The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 (aka Shen yong fei hu ba wang hua) steps back from that a bit, sending the women back into training for most of the film, with only a perfunctory action scene at the conclusion (one that’s even more out of left field than the first time around, although the presence of Jeffrey Falcon implies that it’s the same group of villains as the first film). The hook this time is that the experienced trainees (returning cast members Sandra Kwan Yue Ng, Regina Kent, Kara Wai, and Joanna Chan) now find themselves not just in conflict with the male trainees, but also in a new rivalry with a group of younger female recruits. Sibelle Hu also returns as their austere trainer Madame Wu, but Cynthia Rothrock was back in America pursuing her solo career, so Madame Law is nowhere to be seen this time. The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 also stars Billy Lau, Amy Yip, Anthony Carpio (aka Go-Shut Fung), Stanley Sui-Fan Fung, and the omnipresent Bill Tung.

As that description should make clear, if the Inspector Wears Skirts franchise is a Hong Kong version of Police Academy, then The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 is Police Academy 3: Back in Training. The addition of the new element of the young trainees means that this three-way rivalry affords even more opportunity for the hijinks that marked the middle section of the first film—it’s an action comedy where the former only appears in support of the latter. The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 was still produced by Jackie Chan and makes full use of his stunt team, but the stunts here are primarily of a comedic sort. (Like the first film, Chan was really more of an executive producer since he was entirely absent from the set both behind the camera and in front of it as well—he doesn’t even have a cameo in either film.) The farcical nature of The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 leans even more openly into fantasy territory than the first film did—there’s another incongruous dance sequence, but this time it’s joined by a dream sequence and even some Revenge of the Nerds style shenanigans. As a result, it’s even less consequential than the first film, although it’s arguably no less entertaining.

Cinematographer Yiu-Tsou Cheung shot The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 on 35mm film using Arriflex cameras with spherical lenses, framed at 1.85:1 for its theatrical release. 88 Films bills this as a “2K remaster from the original negatives,” with scanning and digital restoration work presumably having been performed by Fortune Star. The results are similar to what was done with The Inspector Wears Skirts, but this one has the edge between the two. In both cases, either the negatives were in excellent shape or else the digital cleanup work was top notch, because everything looks as clean as possible, with little to no remaining damage, but all of the grain and fine detail is still intact. Where The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 improves over its predecessor is in terms of color reproduction. It’s still a little inconsistent, but for the most parts the colors are better saturated this time, and they really pop in the daylight exteriors. The contrast range is excellent, too. It’s another rock-solid presentation from 88 Films and Fortune Star.

Audio is offered in Cantonese and English 2.0 mono LPCM, with optional English subtitles. Let’s get this out of the way up front: the English dubbing is truly terrible this time around. The English dialogue also sounds a little thin when compared to the original Cantonese. It’s all post-synced either way, but the dialogue reproduction alone makes the Cantonese sound superior, let alone the quality of the voice acting. The frequency response and dynamic range are also improved compared to The Inspector Wears Skirts, and aside from some distortion during the opening Fortune Star logo, there’s no issues elsewhere.

The 88 Films Blu-ray release of The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 includes a reversible insert with new artwork by Sean Longmore on one side and the original Hong Kong theatrical poster artwork on the other. There was a version that included a double-sided foldout poster and a slipcover, but that appears to be sold out at this point. The following extras are included:

  • Audio Commentary by Frank Djeng
  • Leading the Top Squad (HD – 12:33)
  • Stuntman Mars Discusses The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 (HD – 6:45)
  • An Interview with Stuntman Go Shut Fung (HD – 28:46)
  • Hong Kong Trailer (Upscaled SD – 3:38)
  • Stills Gallery (HD – 3:39)

Film programmer and former Tai Seng Entertainment marketing manager Frank Djeng returns for another commentary on the Inspector Wears Skirts franchise, and in typical fashion, he hits the ground running and only pauses occasionally to take a breath. (He might be the only person alive who could deliver overlapping dialogue all by himself.) He notes the differences between this film and the first one while offering biographical details about the cast and crew, as well as stories about the production. He also places the film into context with other Hong Kong efforts from the period, as well as the rest of the films in the Inspector Wears Skirts series. Djeng is fast-paced and good-natured, so he’s the ideal person to be doing the commentary for films like these.

Aside from the Trailer and a Stills Gallery, the rest of the extras consist of crew interviews. Leading the Top Squad is with Wellson Chin, who says that The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 wasn’t rushed into release, and that they always planned on turning the first film into a series. He also says that the reason why there’s less action in this installment is due to scheduling issues with the lead cast, and he admits that the budgets kept shrinking as the series progressed. Stuntman Mars Discusses The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 features the actor/stuntperson discussing his work with Wellson Chin on the series, including many of the injuries that were suffered by the cast and crew. Finally, An Interview with Stuntman Go-Shut Fung is with the man of many names (he’s credited as Anthony Carpio in the film, but that’s just one of his pseudonyms). He covers his own career with Chin and the challenges of making the Inspector Wears Skirts films.

Considering that previous DVD releases of The Inspector Wears Skirts 2 were bare-bones in terms of extras, this is a major upgrade—and that’s not even counting the excellent video quality that the high-definition master offers. It’s highly recommended for fans of Hong Kong cinema, and anyone else who’s able to go with the flow no matter how silly the antics may get.

- Stephen Bjork

(You can follow Stephen on social media at these links: Twitter and Facebook.)